Fellowships & Prizes

The Bodleian Libraries Visiting Fellows Programme

The Libraries encourage research that makes use of Bodleian Special Collections, an outstanding resource for scholarly study and discovery, containing rare printed books, classical papyri, medieval and renaissance manuscripts, literary, political and historical papers, archives, printed ephemera, and maps and music in both manuscript and printed form. Fellowships give applicants from outside of Oxford the opportunity to undertake an uninterrupted period of research with the Bodleian collections.

See 'Calls for applications' for schemes currently accepting applications for 2016-17

For eligibility and selection criteria and other application information, see Terms for All Fellowships and How to Apply

The Visiting Scholars' Centre, Weston Library. Photo by John Cairns

Visiting Scholars' Centre, Weston Library

Fellowships at the Bodleian Libraries

These Visiting Fellowships are offered each year. Deadlines vary. For schemes currently accepting applications, see the 'Calls for applications' page.

Fellowships for Any Field of Study
Subject-Specific Fellowships
Collaborative Fellowships

Fellowships for Any Field of Study

Royal Bank of Canada Foundation-Bodleian Visiting Fellowships

The Royal Bank of Canada Foundation supports three-month Fellowships to be taken at the Bodleian Libraries during the academic year 2016-17. Scholars at postgraduate level or above, with a current association with a Canadian university, or research-active and culturally interested members of the wider community in Canada, are eligible.

The Fellowship award is intended to support one term of residence in Oxford for the purpose of research leading to a better understanding of material in the Special Collections of the Bodleian Libraries.

Applicants should propose research projects, in any field of study, which are based on materials in any part of the Bodleian Libraries Special Collections.

For further particulars, please email: fellowships@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Application deadline: Friday, 1 April 2016  

Applications to either of these Fellowships will automatically be considered for both:

Humfrey Wanley Fellowships
Sassoon Visiting Fellowships

Supporting a short period of research into any topic, using the Special Collections of the Bodleian Libraries. These Fellowships may be awarded for a period of up to 3 months. The awards are intended for scholars who have completed the doctorate at the time of application or have attained equivalent experience in employment in higher education or research (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library). Applications should indicate what archive, manuscript, maps and/or rare book collections will be consulted.

Subject-Specific Fellowships 

Bahari Visiting Fellowships in the Persian Arts of the Book

Applications are invited for Fellowships of up to 6 months, for research into the Persian Arts of the Book. Research areas may include but are not limited to studies in Art History, Codicology, Calligraphy, Miniature Painting, the History of Islamic Book Production and Scribal Practices, Manuscript Cataloguing, and the Editing and Translation of Texts. Academics or university staff of at least postdoctoral level or equivalent (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library) are welcome to apply. The main focus of any research proposal should be on an aspect or aspects of the Bodleian's Persian and Islamic Collections. Applications should include details of the Collections to be consulted and of the larger project that the research visit will support, including planned outcomes.

For a description of the collections, please see: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/weston/finding-resources/guides/middleeast.

A glimpse into the collections can be viewed in our online exhibition, Love and Devotion. Basic records of a large part of the Bodleian's Islamic Manuscript Collections may also be found on the Fihrist website.

Applications can be submitted at any time and will be processed on a rolling basis. 

Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellowships in the History of Science & Communications

Supporting a short period of research into any aspect of the history of science and communication, using the archive, manuscript and rare book collections of the Bodleian Libraries. Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellowships may be awarded for a period of up to 4 months. Applications are encouraged from researchers investigating the history and science of wireless communication and the wireless industry. The awards are intended for scholars who hold a doctorate at the time of application or have attained equivalent experience in employment in higher education or research (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library).

David Walker Memorial Fellowships in Early Modern History

Supporting a short period of research into any aspect of Early Modern History, using the archive, manuscript and rare book collections of the Bodleian Libraries. The Fellowships may be awarded for a period of up to 3 months. Research proposals are invited for projects in the study of early modern history, using any of the manuscripts, maps, music and early modern printed materials in the Bodleian Libraries Special Collections. The awards are intended for scholars who hold a doctorate or have attained equivalent experience in employment in higher education or research (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library).

