Conference Funding



CRASSH funding

CRASSH supports an annual programme of conferences and workshops. Funding of up to £2,500, plus administrative support, is available to college and university faculty and graduate students of the University of Cambridge. 


The competition for conference support in 2019-20 is now closed. 

A new competition will open in October 2019. This will accept proposals for conferences taking place between September 2020 and July 2021. 


If you have any questions about the competition then please email Oliver Wright, CRASSH's Conference & Events Manager, on Answers to a number of frequently asked questions can be found on this blog post

A sample budget is available here, and a sample conference programme is available here


Please note that references are not required for the conference competition. You may receive an email from the application system that mentions referees - this can be disregarded. 

What we offer

The package offered for a typical two-day conference is up to £2,500 in financial support for speaker travel, hospitality and accommodation. CRASSH support also includes administrative assistance and a conference venue. One-day events may be supported with a pro rata financial contribution. 

Applications for financial support always automatically include the in-kind contribution. Convenors are however able to apply for the in-kind support only.


Financial support

Two-day conferences are typically offered up to £2,500 in financial support. A one-day event would be supported with a maximum pro rata contribution of £1,250.

Convenors would generally need to find additional funding to cover some costs to ensure that the maximum financial contribution from CRASSH is not exceeded, especially as it is CRASSH's policy not to pay for honoraria or publications.

For reference, the average total cost of a conference supported via the competition over 2017-18 was around £5,750. A list of other potential funding sources can be found in the ‘additional funding’ tab.

A sample conference budget is available here.

Please note that any unspent sums below the maximum agreed revert to the CRASSH conference support fund.


Conference facilities and administrative assistance

The CRASSH conference facilities at the Alison Richard Building will be available to convenors. An image of the main seminar room (SG1) is available here. We are also willing to support conferences that will take place at other venues within Cambridge.

Administrative assistance includes:

  • Conference Budget: Devising a budget, setting up conference account to manage income and expenditure, online delegate registration/payment, producing final accounts.
  • Conference Webpage: Creating a conference website that includes a registration form, conference summary and/or call for papers, posters, conference programme, links, and convenor information.
  • Publicity: Designing a poster; publicising the event via email, social media, and the CRASSH blog. Other forms of publicity such as a video conference trailer or audio/video of the event are usually discussed on an individual basis and the cost of this will normally come out of CRASSH's financial contribution.
  • Arrangements for Speakers: Assisting convenors with booking accommodation (usually college); reimbursing speakers’ travel costs.
  • Catering: Arranging lunches and refreshments; assisting with college dinner bookings.
  • Production and printing of a conference booklet and support on the day, including registration of participants.

AV assistance is typically available in the Alison Richard Building during normal working hours. Arrangements can be made for AV support outside of normal working hours or at alternate venues. The cost of this will be dependent on the specific requirements of the event. 


Conference dates

We are generally aiming to hold conferences out of term and will book suitable slots in the Alison Richard Building.

Please list a range of preferred dates in order, or tell us if dates are fixed. We cannot guarantee preferred dates will be offered.

We are able to host conferences during term time, however it can be more problematic to secure accommodation as students are in residence. Please also note that conferences in the Alison Richard Building can only be held on Fridays and Saturdays during term, meaning that catering costs will be higher. We suggest that you avoid degree and other ceremony dates, e.g. graduation weekend in June or alumni weekend in September.

Please note that CRASSH's policy is to not hold conferences on Sundays.

Selection criteria

Conferences will be selected by a panel comprising the Director and Deputy Director of CRASSH, two other invited members of Cambridge's Faculty, and the Conference Programme Manager. The Conference Programme Manager will co-ordinate the selection process and inform the applicants of the result by the end of March 2019.

We are looking to support genuinely interdisciplinary conferences convened or co-convened by Cambridge researchers. As our funds are limited, the emphasis is on using CRASSH resources to enhance their academic dimension.

We encourage conference organisers to make ample provision for discussion and for the participation of graduate students. A sample programme can be found here.

Workshops related to externally funded projects may also be eligible for administrative support only; please state clearly the funds already available.

Selection will be made on the basis of the following:

  • The contribution of the conference to interdisciplinary, strategic, innovative areas of research;
  • Evidence of how CRASSH support will add value;
  • A coherent programme (aspirational or confirmed);
  • A viable budget with information about other possible sources of funding;
  • Availability of preferred conference dates.

Additional funding

Convenors are strongly advised to seek additional funding to top up what CRASSH is able to offer, for instance to bring overseas speakers or offer student bursaries. Colleges and departments in Cambridge are sometimes able to make additional funds available to conference convenors. A number of funds, foundations and organisations that make conference grants are listed below by subject area. It is also worth searching Research Professional (from a Cambridge-networked computer) or Euraxess Funding Search.  Please note that the list below is by no means exhaustive!



Cambridge postgraduate students are able to apply for support towards student-led conferences from the School of Arts and Humanities or the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences. A maximum of £1,000 is available. 
Deadline: 1 December for the current academic year.
More information: please click here (A&H) or here (HSS).

Cambridge staff on research contracts can apply for between £1,000 - £20,000 as part of the Cambridge Humanities Research Grant Scheme. Further information will be made available during Michaelmas. 
Deadline: 1 March. 
More information: please click here.

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. These grants range from £500 - £10,000 and are tenable for between 1 and 24 months. Support towards conferences is possible, however this cannot be the sole purpose of the grant. 
Deadline: 7 November for awards starting between April and August 2019. 
More information: please click here.

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports conferences in a range of subject areas.
Deadlines: February, May, August, and November. Normally a decision is made eight to ten weeks after each of these dates.
More information: please click here.

The Wellcome Trust provides grants of up to £30,000 as part of its Small Grants in Humanities and Social Science scheme. This does allow for conference funding, however only as part of a wider programme of events.  
Deadline: Applications are accepted online at any time.
More information: please click here.



The Wenner-Gren Foundation makes grants of up to $20,000 available to bring international scholars together to develop anthropological knowledge and debate.
Deadlines: June 1 (for conferences/ workshops to be held no earlier than January of the following year) and December 1 (for conferences/ workshops to be held no earlier than July of the following year).
More information: please click here.



The Spalding Trust offers up to £2,000 to support the costs of conferences with evidence of interfaith boundary-crossing and the study of religion from a comparative perspective.
Deadlines: Applications are considered monthly by Trustees, although it may take up to three months for a decision to be reached. 
More information: please click here.



The Economic History Society aims to encourage otherwise unfunded workshops, special meetings and other interesting initiatives in economic and social history. A maximum of £2,000 can be awarded.
Deadlines: 1 May and 1 November.
More information: please click here.

The Faculty of History's George Macaulay Trevelyan Fund offers grants of up to £1,500 to support travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs for external speakers. 
Deadlines: May and November.
More information: please click here

The Royal Historical Society makes grants to conference organisers (of any status) to assist in the financing of small, specialised historical conferences where there is substantial involvement of junior researchers. They are intended to subsidize registration fees (which in this scheme may include accommodation costs) and travel costs for these junior researchers. The value of grants awarded in this scheme is between £100 and £500.
Deadlines: 16 April and 29 October.
More information: please click here.


History and Philosophy of Science

The Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness funds symposia, small conferences or workshops which address important issues in the development of the sociology of health and illness. A maximum of £2,500 will be provided for one-day meetings and £3,000 for two-day or longer meetings.
Deadlines: 31 March and 31 October.
More information: please click here.

The Institute of Medical Ethics considers grants of up to £500 to support meetings or other activities of which medical ethics is a substantial and explicit component and which promote understanding of ethical issues related to health care.
Deadlines: Conference grants are available throughout the year.
More information: please click here.



The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) offers up to £800 to support conferences.
Deadlines: 1 January, 1 March, 1 July, 1 October. The outcome will be notified no later than one month after the deadline.
More information: please click here.

The Institute of Modern Language Research offers up to £2,500 to support conferences taking place outside of London which promote inter-institutional collaborations and bring together scholars from the wider region as participants or attendees.
Deadlines: 22 February 2019 for events to be held between 1 September 2019 and 30 June 2020. 
More information: please click here.

The Modern Humanities Research Association make up to four grants of up to £1,500 each to support conferences or colloquia within the field of medieval and modern European languages and literatures (including English).
Deadline: 30 April 2019 for events held between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
More information: please click here.

The Society for French Studies offers grants in support of conferences held in the UK or Ireland and concerned with research, teaching and learning in any area of French Studies. Grants normally range from £100 to £1,000.
Deadlines: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Decisions may take up to two months from the date of application.
More information: please click here.



The Royal Musical Association welcomes proposals from conference organisers for the affiliation of their events to the RMA and will consider applications for financial support of generally not more than £500.
Deadlines: 15 March and 30 October. Applications received by the deadlines will receive consideration within three months.
More information: please click here.



The Aristotelian Society considers applications of up to £500 for conferences.
Deadlines: 15 September (Autumn meeting) and 1 April (Spring meeting).
More information: please click here

The British Society of Aesthetics gives small grants in support of UK activities in aesthetics, including conferences and lecture series, of up to £5,000.
Deadlines: 1 April (for a decision by mid-May) and 1 October (for a decision by mid-November).
More information: please click here.

The Mind Association awards up to £2,000 in support of conferences that are philosophically innovative.
Deadlines: April and November.
More information: please click here.


Social Sciences

The Galton Institute offers grants of up to £1,000 (up to £2,000 in ‘exceptional circumstances’) to help meet the costs of conferences or workshops concerned with biosocial sciences in the most liberal sense.
Deadlines: 1 March and 1 September. Decisions about funding will be taken within 2-3 weeks of these deadlines.
More information: please click here.