Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities

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

  • Funding: Tuition fees, £20,500 stipend, research and training costs
  • Academic year: 2020/21
  • Open to: EU, International (non-EU) and UK students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate research
Applications for 2020/21 are closed.

The Wolfson Foundation awards funding to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential to make an impact on their chosen field. Wolfson Scholarships will be awarded solely on academic merit. Ideally, you should aspire to an academic career. There are at least three scholarships available for 2020/21 with at least one in each of the areas of History, Literature and Languages.

Each scholarship offers £29,500 each year (over three years) and covers:

  • tuition fees (at home/EU or international rate. Where an international student is awarded, the student's department covers the difference between home and international fee rate)
  • a maintenance stipend of around £20,500 per year
  • some research and training costs.

One of our lecturers would be very pleased to discuss her experience as a Wolfson Scholar with you. Please feel free to get in touch with Lola at lola.boorman@york.ac.uk for an informal chat.


Open to EU, International (non-EU) and UK students.

Open to students in the following departments: Department of History, Department of Language and Linguistic Science, Department of English and Related Literature, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, Centre for Medieval Studies, Centre for Women's Studies and Department of History of Art.

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 2020 (deferrals are not permitted)
  • have a First or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent prior to commencing the PhD
  • have completed a Masters level qualification before commencing the PhD.
How to apply

Application deadline: Wednesday 22 January 2020, 5pm GMT

Applcations are now closed.


How we allocate

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 20 February 2020.

Key dates:

  • January 2020 - application deadline
  • February 2020 - initial selection by the University scholarships committee
  • Thursday 20 February 2020 - interviews for short-listed candidates
  • March 2020 - nomination to the Wolfson Foundation
  • March to April 2020 - Wolfson scholars announced

You will 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.

Terms and conditions

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. If successful, you 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.

Contact details

Research Student Administration
+44 (0)1904 325962
Student Hub, Market Square, University of York, York, YO10 5DD

Related links

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 and 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.

Applications must fall into the research areas outlined and within the eligible departments shown below. There are at least three scholarships available for 2020/21, 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). This does not include creative writing.

Eligible departments and centres:

Wolfson Scholarship in Languages

Research will be in applied languages rather than linguistics. It may involve the study of literary or historical texts, or theatre or fim, where these are in languages other than English. Students receiving scholarships under this stream may be based within non-lan guage departments (for example, History).

Eligible departments and centres:

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 and centres:

Related links