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

1. Overview

1.a 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 who undertake a blind peer review of anonymous applications.

1.b Individual applicant's funding requests should not exceed £1,000. Applicants are required to give as detailed and evidenced a budget as possible. Grants cannot cover retrospective costs that have already been incurred and paid for prior to the submission of your application.

1.c 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.

1.d All outcomes of the grant must acknowledge the Design History Society and must include the DHS logo.

2. The Application Process

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm GMT on 31 January and 30 April 2023. No applications submitted after these dates will be considered. Applications should be sent to the DHS administrator, Jenna Allsopp at:

2.b The application form can be downloaded from this webpage or requested via email from the DHS administrator, Jenna Allsopp at:

Applicants are requested not to send CVs, as these will not be taken into consideration in the judging process.

We aim to inform all applicants of the outcome of their submission within three weeks of the submission deadline via email.

3. Eligibility

This grant is only open to members of the Society.

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

Unsuitable costs include, but are not limited to: equipment, refreshments, subsistence (food and drink); higher than standard class travel or accommodation; transcription costs for interviews conducted.

3.d The research travel or conference must take place within 12 months of the application deadline.

4. Assessment Criteria

Applications are anonymised and judged on the following criteria:

  • original and significant contribution of the outlined activity to the discipline of design history and its dissemination
  • impact the event will have in facilitating collaboration across a global design history community and furtherance of research in our field
  • articulated and appropriate objectives, strategies and implementation
  • clear demonstration of how the project will be realizable in terms of technology and archival preservation
  • contribution to the aims and activities of the Society which aims to support activity that cannot be effectively or entirely funded through other funding avenues
  • suitability of the applicant(s) to achieve the proposed project
  • feasibility of timeline, outcomes and efficacy of dissemination by virtual means
  • value for money and justification of costs

Priority will be given to applications which provide sufficient, detailed information of all of the above.

5. Dissemination

Recipients of this grant are asked to provide a report of 500-800 words of their project (with a copy-right free image and caption) to be published on the DHS website, within 6 months of notification of receipt of the award.

Recipients must acknowledge the contribution of the DHS through the inclusion of the Society’s logo in any published or public presentation. Logos can be obtained from the DHS administrator.

6. 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).