In December 2020 the RHS launched a new Early Career Fellowship Grant scheme. The aim is to provide larger grants than available from our other schemes of up to £2000 for up to six months.
This scheme is a response to COVID-19 pressures and will be regularly reviewed as the situation changes.
Please note that the RHS’s usual funding schemes for Research Expenses, Conference Travel and Conference Organisation are still running, and applicants should apply to those schemes where eligible.
What is the RHS Early Career Fellowship Grant Scheme?
The focus is on supporting career-building research or activities, and the aim is to provide support to enable researchers to produce a discrete outcome (such as an article or book proposal) with the grant. Because of limited funds, applicants must be early career historians within three years of submitting their PhD in a historical subject. (The three years does not include periods of parental leave, or leave due to illness or other caring responsibilities.)
Applications will be assessed on the quality of the proposal, whilst also taking the applicant’s financial circumstances into account. These grants are designed to be as supportive and there is a great deal of flexibility in how awards may be used and what can be considered reasonable maintenance and research costs. Proposals must 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 the project outcome.
How do I apply?
- Applicants must outline a tangible, discrete research goal (write a research article; submit a book proposal; enhance skills etc) clearly explaining the rationale behind the amount requested.
- Applicants will be asked to provide a PDF copy of a CV, a reference letter, a 500-word project proposal and a 300-word funding request.
- To make an application please complete the online application form for RHS Early Career Fellowships which can be accessed through the Research/Conference Grants program within the RHS applications portal.
- Applications will only be considered with a supporting academic reference. You are reminded to submit your application in sufficient time to allow your referee to provide their reference before the closing date.
Further information and eligibility criteria is below. Please read this information before making your application. All applications must be made through the online application system and by selecting the ‘Research / Conference Grants’ program.
Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2021 and early 2022 are:
- 25 January 2021
- 29 March 2021
- 7 June 2021
- 24 January 2022
What expenses can be covered by the scheme?
There is a great deal of flexibility in how awards may be used. Expenses that may be considered include (but are not limited to) covering living expenses such as childcare, or rent; direct research expenses such as copyright, copying, digitisation or image fees; subscriptions to online resources, and skills training. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, please get in touch if you have any questions.
For this scheme, applicants will be considered eligible who are:
- Within three years of submitting their corrected doctoral thesis in a historical subject to a UK institution. Please note the three years does not include any periods of maternity or paternity leave, or leave due to illness or other caring responsibilities. Please detail this in the ‘any other information’ section of your application form;
- Normally resident in the UK;
- Not in full-time academic employment;
- Please note that current doctoral students are not eligible for this scheme, and should consider other RHS schemes of financial support which are running as normal.
How and when are decisions made?
- Applications are considered by the RHS Research Support Committee which meets four times a year. It will take up to six weeks from the deadline to process applications.
- Applicants that are not selected are welcome to re-apply to the next round with additional information, particularly if circumstances change. Applicants should note that this is a re-application in such cases.
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. Applications will be assessed on the quality of the proposal, whilst also taking the applicant’s financial circumstances into account.
- Priority will be 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.
Common Questions and Answers
- Do I need to be an ECR Member of the RHS to apply?
Although the Society welcomes applications to its ECR Membership, its funding schemes apply equally to eligible ECRs regardless of their RHS membership status;
- Do I need to be a UK citizen to receive a RHS Early Career Fellowship?
Non-UK nationals are eligible to receive awards as long as they meet the eligibility criteria detailed above.
- Do I need to be employed by an institution to apply?
- How will my award be paid?
Successful applicants will receive a payment via BACS transfer into a UK bank account.
- Do I need to submit a report to the RHS detailing my use of RHS Hardship grant funds?
Successful applicants will be asked to contribute a brief end-of-project report and invited to write a post about their research for the RHS Historical Transactions blog at the end of the award.
- Do I need to acknowledge the RHS in any publications?
We request that recipients of a subscription acknowledge the support of the RHS in publications that appear as a result of this Fellowship. We would also warmly encourage you to share updates on the outcomes of your research with the Royal Historical Society’s social media channels.
All enquiries about research support applications should be addressed to the Chair of the Research Support Committee via the RHS Membership and Administration Officer by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.