Call for applications: Humanities Research Centre postgraduate project grants

Posted on 13 February 2012

Applications are invited for funding of postgraduate projects in the academic year 2012-3

The HRC has a small budget available to enable postgraduates to develop collaborative research projects and to launch, or further, initiatives which will benefit the postgraduate community in the arts and humanities at York. Projects might include, but are not limited to, the following categories:

  • the organisation of workshops, symposia and conferences;
  • inviting visiting speakers whose expertise would benefit postgraduates across a range of subjects;
  • activities which involve collaborating with postgraduates/staff at other UK or international universities;
  • activities which involve working with other organisations outside the University (these might include libraries, archives, galleries, museums etc.).

Projects might be run entirely by personnel from within the HRC working across disciplines (as were most funded projects last year).  However, they might also, more ambitiously, involve collaboration with another university (as some funded projects did last year).  If so, potential partners might include fellow postgraduates from the White Rose universities (Sheffield, Leeds and York) with whom we are already in ongoing and established relationship; or from other universities within easy striking distance of York (e.g. Newcastle, Durham, Hull); or, more ranging yet, from fellow postgraduates, postdocs or academic staff at one of the universities affiliated to the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), an international network of which York is a founding member.  For a list of WUN members see  (If you are thinking of approaching academics from another university, we suggest consulting your designated mentor first about the possible protocols involved - to maximise your chances of success while upholding (and building on) the excellent name of the University of York's postgraduate community.)

Projects and events can be designed within academic bounds or can include some ‘knowledge exchange’ i.e. setting out to share academic research with users and communities beyond the university and to collaborate with them in mutually enriching ways.  Projects funded under the HRC Project Grants Scheme must take place between August 2012 and July 2013.

The maximum sum available for any single project is £500.  The size of the award made, up to that maximum figure, will depend in part on the number of winning proposals received that we are able to back in this funding round.


  1. Each application must have a ‘lead’ applicant who must be a current registered PhD student from one of the arts and humanities departments (Archaeology, Education, English, History, History of Art, Language and Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, Film and Television). The lead applicant is responsible for making sure that the project is carried out, for providing a one-page report on the event or initiative to the Director following the event/initiative and for providing all receipts/proofs of expenditure to the HRC administrator.
  2. You must identify a ‘mentor’ for the project who is willing to act as a point of contact for any specialist advice, or academic representation, you might need in developing your project. The mentor should be a member of the academic staff at York. Please discuss your proposed project with your mentor before submitting your application.
  3. Applications can only be submitted by groups working together. A group for these purposes may involve between 2 and 6 people. Applications from more than one discipline are particularly welcome; applications which involve a pg student from a department other than the ones listed above (i.e. one of the social science or science departments) are also encouraged. Applications from mixed groups e.g. postgraduates and staff or postgraduates and postdoctoral scholars are welcome.
  4. Any individual PhD student may be named as a participant in up to 3 applications but can only be the ‘lead’ applicant in one.
  5. Applications should be submitted by email attachment to the HRC Administrator, Helen Jacobs, at They should be no longer than a single A4 page and should include:
    • the name, email address, current stage of study and institutional affiliation of the ‘lead’ applicant following by the same details for the other applicants; and the name, email address, post and institutional affiliation of the mentor;
    • a rationale for your project (why it is worth doing and whom it would benefit);
    • an indication of when the project would start and how long it would last.
    • a simple table containing a clear breakdown of estimated costs. 
  6. The deadline for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday 28th May 2012 (Summer Term Week 5). Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by Wednesday 27 June (Summer Term week 10).
  7. Applications will be judged by a cross-departmental panel of academics including the HRC Director and the Academic Co-ordinator for the Arts and Humanities.

Getting started

  • Talk to fellow postgraduates in your own and in other departments to discover areas of common interest and shared intellectual aspiration.
  • Consult your supervisor or other academics for advice, feedback, inspiration.
  • Explore the university website and that of other universities to find out what's going on here and elsewhere in areas related to your research.
  • Put out feelers through Facebook, Twitter etc for people working in areas coincident with your own with whom you might then make common cause.
  • And, significantly, allow yourself to think in fresh and ambitious ways about what fires your imagination. Whom might you like to work with? What might build on and/or from your research in creative and productive ways? How can you then package that into a deliverable project?

Any groups wishing to discuss a prospective project are welcome to get in touch with Sarah Burton (Humanities Research Co-ordinator) or with Judith Buchanan (HRC Director) for an exploratory chat.

We will look forward to seeing your interesting, enriching, costed proposals in due course.