Grants for Oxford Students and ECRs

Travel Grants for Oxford Students and Early Career Researchers

Thanks to the generosity of benefactors, the Rothermere American Institute awards at least five travel grants each year for primary research on the history, politics, literature or culture of the United States.


students talking to each other
Statue of liberty


Eligibility and Process

Successful applicants will each be awarded £500.

Each of the following categories are eligible to apply: Oxford undergraduate students, Postgraduate Members of the RAI, Oxford early career researchers, and postdoctoral academics closely affiliated with Oxford and/or the RAI without access to personal research funds.

Applications will be reviewed by the RAI Academic Committee every term.

Travel and reporting must be completed within one calendar year of the date the grant was awarded.

Applicants will only be considered for one travel grant per academic year. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate how their research is of interest to the wider RAI community, or to the research focuses of the Institute, and how their proposed trip will have a direct impact on the progress of their thesis or research project.

Applications should consist of the following materials:

  1. A statement of a maximum of 500 words, which outlines the college they are a member of; how an RAI travel grant would enable them to undertake primary research in support of their undergraduate, master’s or doctoral thesis or postdoctoral research project; and whether or not they have access to any other grants or funding sources for their proposed research trip besides the RAI
  2. A CV of no more than three pages
  3. A summary of projected costings for their research trip.

Applicants should submit their application to The deadline is midday on Monday of Week 3 of each term.



RAI-Gilder Lehrman Fellows' Awards

In partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI), the leading non-profit organisation for history education for schools and the general public, the RAI is able to offer special awards each year for research in archives in the New York area.

The RAI-Gilder Lehrman Fellows' awards are open to undergraduate and graduate students. Awardees will receive the RAI's travel award as described above; in addition, the GLI will aim to provide free access to the New-York Historical Society, the digital archive of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, and use of a desk if/as available at the Institute's offices on W. 45th St., New York. GLI will also advise awardees on visiting speakers and programmes on American history across New York City and offer them information about archives in NYC as well as introductions, as appropriate, to curators and historians in their field of research.

Should the awardees' research visits to New York coincide with one of the five major annual award presentations sponsored by the GLI (Frederick Douglass Book Prize; George Washington Prize; Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize; Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History; National History Teachers of the Year Awards), they would be welcome to attend as a guest.

There is no special application process for the RAI-Gilder Lehrman awards. Applicants should apply for a postgraduate or undergraduate award as above, and recipients of the RAI-Gilder Lehrman awards will be selected from among the successful candidates.


The RAI Travel Award funded an extended visit to New York where I was able to visit many archives otherwise inaccessible to me. In particular, the resources at the New York Academy of Medicine and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture were completely invaluable to my project. Going through my notes and files from the archives I visited I am always surprised at the richness and diversity of the source material the RAI Travel Award funded archive trip allowed me to access. My project has been greatly enriched as a result.

Ella St George Carey, RAI travel grant recipient

Grants Awarded for 2020-21

Camille Borders, M.Phil. in U.S. History, Magdalen College
Black Union Women: Loyalty, Sacrifice and Fear in the Mississippi Southern Claims Commission
Award for archival research in Jackson, Mississippi

Todd Carter, D.Phil. in History, University College
“Clinging like barnacles to the old hull of empire”: Race, Rhodesia and the Anglo-American relationship, 1963-1980
Award for research at The National Archives at College Park, Maryland

Imogen Fallon, M.St. in U.S. History, Keble College
Award for research on Constance Baker Motley (lawyer, politician, activist, and first black woman to be appointed to the federal judiciary) at the Columbia University Libraries

Rivers Gambrell, D.Phil. in History, Kellogg College
Pigskin Politicking: The American Presidency and the Changing Politics of Sport
Award to support attendance and presentation at the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) annual conference

Sage Goodwin, D.Phil. in History, University College
Framing the Civil Rights Story: Network Television News and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1954-1968
Award for archival research in New York

Sylee Gore, M.St. in Creative Writing, Kellogg College
Award for archival research in New York, on the authorial mediation of silence on the page in the course of the book production process

Caroline Koktvedgaard, M.St. in English and American Studies, Wadham College
Award for research on literary marriages at New York Public Library and Columbia University Libraries

Caleb Miller, M.Sc. in Economic and Social History, St Peter’s College
Unions, Workers, and the Black Freedom Struggle: Organized Labor and the early Civil Rights Movement
Award for archival research at Wayne State University (Detroit) and the Minneapolis Historical Society

Daniel Rowe, D.Phil. in History, Lincoln College
Beyond Reaganomics: The Long Economic Crisis and the Rebuilding of America, 1974-1988
Award for archival research in New York and Detroit

Paola Solimena, D.Phil. in International Relations, University College
A Theory of Mind for International Relations: How Statesmen Assess Intentions
Award for archival research at Yale University

Shyam Sridar, D.Phil. in History, Lady Margaret Hall
Colonial logistics and defence in French America, 1713-1763
Award for research at the Illinois State Archives

Stephen Symchych, D.Phil. in History, St Antony’s College
Political Identity in Post-Revolutionary Massachusetts
Award for archival research in Massachusetts and New York


See the links below for reports from previous recipients of RAI Travel Awards: