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The John Rylands Research Institute

Research funding

Through research funding, we are creating a dynamic and vibrant international scholarly community.

Below you will find the details of our current funding opportunities.

Early Career Fellowships

John Rylands Research Institute Visiting Early Career Research Fellowships 

Visiting Early Career Research Fellowships are an opportunity for applicants currently completing, or within two years of the award of their doctorate, to work on an application for an externally funded postdoctoral fellowship (for example, from the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust or Wellcome Trust) to conduct a future research project using The University of Manchester Library’s Special Collections. It is intended to allow those unfamiliar with either archival research or Special Collections, or specifically the rich holdings of The University of Manchester’s  Special Collections, to identify areas of particular research promise for them, and, with the assistance of a skilled grant writer, to produce an application for a postdoctoral fellowship which would be focused on the holdings of the Library’s  Special Collections and would be held at the John Rylands Research Institute for the duration of the fellowship.

The John Rylands Research Institute is a unique partnership led by the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities and The University of Manchester Library in which humanities scholars, scientists, curators, conservators and digital imaging specialists are brought together to uncover, explore, unravel and reveal hidden ideas and knowledge contained within the Library’s world-leading Special Collections. The Library’s unique collections count among the foremost repositories of primary sources in the UK, offering research potential across an exceptionally broad array of disciplines, chronologies and geographical areas.  

Priority will be given to those candidates who show the greatest academic promise and whose current and proposed research demonstrates a close fit with the Library’s holdings.  Applicants who have completed their PhD must be within two years of the award of their doctorate at the time of application.  Applicants who have yet to complete their PhD must be within one year of completion at the time of application.

Further information on how to apply can be found in the application guide.

All applicants are required to complete and submit an application form.

Application for Early Career Research Fellowship funding is now closed. 

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

If you have a proven record of research but are at an early stage of your academic life, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship could provide the development opportunities you need to advance your career. Projects supported by the Institute must demonstrate a strong connection the University of Manchester Library's Special Collections, housed at the John Rylands Library.

Please note the Institute will not be supporting Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships for 2017.

Manchester Wesley Research Centre Joint Visiting Fellowship

Application to the John Rylands Research Institute/Manchester Wesley Research Centre Joint Visiting Fellowship - extended deadline.

The MWRC Joint Visiting Fellowship promotes research in the Methodist and Wesleyan traditions, giving access to the internationally renowned Manchester Methodist Archives at the John Rylands Library and the MWRC/Nazarene Theological College (NTC) libraries. Free accommodation is provided for up to six weeks at NTC, with a bursary of up to £150 a week to cover travel and living expenses. 

Applicants, whether in established academic posts or not, should at least hold a doctorate at the time of application.  All activity must be focused on the Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library and must relate broadly to Methodist/Wesleyan studies.  All activity must have clear outputs and be deliverable within the proposed timescale.  Priority will be given to projects which lead to collaborative grant capture with the Institute or with scholars at the University of Manchester

Application for this Fellowship is now closed.

Newberry Library - Exchange Fellowship

Application to the Newberry/Rylands Joint Fellowship is now open.

The Newberry Library-John Rylands Research Institute Exchange Fellowship provides two months of support for a scholar to be in residence for one month at the Newberry Library in Chicago and an additional month in residence at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. The proposed project must link the collections of both libraries; applicants should plan to hold the two fellowships sequentially to ensure continuity of research. All application materials should be submitted to the Newberry, but applications will be reviewed by both institutions. The stipend will be $2,500 per month at the Newberry, £1,500 at the John Rylands Library, plus an additional $1,000 (or the equivalent in English pounds) for travel.

Short-Term Fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars, PhD candidates, and those who hold other terminal degrees. The deadline for short-term opportunities is 15 December 2016.

For more information, including application guidelines and additional fellowship opportunities, please visit the Newberry's fellowship page. Questions about the application process should be addressed to research@newberry.org.

Application for Newberry/Rylands Joint Fellowship is now closed.

Seedcorn funding

If you are a member of academic or library staff at The University of Manchester and have an idea for a research project, you may be eligible for seedcorn funding. The grant is to a maximum of £5,000.

