Funding Opportunities

PhilSoc offers funding for (1) Master's Bursaries; (2) Travel and Fieldwork Bursaries for PhD students; (3) unaffiliated members via Martin Burr awards. and (4) Public Events and Outreach. The scope of each and application procedures are described below.

Master's Bursary Scheme

Master’s Bursary Scheme – 2021 Competition (for the academic year 2021–22)


The Philological Society is pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries for students embarking on a taught postgraduate programme in the UK in the areas of linguistics or philology, in accordance with our mission (

to investigate and promote the study and knowledge of the structure, the affinities, and the history of languages. As well as encouraging all aspects of the study of language, PhilSoc has a particular interest in historical and comparative linguistics, and maintains its traditional interest in the structure, development, and varieties of Modern English.  

One bursary, the Anna Morpurgo Davies Master’s Bursary, is normally awarded to someone working on Ancient Languages (including non-Indo-European ones). For 2021-22 there will be an additional bursary to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the founding of PhilSoc.

The intention is that the bursaries will make a contribution to maintaining and furthering the breadth and diversity of language-study in the UK by providing support for outstanding young scholars in the field.

Each bursary is valued at £5,500, which may be used for either fees or maintenance. A bursary will not be granted to anyone who has full fees and maintenance from any other source, but it may be used to supplement another award which covers only fees. Candidates must inform the Philological Society if they receive any other award(s) towards study on the programme. The Society will not consider repeat applications from people who have already received a Master’s bursary from the Society in the past.

Candidates will normally possess or expect to be awarded a first-class honours degree or equivalent. All candidates must have been accepted or provisionally accepted onto a full-time Master’s programme at a United Kingdom university in the fields of philology or linguistics. In the case of candidates who have not yet received their first degree, a provisional offer may be made.

Completed application forms must be sent by email attachment to and must reach the Philological Society by 5pm London time on 26th April 2021. Applicants must ensure that their two referees send their confidential letters of reference directly to, also by 5pm London time on 26th April 2021. Any application received after this time and date or any incomplete application (including applications where referees failed to send their references on time) will be deemed invalid. Please allow enough time for the application to reach the Society and encourage your referees to send their references well before the deadline. Acknowledgement of receipt will be made by 5pm London time on 3rd May 2021 to the email addresses from which the application and the letters of reference are received. If you have not received an acknowledgement once that time has elapsed, please contact the Secretary (

Applications will be assessed by a panel of members of the PhilSoc Council. Any decision made by the panel will be final.

All candidates will be notified by email of the outcome of their application by 5pm London time on 2nd June 2021.

Successful candidates will receive their bursary in late September or beginning of October 2021. They will be expected to inform the Society of the outcome of their studies and their future plans (employment, research degree) in February 2022 and in due course to contribute a 500-word article on their areas of interest for our blog.

A copy of this notice and an application form together with notes for referees may be downloaded here.


Travel and Fieldwork Bursaries

Student associate members who are enrolled on a doctoral programme can apply for bursaries to cover the cost of travel and subsistence when: (a) giving a paper at a conference in the UK or overseas, or (b) carrying out fieldwork and data collection in the UK or overseas. The maximum such award is £1,000, and associate members may apply for both, but one application only may be made in each category. Successful applicants will be expected to provide an illustrated report for posting on the Philological Society Blog  within two months of the completion of their conference or fieldwork. For information about how to apply please contact  the Society's Hon. Treasurer, Prof. Peter K. Austin (

Previous reports on travel and fieldwork supported by the Philological Society can be found here.

Unaffiliated member awards (Martin Burr Fund)

The Martin Burr Fund was established as a result of a generous bequest from the estate of Mr Martin Burr, to provide small grants to support activities by members of PhilSoc who do not have an academic affiliation and do not have access to other sources of funding. For example, it may be used to support conference travel and accommodation costs for an unaffiliated member of the Society to present a paper at a conference or carry out fieldwork, data collection or archival research. For further information contact the Society's Hon. Treasurer, Prof. Peter K. Austin (

Public Events and Outreach

PhilSoc has a fund to support public events and outreach events which promote interest in the structure and history of languages, or public support for the teaching and study of languages in the UK.  For more information please contact the Society's Hon. Treasurer, Prof. Peter K. Austin (