RHS Masters’ Scholarships: supporting students currently underrepresented in academic history

In July 2022 the Royal Historical Society (RHS) launches a new programme to actively address underrepresentation and encourage Black and Asian students to consider academic research in History.

The Society is offering four scholarships, each of £5000, to four students who will begin a Masters’ degree in History (full or part-time), or related subject, at a UK or Irish university from autumn 2022.

The Scholarships continue and develop the Society’s commitment to tackling underrepresentation in academic History. By supporting Masters’ students the programme also focuses on a key early stage in the academic training of future researchers. With these Scholarships, the RHS seeks to support students who are without the financial means to study for a Masters’ in History. By doing so, we seek to improve the educational experience of four early career historians engaged in a further degree.

Applications for the 2022 Scholarships are now invited. Please apply online. The deadline for applications is: 23.55 BST on Friday 12 August 2022.


The 2022 Masters’ Scholarships

The current rounds of awards provide:

  • four scholarships of £5000 each to support four students undertaking a Masters’ degree at a UK university in the academic year 2022/23;
  • there are no conditions on what the award may be spent and may be used to support fees, living expenses etc. during the degree course;
  • Scholarships will support students studying for a Masters’ degree (taught or research-based) in History or where History is the dominant component of the degree (e.g. History of Science)



To be eligible for the Scholarships, applicants must:

  • be accepted onto a Masters’ course at an HEI in the UK. Conditional offers are acceptable at application; however, release of funds is contingent upon confirmation of formal acceptance;
  • have an undergraduate degree from an HEI in the UK (although this need not necessarily be in History);

Applicants must also meet the following requirement:

  • have been in receipt of a full Maintenance Grant, or other means-tested and non-repayable financial support, for their undergraduate studies

Applicants must also meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • have participated in an access scheme, foundation year, or widening participation scheme;
  • have previously been eligible for free school meals;
  • be the first in their family to attend Higher Education;
  • have asylum seeker/refugee status issued by the UK Home Office;
  • be from an ethnic minority background as stipulated by the Equalities Act, including but not limited to Black, Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Gypsy/Romany/Traveller communities;
  • have spent time in care, or be estranged from family;
  • hold/have held caring responsibilities;
  • have a disability.


Financial eligibility

Applicants must be able to provide evidence that they received a full Maintenance Grant or equivalent [1], during their programme of undergraduate study. We will ask to see documentary evidence of this prior to releasing funds. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please don’t hesitate to contact the Society.

Awards may be held in conjunction with an institutional fee waiver, but not an institutional grant or scholarship.


How to apply

Applications for the RHS Masters’ Scholarships 2022 are now invited.

Please submit your application via the Society’s online application platform.

Applicants are asked to provide the following:

  • indication of their eligibility for the programme, as set out above
  • educational history;
  • a brief statement providing further information in support of their application;
  • evidence of conditional / unconditional offer on a Masters’ scheme within parameters set out above
  • upload of evidence of receipt of Maintenance Grant.


Applications open on Thursday 7 July and will close on 12 August 2022

The Society expects to contact recipients of awards in late August / early September 2022.


The future of the Scholarships programme

The Society intends that the Scholarships become an annual award and grow in number. We welcome enquiries from organisations interested in partnering with the Society—now or future rounds from 2023. The Masters’ Scholarships add to the Society’s existing Research Support programme which provides fellowships and grants to early career historians.


Continuing and developing the Royal Historical Society’s longstanding support of underrepresented groups, our new Masters’ Scholarships provide essential financial assistance for students undertaking postgraduate study in History.

The financial challenge that some students face in continuing their training is well known—especially when moving from undergraduate to postgraduate courses. The Society’s new Scholarships, offering direct and practical assistance, will support four students when taking this step in 2022-23. We hope the RHS Masters’ programme will run annually, enabling early career historians without financial means to consider a career in academic History.

As shown through the Society’s recent Ukraine ‘Scholars at Risk’ programme, schemes like this also have great potential to grow. We therefore welcome enquiries—from organisations and individuals—to partner with the Society to make more Masters’ Scholarships available from 2023.


Professor Emma Griffin, President, Royal Historical Society


[1] Eligible schemes will not require the student to repay the funds granted.