About our Research and Travel Grants

General Information

What do we fund?

  • Projects where the Society will be the main or a significant financial contributor
  • Support for definable objectives with specific, measurable outcomes within larger projects funded from a range of sources (but not simply ‘topping up’ applications to major funding bodies)
  • We welcome applications by early career researchers, and for projects that are innovative in their approach, entail new initiatives, and/or create interdisciplinary interest.
  • Applications must be from the project director or principal investigator.

You can find details of projects we have funded in previous years [here: link]

What don’t we fund?

  • Work contributing to an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Retrospective applications
  • Travel to, or attendance at, conferences

What project costs are eligible?

  • travel & subsistence for members of the project team
  • costs of specialist or scientific investigation, and of technical services such as imaging and illustration, where these have to be commissioned
  • hire of plant and site accommodation
  • materials and consumables
  • hire of specialist equipment to which the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to have access

What project costs are ineligible?

  • personal remuneration
  • salaries of staff holding current appointments
  • institutional overheads
  • internal hire charges within the applicant’s institution or between project partners
  • publication subventions and publication grants (including costs of digital dissemination)
  • contingency estimates

How long is the award for?

Most awards are made on an annual basis with possible renewal for up to two further years. A new application is required each year and no project will be funded for more than three years.

[In addition to the regular annual research grants, the Society is offering in the current grant round a single award of £5,000 per annum over three years, intended to support outstanding research over a three-year cycle to the point of publication. This may change year to year depending on funding.

Projects should not start before 1 April in the year of application and grants should be taken up by 31 December of the year in which they are awarded.

How do we make our awarding decisions?

Our Research and Travel Grants scheme is competitive, and we are not able to award grants to all applicants. In reaching its decisions our Research Committee puts weight on the quality of the research proposal and its viability, both financial and practical. All decisions made by the Committee are final. Applications will be assessed solely on the basis of the information provided on the application form.

What makes a strong application?

  • a clear and detailed articulation of your research aims and how these will be achieved, with costings and the proposed duration of research; this must include a clear statement of the contribution of the proposed research to scholarship.
  • a clear plan for the timely publication/dissemination of the results of your research; you are encouraged to consider submission to our journal and we may invite you to give a lecture on your project.
  • a request for a specific sum with all applications to other funding bodies declared.
  • a statement of the minimum sum needed to make the project viable in the event of full funding not being obtained.
  • Where this is the second (or subsequent) application for one of grants relating to the same project, you are required to submit a brief summary of your results to date and a statement of your expenditure covered by the previous grant.

What references do we need?

Most of our awards will need you to support your application with one or two references. Please see the specific details of each scheme below.

Every year we receive good applications that we cannot consider because their references are incomplete. You are responsible for ensuring that we receive your references by the deadline using our on-line system. It is a good idea to check that your referee(s) understand(s) what is required of them in advance and that they will be available at the appropriate time.

What do we require from you if you receive one of our awards?

  • You must demonstrate that you have received all relevant permissions to undertake your project before the funds can be released.
  • If you do not spend all of your award, the remainder is to be returned to us for reinvestment in the Research Grants Fund.
  • By 28 February of the year following the award of the grant you must send us:
    • a report of up to 1,000 words, setting out how the research objectives were met
    • a financial statement detailing how the Society’s money was spent
    • two or three digital images illustrating the project that the Society may use in its reporting and publicity (.jpg or .tiff with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi)
  • Reports are to be sent by email. No further grant will be made to any applicant who does not meet this requirement
  • Please see below for the extended reporting deadline for Beatrice de Cardi awards and reduced reporting requirements for Wheeler and Lambarde Travel Awards.
  • We may request short reports suitable for inclusion in our newsletters or website.
  • Acknowledgement of the Research Grant in any publication or practical use of the research.

When can I apply?

  • All applications for travel and research grants must be received by midnight on 15th January.

How do I apply?

See the apply for a grant page and follow the step by step instructions there.

Scroll down for additional information about the grant you are interested in:

Grant Programmes

  • RESEARCH GRANT: £500 to £5,000

    What is it for?

    Our annual research grants support research into the human past through its material culture or material remains. There is no period, geographic or disciplinary restriction and you are encouraged to apply for projects across the full range of our remit and interests, which include:

    • archaeology
    • art history
    • architectural and buildings history
    • studies of material culture items and assemblages (including books and manuscripts)
    • the history of collecting and collections
    • the development of intellectual enquiry into the human past through its material remains

    How many references do I need?

    We require one reference for a Research Grant

  • JANET ARNOLD ANNUAL AWARD: £500-£5,000

    Endowed through a bequest from artist, teacher and fashion designer Janet Arnold (1932–98), whose practical skills, together with a passion for accuracy, made her a powerful advocate for the study of historical dress as a serious discipline.

    What is it for?

    These grants are to further in-depth study of the history of dress and the materials from which it is made. You must demonstrate that you wish to conduct original research based on items of dress or their remains with a view to eventually disseminating the results through publication, display, cataloguing, teaching or through practical use in conservation or realistic reproduction. Within these parameters there are no geographical or chronological restrictions.

    We will give preference to applicants who have not previously received a Janet Arnold Award.

    In addition to our general conditions, if you are applying for a Janet Arnold Award you must demonstrate that:

    • you have consent from the owner(s)/custodian(s) of any item(s) to be examined
    • you have the skills necessary to undertake the proposed work, and that this will be undertaken without potential damage to the item(s) of dress concerned

    How many references do I need?

    We require one reference for a Janet Arnold Award

  • JANET ARNOLD MAJOR AWARD: £10,000 pa for 2 to 3 years.

    Endowed through a bequest from artist, teacher and fashion designer Janet Arnold (1932–98), whose practical skills, together with a passion for accuracy, made her a powerful advocate for the study of historical dress as a serious discipline.

    What is it for?

    For the current grant round (2020/21) we would like to encourage applications which:

    • explore dress and its components as material culture in the contexts of colonialism and its legacies
    • redress narratives that would characterise costume and its components as craft or vernacular art by exploring their artistic and cultural value
    • liberate previously unheard voices and explore new approaches to costume studies
    • explore decolonising museums and their collections with a focus on dress and the materials from which it is made

    We will give preference to applicants who have not previously received a Janet Arnold Award.

    In addition to our general conditions, if you are applying for a Janet Arnold Award you must demonstrate that:

    • you have consent from the owner(s)/custodian(s) of any item(s) to be examined
    • you have the skills necessary to undertake the proposed work, and that this will be undertaken without potential damage to the item(s) of dress concerned

    How many references do I need?

    We require two references for a Janet Arnold Major Award

  • BEATRICE DE CARDI AWARD: £5,000-£15,000

    Endowed through a bequest from distinguished archaeologist Beatrice de Cardi FSA who was President of the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia, the first Secretary of the Council for British Archaeology, and a recipient of the Society’s Gold Medal.

    What is it for?

    These awards are for the furtherance of archaeological research by field survey, excavation and the publication of the fieldwork in the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the Pakistan province of Balochistan.

    Because of the limited excavation season in the region to which this grant applies the deadline for reporting is extended to [XX] of the year following the granting of the award.

    How many references do I need?

    We require two references for a Beatrice de Cardi Award

  • MARGARET AND TOM JONES AWARD: £1,000-£10,500

    Endowed through a bequest by Margaret Jones FSA who, with Tom Jones, oversaw the complex and extensive excavations at Mucking, Essex between 1965 and 1978.

    What is it for?

    These awards support archaeological investigation of large sites or landscapes in the UK of the periods revealed by the Mucking excavation (i.e. Neolithic to post-Medieval), specifically:

    • the field investigation, excavation or analysis of large sites or landscapes
    • the development or testing of methodologies and approaches for the field investigation, excavation or analysis of large sites or landscapes

    This award is not open to those previously in receipt of funding for Mucking post-excavation.

    How many references do I need?

    We require two references for a Margaret and Tom Jones Award

  • TESSA AND MORTIMER WHEELER MEMORIAL TRAVEL AWARDS £1-£500

    Established through an appeal by the British Academy, the Institute of Archaeology (University College London) and the Society of Antiquaries of London, these awards are made in memory of Tessa Verney Wheeler (1893 -1936) and Sir Mortimer Wheeler (1890-1976).

    What is it for?

    If you are an undergraduate or first-year postgraduate student studying archaeology at a UK university, this award could help you gain archaeological fieldwork experience in addition to your degree studies, away from your home base and ideally abroad. Grants are made toward travel and travel-related expenses.

    We will give preference to applicants who have not previously received a Wheeler Award.

    What kind of reference do I need?

    One reference is required. The referee must be a supervisor of recognised status and position who has agreed to supervise the grant if it is awarded. The reference must indicate agreement to be responsible for overseeing the work, comment on the quality and viability of your proposal, and demonstrate an assessment of any risks involved.

    What kind of report do I need to send you?

    If you receive one of our Wheeler Travel Awards you will be expected to submit a short report, no longer than 750 words, on the work undertaken.

    The report (to be emailed as a Word document) must be received no later than 28 February of the year following the award of the grant. No further grant will be made to any applicant who fails to meet this requirement.

  • WILLIAM LAMBARDE (1536-1601) MEMORIAL TRAVEL AWARDS £0-£500

    The awards are endowed by a bequest from Mrs M.E. Lambarde (with additional funding from the Society) in memory of her ancestor, the antiquarian William Lambarde, whose works included A Perambulaton of Kent (1576), the first English county history.

    What is it for?

    These awards support antiquarian or archaeological research by assisting with travel expenses.

    • Applications must be for travel to support the applicant’s individual research.
    • Applications for travel to participate in an established project (eg as a participant in a field survey or excavation) or as one of multiple funding applications for a larger project (eg long-term fieldwork) will not be considered.

    We will give preference to applicants who have not previously received a Lambarde Award.

    What kind of reference do I need?

    We require one reference for a Lambarde Award

    What kind of report do I need to send you?

    If you receive one of our Lambarde Travel Awards you will be expected to submit a short report, no longer than 750 words, on the work undertaken.

    The report (to be emailed as a Word document) must be received no later than 28 February of the year following the award of the grant. No further grant will be made to any applicant who fails to meet this requirement.