The Sally Wainwright PhD Scholarship for the Study of Anne Lister

The Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, in association with the Anne Lister Society, is delighted to invite applications to the Sally Wainwright PhD Scholarship.

  • Funding: Full tuition fees at UK home rate, plus a £20,000 per annum stipend for three years, and a small fund for research expenses.
  • Academic year: 2022/23
  • Open to: International (including EU) and UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate research
  • Number available: 1
Applications for 2022/23 are closed.

The Sally Wainwright PhD scholarship is generously funded by screenwriter, producer and director Dr Sally Wainwright, an alumna and Honorary Doctor of the University.

The scholarship, like the Anne Lister Society, is intended ‘to foster sustained research and scholarly conversation about Anne Lister, in order to establish her permanent place in the historical and literary record and to interpret the rich legacies of her life and writing for the future’.

The successful candidate will undertake research on any aspect of the life and writings of Anne Lister (1791-1840), including research that provides context for better understanding Lister’s biography and literary production. We particularly welcome proposals which attend to Lister as a writer and engage closely with Lister’s diaries, housed in the West Yorkshire Archive Service. Topics of study may include but need not be limited to Lister's writing style, her writing about sexuality, friendship, family relationships, property and estate development, politics, religious faith, fashion and sociability, her communication networks, and/or her travel writing about the world she knew (e.g. Yorkshire, London, Europe).  Consideration could also be given to Lister’s range of reading and knowledge e.g. of classical literature, theology, Romantic era writing, and her engagement with innovations in science and technology.

The inaugural Sally Wainwright PhD Scholarship will be awarded to one PhD candidate studying within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The successful candidate can be affiliated with any department in the Faculty, including the Centre for Women’s Studies, and will be a member of the lively community of students and scholars in York’s world-leading Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, based in the beautiful and historic King’s Manor, the site of the boarding school which Lister attended as a teenager.

The scholarship will provide full tuition fees at the UK home rate, along with a stipend of £20,000 per annum for three years, and a small fund for research expenses. The scholarship is open to international applicants, and the University of York will provide a fee waiver to cover the difference in cost between home and international fees should the best candidate for this award be an international student.


Open to International (including EU) and UK (home) students.

Open to students in the Department of History.

The inaugural Sally Wainwright PhD Scholarship is open to UK (home) and International applicants, and will be awarded to one PhD candidate studying within the Faculty for the Arts and Humanities.

How to apply

Application deadline: Wednesday 18 January 2023, 11.59pm GMT

To apply, please submit a proposal of not more than 1000 words, outlining a compelling research project into any aspect of the life and writings of Anne Lister. Applicants are warmly encouraged to approach prospective supervisors for informal guidance, and will be asked to identify a supervisor and home department in their application. Preliminary enquiries are welcomed and should be made as early as possible. However, a scattershot approach - emailing all staff members regardless of the relationship between their research interests and yours - is unlikely to produce positive results. Before writing your research proposal, we advise you to consult the lists of staff research interests linked above and identify potential supervisors in the department.

Proposals (1000 words max) should be submitted to by 18th January 2023. For further information, please contact

How we allocate

Applications will be evaluated on the strength and feasibility of the proposal, the fit with York and with the proposed supervisor, the candidate’s academic record to date, and the quality and achievability of the candidate’s plans to disseminate their research and findings and foster scholarly and public understanding of Lister and her writings.

Contact details

Megan Russell

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