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 2016 research grant application was the 11th January. The 2017 grant application form will be available here in June/July.

Awarded Grants

Research grants for 2015 have been awarded to the following:

  • Dr Keith Boughey: Cataloguing, assessment and publication of the excavation by Welbury Wilkinson Holgate of Hare Hill Ring Cairn, Craven, North Yorkshire
  • Dr Shannon Fraser: Upper Dee Tributaries Project
  • Dr Alex Gibson: Survey and Palaeoenvironmental sampling at Castle Dykes Henge, Aysgarth, N. Yorks
  • Dr Peter Halkon and Rodney Mackey: Trial excavation on a major new multi-period site near Melton, East Yorkshire
  • Dr Rob Hosfield: Beyond the rivers: Lower Palaeolithic archaeology at Knowle Farm
  • Dr Kirsty Millican: Lochbrow Landscape Project
  • Dr Rachel Pope: Illustrating Eddisbury: Excavations 1936-38 and 2010-11
  • Professor Christopher Scull and Jude Plouviez: Survey and Excavation at Rendlesham, Suffolk

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 Undergraduate Dissertation Award) or Master's 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.

Master's Dissertation Prize
The 2015 Master's Dissertation Prize has been awarded to Stephanie Blankshein from the University of Southampton for her dissertation, Liminality Set in Stone: Establishing a Connection Between Atlantic Iron Age Roundhouses and the Maritime Cultural Landscape.

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.