Research expenses – Guidelines for students registered at institutions outside the UK

Grants of between £50 and £750 are intended primarily to contribute towards travel costs to assist postgraduate students in making visits to archives and other site-visits away from their home institution. The funding for these awards from the RHS has been generously provided by the Past & Present Society, in keeping with P&P’s commitment to promoting early career researchers in History in a challenging funding landscape.


  • Eligible students will be registered for a doctoral research degree. Students must be registered at an institution of higher education outside the United Kingdom. Students may be full-time or part-time.
  • Applications are open to researchers of any nationality; however the Society does not normally fund students to conduct research in their own country of permanent residence if this is outside the United Kingdom.
  • Preference will normally be given to proposals for research projects that are both clearly and predominantly historical in orientation.
  • The RHS will only consider applications for research visits in the second, third or fourth year (or part-time equivalent) of full-time postgraduate degrees. However, applications may be submitted during the first year for research trips to be taken during the second year of registration (or part-time equivalent).
  • No student will be eligible for more than one award under this scheme.
  • 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 deadlines and to submit your application before the deadline that is at least one month earlier than the start of your research trip.
  • Grants cannot be sought retrospectively.

Criteria for assessment

In making its funding decisions, the Research Support Committee uses the following criteria:

  • A well-written proposal will enhance both the likelihood and the value of RHS funding.
  • Priority is given to applicants who provide clear evidence of the historical significance of their project as a whole and specify in detail how the requested funds will advance and enrich that project.
  • Applicants should ensure that their proposals extend beyond mere description to analysis: for example, they should indicate the project’s key research questions and (if research is already at an advanced stage) their conclusions thereon.
  • Priority is given to applicants who provide a detailed and economical budget. You are advised to take the cheapest possible travel option.
  • Priority is given to applicants who demonstrate that they have sought out the full range of available funding, both at their home institution and among relevant scholarly societies.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose progress toward their degree is clearly and specifically attested by their doctoral supervisor.

The application process

  • All applications must be made through the RHS online applications system.
  • A copy of your application will be emailed to your referee, who will be asked to provide a reference. 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.
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within six weeks of the closing date for applications.
  • If your application is successful, you will need to provide proof of expenditure before any grant is paid to you. This may be submitted before or after travel, however the grant must be claimed within six months of the date of the award. If you are unable to claim the award within six months and do not inform the Society, you will be deemed to have forfeited the offer of the grant.
  • If you have already purchased travel tickets, please do not submit these with your application. If your application is successful, you will be sent full details on how to claim the grant.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide a full report on the uses to which the grant has been put and the outcome in terms of contribution to the progress of the research within one month of completion of the proposed research.

Notes for referees

  • The committee would be greatly assisted if referees were to address the merits of the application and specific requests for funding as well as the merits of the applicant.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose progress toward their degree is clearly and specifically attested by their doctoral supervisor.

All enquiries about research support applications should be addressed to the RHS Membership and Administration Officer at: