The Society’s Early Career Fellowship Grant scheme provides grants of £2,000, maximum, for discrete research projects lasting no more than six months.
About Early Career Fellowship Grants
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. Applicants must be early career historians in non-tenured positions within five years of submitting their PhD in a historical subject. (The five 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.
The Society is very grateful to David Crowther of the History of England Podcast for his generous funding of two Early Career Fellowship Grants per round, given ‘with thanks to historians everywhere without whose work the podcast could not exist.’
How to apply
- All applicants must be members of the Society when applying for a grant; those applying for an Early Career Fellowship Grant are most likely to qualify for the Associate Fellowship category.
- 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.
Next closing dates for applications, 2024
Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2024 are:
- 1 March 2024 [all applicants are required to be members of the Society]
- 6 September 2024 [all applicants are required to be members of the Society]
Applications for the Early Career Fellowship Grants are invited via the Society’s applications portal.
What expenses can be covered by the scheme?
There is a great deal of flexibility in how awards may be used. Awards may be used to cover living expenses/childcare or research expenses (copyright or copying fees, conference attendance, trips to libraries and archives (UK only), subscriptions to online resources, 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 five years of submitting their corrected doctoral thesis in a historical subject to a UK institution. Please note the five 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?
- All applications for the Early Career Fellowship grant scheme are reviewed by the RHS Research Support Committee, formed of members of the Society’s Council. Review of applications will not take place until the deadline for submission has passed. An average timeline for review, ratification and notification of the outcome of an application is around six weeks after the deadline. Please note that all applications, successful or otherwise, will be directly notified of their outcome.
- 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.
Current holders of Early Career Research Fellowship Grants, 2023-24
- Matthew White – awarded November 2023 [generously funded by David Crowther of the History of England Podcast]
- Katie Snow – awarded November 2023 [generously funded by David Crowther of the History of England Podcast]
- Lisa Berry-Waite – awarded November 2023
- Janet Morrison – awarded November 2023
- Sandip Kana – awarded November 2023
- Callum Smith – awarded November 2023
All enquiries about Research Funding should be sent to the Society’s Membership and Administration Officer at: email@example.com.
HEADER IMAGE: Young Woman Reading, 1896, Alexandre-Louis-Marie Charpentier, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain.