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 2020-21 is now closed. Applications for the 2021-2022 competition will open in November 2021.
Answers to a number of frequently asked questions can be found on this blog post. If you have any other questions about the competition then please email Nicki Dawidowski, CRASSH's Conference & Events Manager.
Please note that references are not required for the conference competition.
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 in-kind support also includes event marketing, 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.
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 2018 – 19 was around £5,890. A list of other potential funding sources can be found under the ‘Additional Funding’ tab.
Please refer to our sample budget.
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. Our main conference venue is Room SG1 on the ground floor of the Alison Richard Building. We are also willing to support conferences that will take place at other venues within Cambridge.
Event 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 calls 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 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.
We generally aim 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 that 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.
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 2020.
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 will strongly favour applications for conferences that could not happen easily under the auspices of other faculties or academic institutions in Cambridge.
We encourage conference organisers to make ample provision for discussion and for the participation of graduate students, take a look at our sample programme.
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.
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.
Find out more on the A&H and HSS funding pages.
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.
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.
The Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports conferences in a range of subject areas.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Modern and Medieval Languages
The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) offers up to £800 to support conferences.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The Aristotelian Society considers applications of up to £500 for conferences.
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.
The Mind Association awards up to £2,000 in support of conferences that are philosophically innovative.
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.