Research Grants

The Royal Archaeological Institute has research funds available each year as follows:

  • RAI Research Fund Awards up to £5,000 are available each year.
  • The Tony Clark Memorial Fund Up to £500 is available each year for scientific elements of archaeological projects.

  • The Bunnell Lewis Research Fund Up to £750 is available each year for projects which preferably involve the excavation and exploration of Roman sites.


Applications will be considered for archaeological fieldwork, survey, aspects of excavation and post-excavation research; architectural recording and analysis; and artefact and art-historical research. Documentary research per se will NOT be eligible, but can be considered as an element of the other categories. Preference will be given to projects within the British Isles, which have significant part-time/amateur involvement and may also be given to those who are members.

The deadline for the 2015 grant application has ended. The 2016 grant application form will be available late spring/early summer.

Awarded Grants

Research grants for 2014 have been awarded to the following:

  • Murray Cook and Fraser Hunter: Strathdon Material Culture Review
  • Elizabeth Foulds: New light on old sites: Investigations into the settlement at Swallowcliffe Down, Wiltshire
  • Dr Peter Halkon and Rodney Mackey: Trial excavation on a major new multi-period site near Melton, East Yorkshire
  • Derek Hurst: New light on the archive of the 1935–7 excavation of Kemerton Camp, Bredon Hill, Worcestershire
  • Professor Mike Parker Pearson: Preseli Stones of Stonehenge
  • Dr David Petts and Dr Chris Whitmore: Binchester Research Project: Vicus Bath-house

One of the conditions attached to the awarding of a grant is that the recipient must produce a report of the work undertaken. A shortened version of the report is published in the RAI Newsletter.

RAI Dissertation Prizes

The RAI awards a dissertation prize each year for either an undergraduate (Tony Baggs Award) or Masters dissertation on a rotating basis. The award goes to the best dissertation on a subject concerning the archaeology or architectural history of Britain, Ireland and adjacent areas of Europe. The chief criteria considered are (a) quality of work and (b) appropriateness to the interests of the RAI as reflected in the Journal. The winner receives £500 and one year's membership subscription.

All university departments are informed of these awards and are encouraged to nominate one applicant each.

Winner of the Undergraduate Dissertation Prize (Tony Baggs Award)
Congratulations to Katrien Janin of the University of Leicester who won the Institute's Undergraduate Dissertation Prize for her dissertation, 'Sex Assessment on the Basis of Humeral and Femoral Heads: Perspective from Post-Medieval British Urban Populations'.

Cheney Bursaries

As a result of a bequest left by Frank Cheney, the Institute has a fund to enable students to attend RAI meetings and conferences. An allocation is available annually from which individuals can apply for a maximum sum of £200.

Students who wish to apply for a bursary should email or write to the Administrator, at least six weeks before the event you wish to attend. You should state:

  • the institution where you study
  • the event that you wish to attend
  • the sum of money requested
  • a breakdown of how the money would be spent
  • a summary (up to 250 words) of why you would like to attend the event and in what way this will be useful to you

Successful applicants may be asked to produce a brief report of the event for the Institute.