Funding opportunities

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library has a range of funding opportunities available to researchers at every stage of their career.

Our grants provide exceptional scholars, from The University of Manchester and beyond, with the support required to undertake original and significant research using our world-class collections. We also support applications to a number of external postdoctoral schemes, such as the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.

Grant holders have access to the John Rylands Research Institute and Library’s extensive and diverse collections, as well as to a strong community of outstanding researchers, curators and imaging specialists. We also offer tailored grant writing support for those wishing to apply for larger external grant schemes.

Information about all of our available funding opportunities, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be found on this page.

Pilot Grants

Pilot Grants 2021/22

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2021

Pilot Grants of up to £5,000 are available to support academic staff at The University of Manchester who wish to conduct initial and exploratory research into the Special Collections at The University of Manchester Library during the 2021/22 academic year in preparation for a larger, externally funded grant bid that would be held at The University of Manchester.

Find out more:

-        Application guidance 

-        Application form

Scientific and Digital Humanities Grants

Scientific and Digital Humanities Grants 2021/22

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2021

Scientific and Digital Humanities Grants of up to £5,000 are available to academic staff at The University of Manchester wishing to engage in research into the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library using innovative scientific and digital methods. We welcome applications from both those with extensive experience and those new to the field. These projects must be conducted in preparation for a larger, externally funded grant bid that would be held at The University of Manchester. 

We will be holding a pre-application workshop for potential applicants with Rylands staff (including Scientific and Digital Humanities Lead: Dr Guyda Armstrong, Imaging Manager: Gwen Riley-Jones and Digital Engagement Manager: Jane Gallagher), in order to discuss potential ideas and to find out more about the ways in which we can support your project. The workshop takes place on the 27th April at 3.30pm, and all applicants are advised to attendPlease email research.jrril@manchester.ac.uk to book a place.

  

Find out more:

-        Application guidance 

-        Application form

Collaboration Grants

Collaboration Grants 2021/22

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2021

Collaboration grants of up to £3000 are available to academic staff at The University of Manchester who wish to gain insights from other researchers, specialists, disciplines, institutions or sectors to directly benefit academic research linked to the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library.

Grants will support creative and innovative activities with individuals and organisations from outside The University of Manchester that will lead to new collaborations or the sharing of expertise, as a step towards a larger, externally funded grant bid to be held at The University of Manchester. Applications for Collaboration grants can be made by individuals or groups.

Find out more:

-        Application guidance

-        Application form 

Research Events Grants

Research Events Grants 2021/22

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2021

Grants of up to £3,000 (or £5,000 if proposing the JRRIL annual summer conference) are available to support research, or public engagement with research events held at The University of Manchester and linked to the rich holdings of the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library or to allied academic fields. Grants can be used to support individual events or a series of linked events held during the 2021-22 academic year, including workshops, seminars, conferences and public lectures. We positively welcome the organisation of events at the John Rylands Library, where bespoke event support is offered.

Find out more:

-        Application guidance

-        Application form

Visiting Early Career Research Fellowships

Visiting Early Career Research Fellowships 2021/22

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2021

Fellowships are available for early career academics to develop an application for an externally funded postdoctoral fellowship (for example, through the British Academy, the Leverhulme or Wellcome Trusts) to undertake a research project using the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library. The purpose of the awards is to allow researchers unfamiliar with the rich holdings of The University of Manchester’s Special Collections the opportunity to identify areas of particular research promise.

Fellows will receive an allowance of up to £2,000 per month (subject to UK tax) for a maximum of three months; a dedicated workspace in the Rylands, and access to curatorial and grant-writing support.

*Please note that access to the Library and Special Collections is dependent on local Covid-19 restrictions which means some modification of the Fellowship terms may be needed.

Find out more:

-        Application guidance

-        Application form

The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

The deadline for applications to the 2020/21 round of this scheme has now passed.

The John Rylands Research Institute welcomes applications to The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship scheme for research projects from any discipline that are linked to the world-class Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library. Early Career Fellowships are tenable on a full-time basis for a period of three years, and offer exceptional career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven track record of research.  

Fellows will undertake a significant piece of publishable work, which must be distinguishable from their PhD project, during the period of their award. They will have access to our unique collections and be able to draw on the expertise of our curators. Fellows will also become part of a network of outstanding Special Collections scholars who are currently based at the Institute.

For more information about the scheme, including eligibility criteria, please visit the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships page.

We are happy to provide advice and to talk about ways that the application might draw on the rich Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library. Any queries can be directed to the JRRIL Manager, Kat Lowe (katherine.lowe@manchester.ac.uk), in the first instance.  

We advise all applicants to consult the Guide to Special Collections and the searchable A-Z on the University of Manchester Library website for more information on our significant and extensive holdings. We also strongly recommend that applicants get in touch with relevant curators early on in the application planning process. Information about curators and their subject specialisms can be found on the 'Our people' page. Those interested in applying will also need to contact a University of Manchester academic who can act as a sponsor for their application. Do get in touch if you would like help suggesting a possible mentor.

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021/22

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library welcomes applications to the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme 2021/22 for research projects from any discipline that are linked to the world-class Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library. Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable on a full-time basis for a period of three years, and offer exceptional career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven track record of research.  

Fellows will undertake a significant piece of publishable work, which must be distinguishable from their PhD project, during the period of their award. They will have access to our unique collections and be able to draw on the expertise of our curators. Fellows will also become part of a network of outstanding Special Collections scholars who are currently based at the Institute.

For more information about the scheme, including eligibility criteria, please visit the British Academy website.

We are happy to provide advice and to talk about ways that the application might draw on the rich Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library. We advise all applicants to consult the Guide to Special Collections and the searchable A-Z on the University of Manchester Library website for more information on our significant and extensive holdings. We also strongly recommend that applicants get in touch with relevant curators early on in the application planning process. Information about curators and their subject specialisms can be found on the ‘Our People’ section of the website. Those interested in applying will also need to contact a University of Manchester academic who can act as a sponsor for their application. Do get in touch if you would like help suggesting a possible mentor.

The competition for the Postdoctoral Fellowship is held in two stages. The Outline Stage is open for everyone within the eligibility criteria (see website). The Second Stage is invitation only. You may only apply to this competition once, unless specifically invited to re-apply.

The internal University of Manchester deadline for draft applications is 1 September 2021. Applicants who are successful at this stage will receive tailored grant writing support in preparation for the external deadline of October 2021. For details on how to apply, please contact the JRRI Manager, Kat Lowe (katherine.lowe@manchester.ac.uk), in the first instance.