The Social History Society administers a Small Grants Fund to support research, events and activities undertaken by BME historians or focused on the histories of BME people

The scheme was launched in 2019 in recognition of the under-representation, structural inequalities and racism afflicting UK Higher Education Institutions, highlighted by the Royal Historical Society’s report on ‘Race, Ethnicity and Equality’. It is administered by the Social History Society in partnership with Economic History Society, History UK, History of Education Society (UK), History Workshop Journal, Royal Historical Society, Society for the Study of Labour History and Women’s History Network.

Grants can be used towards directly incurred research costs, for example costs of conference organising, consumables, travel and subsistence, equipment purchase, childcare, research assistance and similar immediate costs of conducting research.

The grant cannot be used to cover directly allocated costs, such as estates, salaried researchers’ time, facilities, or the use of existing equipment. The grant is also not able to pay or subsidise course fees.

We will make individual grants up to the amount of £1000. The application should clearly state for what the grant sought will be used. We reserve the right to offer a partial grant.

The scheme is open to all UK-based historians. The scheme is open to all UK-based historians. This includes professional historians in full-time or part time employment (whether working in universities or elsewhere such as museums, libraries and galleries), postgraduates and early career scholars, independent scholars, retired staff and students alike. Applicants should:

  • Be engaged in the research of social or cultural history;
  • Be members of one of the above societies (or be willing to become members) or, if they are employed in permanent post in a university history department, their department be a subscriber to History UK (or be willing to become one).
  • Be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Questions concerning the objectives and criteria of the fund should be directed to our Honorary Secretary, Jenni Hyde, at

Applications are administered by the Social History Society but funding decisions are made by an independent judging panel currently composed of Michael Joseph (University of Cambridge), Miranda Lowe (Natural History Museum) and Jonathan Saha (University of Durham).

Applications for the current round of funding will close at 5pm on 1 December 2023 and we aim to make decisions regarding funding within one calendar month. Awards must be spent within 12 months of being awarded, so please ensure events for which applications are being sought are within 2-12 months after the submission date. We ask all award holders to forward a short report no later than three months after the event or activities have taken place.

Read the full terms of acceptance

Click here to fill in the application form