Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities 2019/20

With generous funding from the Wolfson Foundation, the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships fund doctoral research in three disciplines: History, Literature, and Languages.

The Wolfson Foundation awards funding to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential to make an impact on their chosen field. There are  four scholarships available for 2019/20 with at least one in each of the areas of History, Literature, and Languages.

Each scholarship offers £28,750 each year (over three years) and covers:

  • tuition fees (at home or overseas rate)
  • a maintenance stipend of around £20,000 per year
  • some research and training costs

We expect to offer these scholarships for 2020/21 entry. Further details will be available in late October. 2019 applications are now closed.

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In order to be eligible you must:

  • have applied for, and ideally be in receipt of an offer of a place on, a PhD programme in the relevant department.
  • expect to begin your PhD studies on 1 October 2019 (deferrals are not permitted)
  • have a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent prior to commencing the PhD
  • have completed a masters level qualification before commencing the PhD

Applications must fall into the research areas outlined and within the eligible departments shown below. There are four scholarships available for 2019/20 with at least one in each of the areas of History, Literature, and Languages.

Wolfson Scholarship in Literature

As well as literary and textual studies, this may include research that involves critical theory or film and other visual media, provided there is a literary element within the research (eg. translation of literature to screen).

Eligible departments/centres:

  • English and Related Literature
  • Language and Linguistic Science
  • Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Centre for Medieval Studies
  • Centre for Women's Studies

Wolfson Scholarship in Languages

Research will be in applied languages rather than linguistics. It may involve the study of literary or historical texts, where these are in languages other than English. Students receiving scholarships under this stream may be based within English literature or history departments.

Eligible departments/centres:

  • English and Related Literature
  • Language and Linguistic Science
  • Centre for Medieval Studies
  • History
  • Centre for Women's Studies

Wolfson Scholarship in History

As well as broad-based historical and historiographical studies, this may include such areas as classics, history of art, or architectural history, provided the research is grounded within historical methodology.

Eligible departments/centres:

  • History
  • History of Art
  • Theatre, Film and Television
  • Centre for Medieval Studies
  • Centre for Women's Studies

Applications are now closed.

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm (GMT) on Wednesday 23 January 2019. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered in the interest of fairness.

Prior to applying you can view a PDF version of the online application form here: Wolfson Scholarship application form questions 2019 (PDF , 233kb)

Please note that not all of the questions will apply to each applicant and when completing the online application, applicants will be navigated past the sections that do not apply to them.

It's a good idea to prepare your answers on a separate document before completing the online application, as the form will need to be completed in one session.

If successful, your details will be passed to the relevant Scholarship Committees for consideration.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of York as part of the selection process on Thursday 21 February 2019.

Key dates:

  • January 2019 - application deadline
  • February 2019 - initial selection by the University scholarships committee
  • Thursday 21 February 2019 – interviews for short-listed candidates
  • March 2019 - nomination to the Wolfson Foundation
  • March - April 2019 - Wolfson scholars announced

You'll be sent a letter formally confirming the offer of the scholarship. The letter sets out the value and duration of the award and asks you to accept the Terms of the Scholarship. You will be required to confirm your acceptance within two weeks.

Fee waivers are paid directly to the University on behalf of the award holder and will be deducted from the award holder's account. Award holders will be responsible for paying any outstanding fees.

Stipends are paid quarterly in October, January, April, and July each year. Award holders will be asked for bank details so that stipends can be paid directly into a preferred bank account.

Continued receipt of all studentships is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress. We may request academic progress updates from your supervisor(s).

You should notify us in the following circumstances:

  • a leave of absence is approved
  • a change in programme of study is approved
  • you withdraw from your course

Progress Reports

Award holders will be required to provide annual and final progress reports to the University. The final report should include a summary of the research results. These reports will form part of the monitoring and reporting requirements to be sent to the Wolfson Foundation.

Acknowledgement of support

Any outputs during the period of the award, including the final thesis must acknowledge the Wolfson Foundation's support.


The awards cannot be transferred to another institution.


Students should be resident in the UK and live within a reasonable distance of the host university for the duration of their study (with exception of periods of fieldwork or when attending conferences).

Mode of Study

Wolfson scholarship holders may be either part-time or full-time. If a student wishes to change between full-time and part-time study, this must be with the permission of the Wolfson Foundation.

Paid Work

Award holders are allowed to undertake some teaching work/research assistance. Other paid work is not encouraged for full-time students. Part-time Wolfson scholars may undertake part-time work.

Change of Circumstances

Leave of absence must be reported. Extensions to an award period would need to be formally requested and approved. Funding will cease during periods of absence.

Maternity Leave

Award holders who become pregnant, with an expected date of birth during the scholarship period, may take a period of six months leave from study during which the maintenance element of funding will continue. Following this, a further period of six months may be taken, during which no funds (for maintenance, research training or fees) will be paid.

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