Research support

The Society recognises the importance of supporting colleagues across the career stages represented amongst its membership, and also acknowledges that there are certain groups — especially postgraduate students, early-career researchers without permanent positions and active scholars who have retired from permanent posts — for whom available resource is very scarce.

We therefore allocate funds to support the conference participation, research visits and other appropriate research-related expenses of postgraduate students, ECRs who are within 5 years of receipt of their PhD and are not in a permanent post, and colleagues (including those with emeritus status) without any access to institutional research funding. In the 2018-19 academic year we awarded a total of £7842 in funding, to 25 applicants (and have agreed to raise the fund's budget in future, if there is demand).


There are no deadlines for this fund. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but applicants should bear in mind that consideration of their application may take up to two months from the date of application. They should therefore apply at least two months in advance of the start of the planned research activity.

Purpose of grant and eligible costs

The specific purpose of these awards is to support: (i) presentation of papers at conferences, (ii) expenses incurred through travel to libraries and archives necessary to the applicant’s research, and (iii) other costs incurred in the completion of advanced research in the field of French studies (especially that which the applicant intends subsequently to publish or to disseminate by other appropriate means). Ineligible costs include expenses incurred in the preparation of a thesis for a higher degree, typing costs, the purchase of books, research assistance, publishing subsidy, or the purchase of IT equipment.

All applications must demonstrate a clear financial case for support. Please asterisk or clearly identify any item for which grant support is sought in the application, and explain and justify why SFS support is requested. Priority may be given to early career scholars in temporary or hourly-paid positions and to postgraduate students.

Eligible subject areas

The Society for French Studies exists to promote teaching and research in French Studies in higher education. Activities supported by this scheme should be aligned with this objective.

Eligibility of applicants

Applications will only be accepted from postgraduate students, ECRs who are within 5 years of receipt of their PhD and are not in a permanent post, and colleagues without any access to institutional research funding. (Please note, this means that colleagues who do have access to such funds but have exhausted their current year's allocation will not be eligible.) Applicants must also be members of the Society for French Studies.

The Society exists to promote teaching and research in French studies in higher education in the UK and Ireland. Applications will therefore normally be expected to demonstrate some connection with the UK or Ireland, either through the applicant’s affiliation to a UK or Irish HEI, or, in the case of overseas members, by the proposed project’s contribution to research activities in the UK or Ireland. As the Society provides subsidised attendance at and travel to its own annual conference for postgraduate students from UK and Irish institutions, they will not normally be eligible to apply to this fund for the purpose of attending the annual SFS conference. In cases where funds available under this scheme are limited, preference may be given to members in good standing, and/or to applicants who have not previously received an award.

Level of grant

Individual awards are likely to range between £100 and £300. In very exceptional circumstances, a grant of up to £500 may be considered. No applicant will receive more than £500 in any one year, though this may be spread over more than one application.

Application for the awards will be competitive, and they cannot be made retrospectively.

Application procedure

In order to apply, please send a letter or email giving the following details:

(i) name and institutional affiliation;

(ii) brief statement of career and/or short abstract or summary of PhD project;

(iii) details of the research to be undertaken for which support is required, and (for postgraduate students) its relation to PhD project;

(iv) anticipated publications, outputs and other outcomes;

(v) a draft budget, clearly detailing the amount requested, and the purpose to which it will be put;

(vi) details, where relevant, of current or recent funding relating to the research in question;

(vii) details of any other financial support for which the applicant has applied/will apply in support of the trip, and/or an indication that the applicant’s institution does not provide appropriate support for the activities outlined;

(viii) an undertaking to abide by the conditions of the award, if successful; and

(ix) confirmation that the principal applicant is a member of the Society for French Studies and is eligible to apply (see above).

Postgraduate students are also asked to provide a letter of support from their supervisor/referee.

Conditions of the grant

The names of recipients will be announced in the French Studies Bulletin, and successful applicants will be asked to submit a short report to the SFS Executive Committee, and to acknowledge where appropriate SFS in their thesis and/or any publication arising from the research trip. In addition, successful applicants are to submit a copy of the detailed final accounts to the Treasurer of the Society (Dr Katie Jones:

Should the research activity not require the full sum awarded, the Society would expect to be reimbursed accordingly, and up to an amount not exceeding the original grant. The Society reserves the right to request a refund, should costs not reach the expected level.

The Society will normally honour its funding commitments where travel plans are disrupted due to Covid-19, and will hold funds over where events are postponed. We do however ask that funding recipients refrain from booking tickets far in advance wherever possible, in recognition of the fact that local and national travel restrictions may change at late notice. Please contact us directly in case of any queries.