Albi Rosenthal Visiting Fellowships in Music

Applications are invited for Fellowships of up to 3 months in duration for research into music-related topics, the main focus of which should be on an aspect or aspects of the Bodleian Library's Music collections. Proposals in any relevant area will be considered but projects which would enable the Library to promote a wider appreciation of its Music collections will be especially welcome. Academics or university staff of at least postdoctoral level or equivalent (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library) are welcome to apply, as are performers or composers of equivalent standing who may, for example, wish to use the collections in support of historically informed performances or other creative projects.

A fuller description of the collections can be found in our subject guide to Music. The majority of the Bodleian's printed music can be searched via a combination of SOLO and a virtual presentation of the former music card catalogues, records from which will soon be loaded into SOLO. Our Music LibGuide provides other finding aids for the music collections, including manuscripts.

Carr-Thomas-Ovenden Visiting Fellowship in English Literature

Scholars who will use the Bodleian’s special collections of literary papers and publications are invited to apply for a Fellowship of 10 weeks in duration (one University of Oxford term). Preference will be given to proposals for research relating to the Romantic period, where the Bodleian’s collection of manuscripts, printed books and secondary literature is remarkable in its strength and depth. The awards are intended for scholars who hold a doctorate at the time of application or have attained equivalent experience in employment in higher education or research (e.g., holding a curatorial post in a museum or library).

In the late 17th century, the Bodleian began to increase its holdings of English literary manuscripts significantly. It is now a collection of international importance, vital for the study of English literature. The collections as a whole form one of the most significant research resources for scholars across the globe, and contain a significant proportion of the world’s cultural heritage.

The collections relating to Percy Bysshe Shelley and his circle rank among the finest in the Bodleian. As well as Shelley’s own papers, the Library houses manuscripts relating to Mary Shelley and her family, and the papers of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. These collections include an established selection of manuscripts and printed books founded by the gifts of Lady Shelley in 1893-94 and extended by further purchases and donations; the Abinger papers, the residue of the family collection of Sir Percy Florence Shelley and Lady Shelley at Boscombe, purchased outright in 2004-05 with the generous support of the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation; and the Lovelace-Byron collection of Byron family papers (deposited at the Bodleian on long-term loan), relating to the poet and his daughter Ada. In addition, the cultural precursors of Romanticism are well-represented through antiquaries’ papers, such as John Aubrey, Elias Ashmole and William Stukeley, and the correspondence and literary papers of William Gilpin.

Deadline for the Carr-Thomas-Ovenden Fellowship: 29 January 2016

Collaborative Fellowships

Please note Collaborative Fellowships have different deadlines and application processes, where specified.

Renaissance Society of America Research Grants

  • The RSA-Bodleian Library Grant
  • The RSA-Kress-Bodleian Library Grant

The Renaissance Society of America (RSA) awards research grants to be taken at the Bodleian Libraries. Applicants must be a member in good standing of RSA. The application and grants process for Bodleian-RSA grants is administered by the Renaissance Society of America.

Apply directly to the RSA. Deadline for the RSA-Bodleian Grants: 1 December 2015

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS)-Bodleian Fellowship

Facilitates a one-month research visit by a member of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) to the Special Collections of the Bodleian Library. The award is supported by the Bodleian Libraries and BSECS and reimburses necessary expenses of up to £1,000 to support research in Oxford during the Fellowship period.

Applicants must be at postdoctoral level or above at the time of application and must be a member in good standing of BSECS. Applications are to be made to the Bodleian Libraries Fellowships Programme. See How to Apply.

Deadline for the BSECS-Bodleian Fellowship: 17 January 2016

Dunscombe Colt Research Fellowship

The Georgian Group and the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies support a one-month research visit by a member of The Georgian Group to the Special Collections of the Bodleian Library in the University of Oxford. Applications will be considered from candidates seeking to research projects relating to the architecture or material culture (e.g., sculpture) of the long eighteenth century (1660-1840).The award reimburses necessary expenses of up to £1,500 to support research in Oxford during the Fellowship period. Applicants must be of postdoctoral standing or above. The Fellowship must be taken up in the 2016 calendar year.

For more details, see the Georgian Group’s website. Applications are to be made to the Bodleian Libraries Fellowships Programme. See How to Apply.

Deadline for the Dunscombe Colt Research Fellowship: 31 January 2016

For information on the current Bodleian Visiting Fellows, see Visiting Fellows and Scholars 2015-16.

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