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Funding and scholarships

Wellcome Trust Masters Awards for academic session 2016/17

The Wellcome Trust offers an annual award to support individuals who wish to undertake any humanities or social science Masters course which has a predominant focus on human and/or animal health.

The Department of History Classics and Archaeology invites prospective Masters students working in the appropriate field to apply for this award, which provides a stipend and covers the programme fees. The application to Wellcome will be made by the Department not the individual; institutions may put forward one candidate. Applicants must first be accepted onto a relevant MA programme, ideally the MA History of Science and Medicine or the Masters in Research (with a history of medicine topic)

The deadline for submitting applications to the Department is: Thursday, 21 April 2016.

Please submit:

* a proposal, no more than two sides of A4 in length, outlining your topic of study, its appropriateness for support from the Wellcome Trust, and its potential for development as a future research project

* a one-page CV

The Department panel, comprising Dr Laura Stewart (Acting MA Director) and Prof. Joanna Bourke (Coordinator, MA History of Science and Medicine), will assess applications on the basis of the candidate's potential for academic research as well as the quality and relevance of the topic. Please email your proposal to the MA administrator, Daniel Binney:

Applicants will be notified of the outcome during the week of 25 April 2016.

Queries and expressions of interest should be directed to Prof. Joanna Bourke:

Click here for more information about the Wellcome Trust and the award.


Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarships

Birkbeck College is pleased to announce the third year of Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarships, named in memory of one of the greatest historians of the last century. From 1947 until his death in 2012, Eric Hobsbawm was a loyal member of Birkbeck College.

The Scholarships have been set up to encourage the next generation of talented historians to pursue original, high-quality and exciting research in history by assisting financially with study and research costs.

The fund aims to assist two sets of beneficiaries:

  1. MA students: applications are invited for two full-fee scholarships for MA study in the department of History, Classics and Archaeology. Each scholarship is currently worth £7,950. Overseas applicants and part-time applicants are welcome, as well as home/EU full-time applications (part-time awards are pro-rata).
  2. MPhil and PhD students: new and existing doctoral students in the dept of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck can apply for financial assistance for research expenses (including travel, accommodation, conference fees, and particular training needs). In the past two years, awards in this category have been between £500 and £2,500.

Applicants for the MA fee-waiver scholarships must apply through the usual process for a place on the MA programme (see information elsewhere on this website). In addition, applicants are asked to submit two documents directly to the department:

  1. a one-page statement outlining what they hope to achieve by taking the MA programme, noting in particular what they hope to research for their dissertation
  2. a one-page personal statement that includes a basic CV, and a note on the applicant’s financial circumstances.

Applicants to the research expenses fund must either be an existing doctoral student in the department, or to have applied for entry within this academic year. Applicants are asked to submit two documents:

  1. a two-page statement of the proposed research and its relevance.
  2. a one-page personal statement that includes a basic CV, a short justification of the sum requested, and a note on the applicant’s financial circumstances.

The deadline for 2016 applications has now passed.

The Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships have been made possible thanks to many donations from his friends and former students. Birkbeck College gratefully acknowledges the help and support of the Hobsbawm family.


Wolf Wayne Research Fund for Graduate Students

The Wolf Wayne fund will be dedicated to support MA students' research activities, particularly those involving research for dissertations on non-British history topics which the student would be unable to conduct without financial support. Eligible costs include travel costs to archives and costs for vital research equipment or software.

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • a one-page statement on their research project,
  • a one-page statement on the costs of the project and a justification of the sum requested,
  • a short CV

The selection committee will consist of members of the Department. The deadline for the next round has been extended to the 4th of March 2016. The main criteria for success are the originality and feasibility of the research project, and the importance of financial support to the student.

All successful applicants will be asked to submit a short report on their research and its main findings before they graduate.

Applications should be sent to Daniel Binney. For any queries about how to apply please contact Laura Stewart.


‘The fund's grant enabled me to look widely at a range of archives around England and Wales from the outset and then, critically, to re-focus my dissertation when research unearthed new archive material that pointed me in new directions. It enabled me to 'follow' the evidence, as it were, so making the dissertation's contents stronger and more original than would have otherwise been the case.’  -former MA fund recipient



The Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship at Birkbeck University of London

The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, the Department of Cultures and Languages and the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London invite applications for up to three Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentships in Japanese Studies for 2016-17, with the generous support from the Nippon Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF).

Each studentship consists of £10,000 to be used towards either a Master’s degree or a Doctoral Programme in Japanese Studies at Birkbeck, starting in October 2016. Candidates interested in various aspects of modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society, including the political, cultural and social history of modern Japan, as well as historical topics that situate Japan in an East Asian or global context, theatre/performance, gender/sexuality, comparative literature (19th-20th centuries), visual arts and popular culture, are especially encouraged to apply. The studentship is for one year only. However, departments may re-nominate the holder of the studentship for up to two subsequent years, subject to satisfactory progress. In all cases, GBSF makes the final decision. The GBSF cannot make recurrent three-year commitment to any one PhD candidate from year one.

Application materials should be sent via email to Dr Nobuko Anan ( They should include the following items.


  • CV
  • Academic record (transcript)
  • Two page (double-spaced) statement including dissertation research interests and future career plans


  • CV
  • Academic record (transcript)
  • 2,000 word research proposal, including rationale, research questions, a literature review and methodology
  • A brief abstract of research to date
  • A brief personal statement including future career plans

Please note that candidates need to apply, in the first instance, to either the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, the Department of Cultures and Languages or the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies via the online application system, before they send their application materials to Dr Anan. It is highly advisable that interested candidates make initial enquiries with either Professor Naoko Shimazu (, Dr Akane Kawakami ( or Dr Anan, on the suitability of their application.


  • MA: a first class or a good upper second class undergraduate degree (or its equivalent for non-UK candidates)
  • PhD: similar achievements at undergraduate and masters level.
  • Non-UK candidates for masters scholarships are eligible only if they have been in the UK for at least 3 years before the beginning of their masters study. This does not apply to non-UK PhD candidates, but priority is given to those who have completed postgraduate studies of at least one year’s duration at a UK institution.
  • Those who have already accepted full scholarships from other funding sources are NOT eligible.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Anan (