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Society for the History of Natural History

SHNH Small Research Fund

SHNH Small Research Fund

Purpose of SHNH Small Research Fund

To provide financial support to members of the SHNH in all fields covered by the society’s charitable purpose in carrying out research to benefit the scholarly community. Priority will be given to early career researchers, people who have had a career break, and independent scholars. An early career researcher is defined by the Society as an individual who is within two years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training.

Application process

SHNH Members Cumbria Meeting 2017

Application must be made (before incurring the expense requested) using the application form on the SHNH website. This must be downloaded, completed, and transmitted to the SHNH Awards Secretary, who will then forward it to the Chair of Small Research Fund for judging by a panel of 3 judges (all members of the Society) for consideration.

Qualifying expenses for funding

Examples are:

  • Charges made for use of privately-owned or professional-association libraries or museums by non-subscribers.
  • Charges made by libraries or museums for new scanning, photographing or photocopying essential materials.
  • Fees for image-publication rights.
  • Cost of travel by public transport for an essential visit to a unique location of essential material.
  • Organisation of conferences and other events relating to the history of natural history.
  • Travel to conferences and other events relating to the history of natural history.

How to apply

  • Any member of the SHNH may apply for a Small Research-Fund grant, up to £500 (or non-Sterling currency equivalent).
  • Please download the application form, complete it and send to the SHNH Awards Secretary at
  • There will be two competitive rounds for applications per year. The first round will close on 15 May. The second round will close on 15 November. Applicants can expect to hear the outcome of their applications within a month of the application deadline. Applicants who are unsuccessful are welcome to re-apply in future rounds.


  • There is no upper age limit; no academic qualification is required; nor is any academic affiliation necessary. But no more than one application per person may be made in any financial year of the SHNH.
  • Applicants must not already be in receipt of any grant that would cover the expenses applied for.
  • Application must be made before the requested expense is incurred.

Further conditions

  • The successful applicant must submit a brief, one-paragraph report of the achievements of the research to the SHNH secretary. This may subsequently be published in the Society’s Newsletter and on the Society’s website.
  • It must be the applicant’s intention to publish in the scholarly press or on a website any images or information obtained through an award; the SHNH Secretary must be informed of publication when completed.
  • Dated receipts must be obtained for expenses.
  • The decision of the SHNH on an application for a Small Research-Fund grant shall be final.
  • The successful applicant must write a short piece for the Society for the History of Natural History Newsletter about the project, to tag us @SHNHSocNatHist in any tweets about the project and to acknowledge us in any publications that may arise from the research funded by the Society.