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Research Grants

RAI grants

The Royal Archaeological Institute has research funds available each year as follows:

  • RAI Research Fund
    Awards up to £5,000 are available each year.
  • The Tony Clark Memorial Fund
    Up to £500 is available each year for scientific elements of archaeological projects.
  • The Bunnell Lewis Research Fund
    Up to £750 is available each year for projects which preferably involve the excavation and exploration of Roman sites.


Applications will be considered for archaeological fieldwork, survey, aspects of excavation and post-excavation research; architectural recording and analysis; and artefact and art-historical research. Documentary research per se will NOT be eligible, but can be considered as an element of the other categories. Preference will be given to projects within the British Isles, which have significant part-time/amateur involvement and may also be given to those who are members.

Grant Notes and Application

The 2024 grant application will be available in August and the application deadline will be 11 December 2023.

Awarded Grants

Research grants for 2023 have been awarded to the following:

One of the conditions attached to the awarding of a grant is that the recipient must produce a report of the work undertaken. A shortened version of the report is published in the RAI Newsletter.

Watch the short short documentary created by one of the Institute's 2015 grant recipients, Upper Dee Tributaries Project.

RAI Dissertation Prizes

The RAI awards a dissertation prize each year for either an undergraduate (Tony Baggs Undergraduate Dissertation Award) or Master's dissertation on a rotating basis. The prize goes to the best dissertation on a subject concerning the archaeology or architectural history of Britain, Ireland and adjacent areas of Europe. The chief criteria considered are (a) quality of work and (b) appropriateness to the interests of the RAI as reflected in the Archaeological Journal. The winner receives £500, one year's membership subscription and the opportunity for a paper based on their dissertation to be published in the Archaeological Journal.

Tony Baggs Undergraduate Dissertation Prize
The Tony Baggs undergraduate dissertation prize, covering years 2021 and 2022, has been awarded to Maria Cunningham from University College London, Institute of Archaeology for her dissertation, ‘More Than Concrete: Investigating the preservation of WWII coastal defences on the south-east coast of England’.

Cheney Bursaries

As a result of a bequest left by Frank Cheney, the Institute has a fund to enable students, who attend a UK university, to attend RAI meetings and conferences. An allocation is available annually from which individuals can apply for a maximum sum of £250.

Students who wish to apply for the bursary should email or write to the Administrator, at least six weeks before the RAI event you wish to attend. You should state:

  • the UK institution where you study
  • the RAI event that you wish to attend
  • the sum of money requested
  • a breakdown of how the money would be spent
  • a summary (up to 250 words) of why you would like to attend the event and in what way this will be useful to you

The bursary is only for the applicant's expenses, and the applicant will be paid the bursary after attending the event. Successful applicants may be asked to produce a brief report of the event for the Institute.

Royal Archaeological Institute
c/o Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BE

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