Applications are particularly welcome in:

  • World literature
  • Revolutions in print
  • Religions
  • Science and medicine
  • Areas with potential for high-profile publication

The proposed activity must be related to The University of Manchester’s Special Collections.  Priority will be given to applications which engage researchers and encourage collaboration across disciplines and faculties and leads to a larger project with the potential to attract grant funding. 

Seedcorn funding (call 5) is now closed.

Visiting professorships

John Rylands Research Institute Visiting Professorships 

The Institute is pleased to announce the call for this Fellowship. 

Visiting Professorships are intended to enable eminent scholars with an international reputation to visit the Institute to research the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library, develop and establish relationships with scholars at the University which will increase activity and collaboration between Institutions, give public lectures, and work with graduate students and early career researchers. This Fellowship gives the nominee the opportunity to visit The University of Manchester and experience first-hand the Library’s unique collections which count among the foremost repositories of primary sources in the UK, offering research potential across an exceptionally broad array of disciplines, chronologies and geographical areas.    Priority may be given to those Visiting Professorships that present the best potential for collaborative research and collaborative grant bidding with University of Manchester academics.

Eligibility and how to apply

Further details on post award arrangements

For discussion or advice on applications please contact Professor Hannah Barker (hannah.barker@manchester.ac.uk) or Rachel Beckett (rachel.beckett@manchester.ac.uk).

Application for Visiting Professorships is now closed.

Visiting research fellowships

John Rylands Research Institute Visiting Research Fellowships 

Visiting Research Fellowships are an opportunity for applicants external to The University of Manchester to conduct research using the Library’s Special Collections which is linked to collaborative research with The University of Manchester scholars and directed towards future grant capture.  

If you are not part of The University of Manchester but wish to explore a topic relevant to the Library’s Special Collections, we’d like to hear from you. Funding can be up to £1,500 a month for as long as three months, to cover travel and living expenses, and support from expert curators, conservators, imaging specialists and the institute grant writer is provided. We also extend a warm welcome and invitations to activities such as the Institute events.

The proposed activity must be focused on the holdings of the Special Collections in The University of Manchester Library, have clear outputs and be deliverable within the proposed timescale.  Priority will be given to projects leading to collaborative research with University of Manchester academics and collaborative grant capture with University of Manchester academics. Candidates should hold at least a doctorate at the time of application.

Further details on how to apply can be found in the application guide.

All applicants are required to complete and submit an application form.

Application to the John Rylands Visiting Research Fellowships is now closed. 

The Lilly Library - PhD exchange fellowship

The John Rylands Research Institute/Lilly Library (Indiana University) Doctoral Research and Training Programme. 

This exchange and training programme has been created to provide outstanding doctoral students registered in The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities with an opportunity to spend up to one month at Indiana University’s Lilly Library. The Lilly Library contains an outstanding collection of rare books, manuscripts, and special collections, and these represent significant possibilities for our postgraduate researchers.

Further details about the Lilly Library’s holdings.

In addition to providing access to the Lilly Library’s unique holdings, recipients of these awards will also be granted access to Indiana University’s wider academic community, providing them with the chance to discuss their research with other postgraduate students and scholars, as well as opportunities to examine how research and teaching in their field might differ in Manchester and Bloomington. 

The successful University of Manchester recipients of the award will receive a bursary of £1,500 to be used to purchase: one return flight; pay for related travel expenses; and cover the cost of accommodation for one month.  The University of Manchester recipient will be given assistance in finding appropriate accommodation by Indiana University’s Office of International Services. In addition, awardees can submit receipts to the JRRI to reclaim the expense in obtaining their J-1 visa application fee ($180). 

Applicants must demonstrate the relevance of the Lilly's Collections to the applicant's doctoral project and research, a broader commitment to the wider intellectual community in which they will be based at Indiana University and an ability of the project to be matched with academic and curatorial supervisors. 

Further information on application criteria and eligibility can be found in the application guide.

For discussions or advice on applications please contact: jrri@manchester.ac.uk.

Applications should be e-mailed in PDF form to: jrri@manchester.ac.uk.

Application to the John Rylands Research Institute/Lilly Library (Indiana University) DRTP is now closed.