Arts and Humanities Funding: Small Grants

Funding area: Arts & Humanities

Small Research Grants are designed to support personally conducted research, in any one or more of the following ways: travel to libraries, archives or other repositories of primary resources related to the project; attendance at academic conferences, colloquia or workshops which will further, or disseminate, research outcomes; assistance with publication costs of scholarly books (for example, in the form of guarantee against loss, or for illustrative material); visits to, or from, scholars with significant academic reputations in the applicant’s discipline; support for a programme of Knowledge Exchange activities. Costs incurred in hosting a conference, colloquium, workshop or seminar, are not eligible under this scheme. Applications for these costs should be made under the Workshop and Network awards.

The main purpose of this scheme is to promote the research of the individual scholar whilst ensuring the high quality of research is maintained and advanced, and that outcomes are disseminated appropriately to the academic community, the public, the private sector, the Scottish Government and the third sector as appropriate (eg Creative Scotland, Historic Scotland, NHS Scotland and the creative industries). Knowledge Exchange is an important part of these awards and will be taken into account when the selection of projects is made. It must exist between the creators and potential users of this research and should be informed by, or developed with, the potential users.

Under this scheme,  adherence to the key principles of the RSE’s Arts & Humanities Awards programme i.e. collaborative research, relevance in the Scottish context, and knowledge exchange, is desirable but not essential.

These awards are not available for the: payment of replacement staff; employment of a research assistant or administrator; or for the purchase of equipment.

Fund deadline passed

This fund is currently closed for applications.

Fund value

Awards of up to £7,500 and a minimum of £500 are available.

Fund duration

Small Grant Awards should be carried out over a twelve month period and should begin between 1 December and 31 March in the academic year.

Additional Information

The RSE Arts and Humanities funding remit, in line with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, covers the following research areas:

History, Cultures and Heritage – Archaeology, Classics, Cultural and Museum Studies, Development Studies, History, Information and Communication Technologies (where they are applied to the humanities), Law and Legal Studies, Library and Information Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and International Studies, Theology and Divinity and Religion.

Creative and Performing Arts – Dance, Design, Drama and Theatre Studies, Media, Music and Visual Arts.

Literature and Languages – Languages and Literature and Linguistics.

Please visit to see a further breakdown of eligible subjects.

Social science subjects are not covered by this scheme.

Small Research Grants are open to full-time members of academic staff working in the Arts & Humanities who are based in Scottish Higher Education Institutions and Scottish Cultural Institutions.

Part time and retired staff are also eligible provided that they can demonstrate a significant and continuing link to the host institution. In addition, early career researchers who are on staged contracts to a permanent lectureship position are permitted to apply (Please note that you MUST also already be in contract for the duration of the award).

Please note that post-graduate students are not eligible for this award. RSE Committee members are also not permitted to apply for funding from an award scheme for which they serve on the Committee.  Committee members who wish to apply should step down from their post first.

To apply, create a personal profile on the RSE website, or log in using your existing details:

Once in your personal profile, register to apply under “apply for funding” in the menu on the left hand side of the screen. You will then be able to access the application form, guidelines and Terms & Conditions for the relevant award. Please ensure you read all eligibility criteria carefully before applying. Once completed, email your application to:

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the award, please contact us.