Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the DHS Trustees recognise that the use of awarded funding is contingent upon volatile local restrictions. Any grants or awards allocated may be postponed for up to a year, thereafter a new application should be submitted. All symposia and outreach events should be designed in a virtual or hybrid format (i.e. virtual as well as in person) to ensure the maximum equity of access and resilience amidst ongoing uncertainties.


The Research Access Grant is awarded by the DHS annually to assist those who need to travel to conduct essential research for their design history scholarship or to present new research at key academic conferences. Specifically, the grant may be used towards:

  • Costs incurred during research trips, including: travel and accommodation to conduct vital primary or secondary research; photocopying and scanning costs at archives or libraries; library memberships
  • Registration fees, travel and accommodation costs to present a paper, poster or convene a session at an academic conference

A total of £3,000 is awarded annually for the Research Access Grant. This sum is divided amongst several applications deemed of high merit, at the discretion of a judging panel drawn from the DHS Executive Committee. Parts of a request might be funded and others rejected. The total project budget may be of any size, but individual applicant's funding requests should not exceed £1,000. Applicants are required to give as detailed and evidenced a budget as possible. Applicants are required to provide evidence of acceptance and registration if the grant is conference related. Grants will not be considered to cover retrospective costs that have already been incurred and paid for.

A full description of the award, including eligibility, assessment criteria and all other details can be found in the Guidance Notes on the right hand side of this page. The Research Travel and Conference Grant is only open to DHS members. Inter-disciplinary projects are welcomed providing they demonstrate a genuine focus upon design history. Applications involving collaborations across multiple institutions, localities and/or constituencies are especially encouraged.

We wish to remind our applicants that;

  • the DHS is committed to supporting equalities and therefore invites applicants to reflect on and state clearly how their proposed projects address inequalities.
  • the DHS is also committed to addressing sustainability issues and invites applicants to state how their project has been shaped with an environmentally-conscious approach (in relation to travel, participation and use of resources).
  • All outcomes of the award/grant must acknowledge the Design History Society Research Access Grant and must include the DHS logo.

Student submissions are not eligible; students are encouraged to apply for the Student Research Access Award.

The applications are considered in two rounds. You may send your completed application form by 18 January or 26 April via email to the DHS administrator:

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission within 6 weeks of the application deadline.

Guidance Notes and Application Form

Download here