Research expenses

Trips to archives, visiting historical sites and conducting interviews are all essential to the work of historians. The Royal Historical Society offers a range of grants to enable research postgraduates to conduct this vital research.  We provide funding to make visits to archives and to conduct other research such as interviews and site-trips both within and outside the UK. These small grants, of no more than £750, make an important contribution to primary research and often enable the completion of doctoral theses.

James Yeoman was awarded funding to visit archives in Spain to research his doctorate on anarchism, education and culture in pre-Civil War Spain.  He writes:

This research has been invaluable to the continuation of my PhD thesis. I have now established a wide base of source material from across Spain, which will form the basis of my work over the next year.”

Sheng-Chi Shu was awarded a research grant to visit archives in London for his doctorate on Reuters’ commercial interests in East Asia and the war between nationalist China and Japan, 1931-45.  He writes:

Without the Society’s support, I would have difficulties in meeting the considerable costs of travelling to and staying in London. The findings from these trips add significantly to my dissertation and are by themselves highly revealing about the complexity of international and transnational news media relations in the history of Britain-China and Britain-Japan relations and international/global history as a whole.”

How to Apply

From the 7 January 2020, the RHS is switching to a new online system for applications. If you have an incomplete application that you started before the 6 January 2020, you will be able to access your existing information, and submit your application using the old system until 14th January 2020 using this link.  From 6 January 2020, all new applications for Research Support Grants (including Conference Travel, Research Expenses and Conference Organisation) should be made using the new RHS application system, which can be accessed here.

  • RHS awards for research expenses both within and outside the UK are for postgraduate students registered for research degrees at UK institutions of higher education (full-time and part-time). If you are applying from a UK institution, please complete the application form for UK students. For more information refer to the UK students’ guidelines.
  • Under the Past & Present scheme we also consider applications from doctoral students registered for a research degree outside the UK. Doctoral candidates at non-UK institutions wishing to apply for P&P funding should complete the application form for overseas students.  For more information refer to the overseas students’ guidelines.
  • Applications are considered by the Research Support Committee which meets four times a year. They take up to six weeks to process from the deadline.
  • Applications will not be considered for research to be conducted within the four weeks immediately following the deadline. You are advised to consult the schedule of closing dates and to submit your application before the deadline that is at least one month earlier than the start of your research trip.
  • No application will be considered without a supporting academic reference. You are reminded to submit your application in sufficient time to allow your supervisor to provide their reference before the closing date for which you are applying.
  • Please read the application form carefully for full details of criteria for your grant application.

Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2021: 25 January, 29 March, 7 June and 18 October

Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2022: 24 January, 28 March, 6 June and 17 October

All enquiries about research support applications should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at: