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Research Bursary

The Society for the Study of Labour History offers bursaries for up to £500 for PhD students, post-graduate researchers (MA and doctoral) and independent scholars engaged in postgraduate-level research in the field of labour history to fund essential archive or library research that they are unable to undertake due to absence of funds. This replaces the E. P. Thompson Memorial Bursary that was only available for consulting the archives at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.

We take a broad view of ‘labour history’ that includes cultural and social aspects as well as political and institutional ones. We would, in particular, welcome applications from female researchers. Mature and part-time PhD students will be eligible as well as full-time students.

Past Bursary recipients

Hannah Martin
Hannah (Northumbria University) visited the National Archives in Kew, in order to conduct research for her doctoral thesis on the formation, maintenance and articulation of everyday experiences of BAME British Colonial Seafarers in the North-East of England 1919-1938. Read her report here.

Emma Dewhirst
Emma (University of Liverpool) visited Dublin to consult material at the Kilmainham Gaol archives, the University College Dublin Archives (UCD), National Library of Ireland (NLI), and Irish Labour History Society Archives. Her doctoral research focuses on the route of entry of Irish nationalists into political and paramilitary radicalism in Ireland between 1913-1919. Read her report here.

Ann-Marie Foster
Ann-Marie’s report (Northumbria University) on a recent visit to the Welsh National Mining Memorial, Sengheyndd can be read here. Annie-Marie is researching the role of ephemera in processes of remembrance from 1899-1939, covering both war and disaster.

Lara Green
Lara Green’s report (Northumbria University) on a visit to The Hoover Institution Archives, November 2016 can be read here.

Amy Cross
Amy Cross recently visited the Bodleian Library, Oxford, to undertake research into the political response towards Commonwealth immigration to Britain. A full report can be downloaded here.

David Strittmatter
David Strittmatter PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo visited several archives in Manchester to further his research into the Peterloo Massacre. You can read his full report full report here..

Sophie Roberts
Sophie Roberts visited the Hull History Centre to consult the archives of a number of British female anti-Vietnam War protesters in the period roughly from 1965-74. You can read her full report here.

See more past research bursary recipients here.


Applicants should cost their necessary expenses, such as travel, accommodation, subsistence, photocopying. Please note, successful applicants cannot apply for further funding within 3 years.

Student applicants will need to give a tutor who can be contacted for a reference. Independent scholars will need to supply a referee who is able to comment on their research credentials.

Further information can be found in the application form.

All applications will be treated in strict confidence. The only published details will be the name of the recipient, the topic of research and the archives or libraries used, and a 500¬750 word report. The amounts granted to individuals will not be made public.