SCS: David Nicholls Memorial Trust: postgraduate research awards


The David Nicholls Awards

The David Nicholls Memorial Trust is committed to assisting original research about Caribbean societies, and the region at large, and has established several awards in memory of David Nicholls. The Trust is delighted to fund the David Nicholls Memorial Essay Prize awarded every two years by the Society for Caribbean Studies. The David Nicholls Scholarship was established to enable a postgraduate student to complete doctoral research at the University of Warwick. This scholarship is no longer running, but a limited number of annual awards are available to support Caribbean-related research projects – further details are given below. These awards have been made possible by a generous donation from Aileen Sleigh.

Research Awards

Applications for the following research awards are currently invited for the annual closing date of 1st April. The proposed research should be completed within six months of the specified start date, and within twelve months of the original application submission date.

Two types of Research Award are available:

1)   The first Research Award (with a maximum award up to £1500) is available to support original research towards a dissertation or thesis that will benefit directly from access to the David Nicholls Memorial LibraryPostgraduate students attending universities in the UK or overseas are eligible to apply.

Applicants should state clearly how the proposed research will benefit from extended access to The David Nicholls Memorial Library, which is housed at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. This contains David’s personal library, including research notes and his published materials on Haiti, Trinidad and modern politics in the Caribbean, as well as an extensive collection of publications on Caribbean societies, politics and theology. The library catalogue is augmented annually by acquisitions of new publications on current Caribbean research from across the Social Sciences and Humanities. Applicants may also indicate how their research might benefit from access to material housed in other libraries in Oxford. Of particular note are the archives of the Baptist Missionary Society (including material from Haiti, Trinidad and Jamaica) in Regent’s Park College, as well as materials on the Americas in the Bodleian Libraries. Details of the holdings at Oxford can be viewed via the Bodleian Libraries catalogue. 

This award is intended as a contribution towards expenses such as travel to and subsistence in Oxford; library fees, or copying charges for material in the David Nicholls Memorial Library. Applications are particularly welcome from students in the Caribbean.

2)    The second Research Award (with a maximum award up to £1500) is available tosupport original substantive research and field work in the Caribbean, with a minimum stay of two weeks in the region. Postgraduate students attending academic institutions in the UK are eligible to apply.

This award is intended as a contribution towards expenses such as travel to and subsistence in the Caribbean, and other costs incurred directly in relation to the research project.

Postgraduate students applying for either Research Award must provide:

  • a research proposal (maximum 1,000 words) detailing the research aims and rationale, indicating clearly the benefit gained from a short period of study in Oxford or the Caribbean, as appropriate. Proposals should specify a clear research methodology and feasible timeline for the completion of the project
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • a detailed budget with fully quoted costings
  • an academic reference from someone familiar with the applicant and the proposed research. The referee should send the reference directly to Dr David Howard, Chair, The David Nicholls Memorial Trust before 1st April

Complete applications should be sent as electronic attachments (as .doc or .pdf files) to Dr David Howard, Chair, The David Nicholls Memorial Trust by 1st April. No late or retrospective applications will be considered for the current year of submission.

Successful applicants will receive two-thirds of the grant in advance of the project, and one third on completion. All awards must be claimed within six months of the completion of the proposed research visit. A statement of actual expenses with receipts and a 500-word summary of the research results and analysis should be forwarded to the Chair. It is a condition of each Research Award that the support is acknowledged in any subsequent publications or output, which draw directly on work supported by the Trust.The Trustees would be glad to house copies of publications or theses that arise from these awards in the David Nicholls Memorial Library.

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