Funding both facilitates and accelerates historical research. It ensures that research objectives can be delivered whilst also serving as a catalyst to promote and support future researchers. From travel to staff costs, the remit of research funding can be broad and depend on the sponsor's conditions. These pages are designed to provide guidance for individuals who would like to apply for research funding.
Who should I apply to?
There is an array of sponsors who can offer research funding ( e.g fellowships, research grants or travel funds). Before applying, it necessary to check whether you satisfy the eligibility requirements.
The Michael O’Brien Research Fund in Intellectual History is designed to support all those studying Intellectual History in any form across the Faculty, regardless of chronological or geographical specialism and regardless of Subject Group affiliation.
Applications are invited from all members of the Faculty, including postdoctoral researchers and graduate students (both MPhil and PhD). Applicants may apply for costs associated with research, including the development of key skills fundamental to the pursuit of research. The maximum that will normally be awarded is £1000.
The University and Faculty offer various funding opportunities to support conference and travel expenses for staff and students
For further information on the schemes detailed here or research funding more generally, contact the School Research Facilitators: Dr Elizabeth Penner (EU and International; Elizabeth.Penner@admin.cam.ac.uk) and Dr Anna Cieslik (UK-funding; Anna.Cieslik@admin.cam.ac.uk). You can also search for and set up funding alerts through Research Professional.
When should I apply?
Consult the Grants for History Moodle Course and funder links for forthcoming deadlines.
The University sets internal deadlines in advance of national deadlines for processing external funding applications. Depending on the funding scheme application, pre-award processing requires either 2- or 7-working days before the national deadline.
Please also note that the application processes are increasingly sponsor specific and it is advisable to email email@example.com as early as possible to obtain specific advice on administrative issues.
The pre-award team at ROO processes your completed application for external funding opportunities, and works closely with the Faculty's Research Grants Administrator. To met internal deadlines, please set a submission schedule with the Faculty's RGA.
What do I need?
Consider what costs you could incur whilst carrying out your proposed research. For example, will you travel, do you need additional staff or equipment? Similarly, it is important to identify when you require funding.
The document linked below provides a general outline of the funding application process through the Faculty of History. All applications are different with regard to size, scope and duration, and thus the time needed to prepare a quality application will vary. Some applications are straightforward and simple, while others are complex, collaborative and require much more time and effort to develop, process and submit.
All applications are accompanied by a detailed costing. This is done in X5, the University's costing and pricing programme. when planning for costs, you should consider the following questions (please first check eligible and ineligible costs in the sponsor guidance):
- What is the name of the funder and scheme?
- What is the duration, start date and title your your project?
- What is your role on the project (PI, Co-I, Researcher)?
- Is it a collaborative project? If yes, please provide information about the other partners involved.
- If you are the Co-I in this project, please provide information about the PI and the Lead institution or University Department.
- How many hours per week or FTE% are you planning to spend on this grant? Consider you other commitments (including teaching).
- Will you need research assistance?
- What level of research assistance will you need: a postdoctoral assistant or less qualified assistance? The status of the post has an effect on the level of salary that may be offered by the University. Contact your RGA for advice regarding research starting salaries.
- Will you require a project administrator (usually for large or EU funded grants)?
- Have you considered whether your plans for personnel recruitment are legal and/or within recruitment rules laid down by the University's Human Resources (HR) Division?
- Do you plan research expenses (travel and subsistence, conference fees, costs for organizing workshops, website design and maintenance, etc.)?
- Will you need to be replaced in your teaching duties? NB: teaching replacement is NOT offered by all sponsors (e.g. the AHRC and ESRC). In these instances, any teaching replacement must be negotiated with the HoD.
- What is your status at the University (UTO, CTO, Research Associate, Junior Research Fellow, Research Assistant, External Application)?
All members of the Department conducting research must consider the ethical implications of that research.
Ethical Approval Procedure
If your research involves human participation or personal data ethical approval should be obtained. In such cases please contact the Research Director. If it appears to be low risk research, complete the Faculty's Research Ethics Review form as ethical review can be provided at the Faculty level. Cases that are particularly complex or sensitive, or those presenting a potential conflict of interest, should be referred to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee. The Committee aims to deliver a decision in approximately three weeks after you complete the Committee’s application form and provide details of your research proposal and participant information.
Applications for research funding that are expected to exceed £1,000,000 fEC must be authorised by the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences before the completed application is submitted for approval by the Research Operations Office.
The School office will review submissions every Tuesday. The School recommends that six weeks is allowed for the School to properly review and communicate decisions to applicants. This must be factored in to your timetable for making an application. Both applicants and the Faculty will need to work together to complete the required submission form for the School. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience.
Sponsors may request a letter of support from the Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research to be submitted with the application for funding. In order to allow sufficient time for the review and signing of letters under current circumstances, from 1 April 2020 requests and draft support letters must be submitted to the Research Strategy Office (email@example.com) 20 working days ahead of the sponsor's deadline.
The role of the mentor is crucial for postdoctoral funding applications, and mentorship of this sort is the one of the best ways we can support early career researchers and attract the best young scholars to the Faculty.
Mentors should encourage early career scholars and advanced PhD students to consider applying for fellowships at Cambridge, offer support and feedback on their applications, and provide a draft of the letter of support to the Faculty Research Director, who will prepare the letter for the Chair’s signature. For some fellowships, mentors are also asked to write a separate mentor statement.
Be in touch if you intend to put forward an application for internal and external funding opportunities.
As Research Director for Projects and Impact, Dr Celia Donert is responsible for supporting your applications for internal and external funding, as well as advising on your strategies for research impact. She provides academic advice on project proposals, reviews all proposals prior to submission to ensure strong funding applications, and seeks to maximise the impact of the Faculty’s research among the widest possible range of audiences and communities.
Professor Ulinka Rublack is responsible for facilitating your Individual Research goals, including both your broader research trajectory and the specific research on which you are engaged now. At the same time she will advise on the forms and timing of your publication strategy in order to optimise your individual research profile and your submission to the REF in terms of outputs.
Additional help is also available from the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences for those wishing to clarify their options and obtain support in writing academic proposals. The Schools Research Facilitator will review applications and provide feedback and comment. For larger applications, the Research Facilitator can organize a blind peer-review.
An essential resource for staff about research funding, research support and research opportunities across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge).
A database is free to all university members that allows researchers to search for sources of funding eligible to UK institutions. You will be prompted to register.
For administrative and academic staff to understand the processes and requirements associated with research grants and contracts.