What we fund

"The most benevolent and interested funding organisation I have ever come across." - Community arts worker Pam Schweitzer, Fellow

Shresth Dharm Datta researched treatment of combat casualties

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Our application process this year has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Latest news on applying can be read here.

We fund UK citizens from all parts of society to research a practical topic overseas that can make a real difference to their community or profession when they come home. We award up to 150 of these Fellowships each year and selection is made on the potential of the applicant and the strength of their idea.

A successful application must show us:

  1. An idea that can make a practical and worthwhile contribution to UK society, in any field whatsoever.
  2. A reason why the idea should be researched overseas, anywhere in the world.
  3. An applicant with the potential to make change happen, whoever they are and whatever their background.

We are keen to see ideas that fall within our current award categories, which evolve each year to reflect contemporary issues. Any other ideas can be submitted within our Open category.

Uniquely among funding programmes, we do not look at the qualifications, background or age of the applicant. We are interested in talent and commitment, which can come from anywhere. The only threshold is that applicants must be a UK resident citizen, aged 18 or over.

What we fund

We need to see all of these:

  • An idea that aims to solve a clearly stated need or issue in UK society, whether professionally, locally or nationally.
  • An idea for which there are new approaches and solutions in projects you can visit overseas.
  • An idea that is not already being implemented in the UK.
  • A clear sense of where and why the idea could be researched abroad (as opposed to in the UK or from your desk).
  • A clear sense of how the idea could be translated into practical action on the applicant’s return from abroad.

What we do not fund

We do not fund any of these:

  • An idea that will only benefit the applicant, not the wider UK society.
  • An application from more than one person or from a team (expedition leaders can apply, on their own behalf, in the Open category).
  • A project that already has, or hopes to have, a large number of funders.
  • Academic studies, dissertations for undergraduate degrees, degree placements, medical electives, student grants, internships, or courses of any kind.
  • Post-graduate studies, unless they can show wider, practical benefits to others in the UK. 
  • Gap year activities, unless the application is for a stand-alone project that satisfies the criteria above.
  • Art projects that will result only in an exhibition and have no public benefit beyond raising the profile and expertise of the applicant.
  • Artist's residencies.
  • Research for fiction, unless it clearly has a wider public benefit.
  • Volunteering.

Who we fund    2020 Fellows