Research Expenses – Guidelines for students registered at a UK university

Grants of between £50 and £750 are awarded towards travel costs to assist postgraduate students, registered at a UK higher education institution, in making necessary research visits to archives and other site-visits away from their home institution .


  • Eligible students will be registered for a PhD/DPhil or an MPhil in the first instance. Students must be registered at a UK institution (full-time or part-time).
  • Funding is reserved for research projects that are both clearly and predominantly historical in orientation, with a specific chronological remit. Applicants do not, however, have to be formally registered for degrees in History.
  • Applications are open to researchers of all nationalities, 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.
  • We normally expect travel to begin and end in the United Kingdom. If you will be starting or finishing your journey outside the United Kingdom, you are asked to give reasons in Section 5 of the application form.
  • 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).
  • Applications may be made to assist funding for digital reproductions of manuscript sources where the cost is substantially below that of a field trip. In such cases, applicants should omit Section 5 of the form and instead attach an itemised list of costs on a separate sheet.
  • Normally a maximum of two awards (from any combination of conference travel, UK research or outside UK research) are awarded per individual researcher during their period of doctoral study. A maximum of one grant (for conference travel only) may be awarded following the completion of doctoral study.
  • 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 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, making use of the cheapest possible travel options.
  • Applicants should demonstrate that they have explored the full range of other 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 PhD/DPhil 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.
  • If the applicant is in their first year of a postgraduate research degree, the referee is asked to confirm that the student will upgrade.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose progress toward their degree is clearly and specifically attested by their PhD/DPhil supervisor.

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