PhD studentship: Scientific Grant-making in Britain, 1849-1914

AHRC-funded Collaborative PhD Studentship with the University of St Andrews and The Royal Society

Scientific Grant-making in Britain, 1849-1914


The School of History at the University of St Andrews and The Royal Society invite applications for a fully-funded AHRC studentship to investigate the processes, policies and beneficiaries of grant-making in late nineteenth-century science. The award will enable a student to pursue doctoral research in a world-class History department in a beautiful coastal town; and to gain hands-on professional experience working with the Library and Grants teams at The Royal Society in London


The student will use the rich archival records of The Royal Society to investigate the ways in which scientific research was evaluated between 1849 and 1914, and the diversity – or not – of people, institutions and subject areas that benefitted from research grants. This was a period when few sources of funding were available to scientific researchers: The Royal Society was in the unique position of administering research funds on behalf of the UK government, and also offering support from its own funds. This project will interrogate the transparency, fairness and strategic effectiveness of research funding.


The studentship is funded by the AHRC via the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH), and will be supervised by Professor Aileen Fyfe and Dr Malcolm Petrie (University of St Andrews) and Mr Keith Moore (The Royal Society). The duration of the studentship is 3.5 years full-time or (where University and external regulations permit) 7 years part-time. The anticipated starting date is 1 October 2021.


Further details, including the application process [DEADLINE: 17 May, 2021] can be found at:


If you have any queries about the project or would like to discuss this opportunity before applying, please contact Professor Aileen Fyfe.