Judith E Wilson grants for practice-led research projects (Deadline 31 Jan 2020)

The Judith E Wilson Fund Committee, with the approval of the Faculty Board, are delighted to announce the availability of substantial funds to support practice-led research. Applications are invited from all Senior Members of the English Faculty (UTOs, CTOs, Post-docs, and JRFs) for projects in which they are the lead or principal investigators, whether working as individuals or as part of a collaboration. Priority will be given to projects that support the longer-term research environment and culture of the Faculty.

The budget agreed for the academic year 2019-2020 is £22,500 and bids are invited for new and ongoing practice-led research projects for projects to be developed in 2020 and / or 2021. The Fund Committee hopes to receive all applications by noon, Friday the 31st of January in time for a gathered field of competitive applications for consideration at its next committee meeting on the 10th February.


The Judith E Wilson Fund Committee has for many years supported a wide-range of different practice-led research projects, with particular emphasis on work in the fields of poetry, drama and performance. The budget for this new scheme for practice-led research seeks to consolidate the grants previously given termly on a case by case basis into one new, competitive and gathered field of applications, by inviting applications up to the annual sum of £22,500. With a broader remit, this new scheme will support original, ambitious, and long-term projects. In particular, the Fund Committee will support practice-led research projects with the potential to make a substantial difference to the English Faculty’s long-term research environment. Projects can be co-funded in conjunction with other funding sources, in and beyond the University. Projects can also apply for funding in support of research events and activities that deepen and extend research engagement with non-academic contexts, including helping to connect research with inter-disciplinary and external organisations and networks. The Fund Committee will also provide seed-funding for projects attracting major external grants. The Judith E Wilson Fund grants are not available to fund teaching costs, though these grants may help to develop new initiatives in practice-led research that leads to new initiatives in practice-led teaching. All projects will be expected to develop strategies for recording and archiving their research, and successful applications will be required to provide appropriate evidence of practical outputs, outcomes and impacts.


These grants will instigate new and engaging forms of practice-led research. The remit for what is understood by ‘practice-led research’ is wide and open-ended, embracing work that advances new knowledge about practice, and work that advances knowledge within and through practice. The expectation is that project applications will articulate their own methods and rationale for their respective projects. The Fund Committee will be guided by the historic spirit of Judith E Wilson’s wishes to bring together the academic study of drama and poetry with practitioners in these fields, with a particular emphasis on the work of contemporary practitioners. The remit for these new grants is nevertheless understood to include practice-led research on all areas, forms, languages and periods of literary study. The funds available can be used to support a variety of practice-led research activities – seminars, readings, workshops, practice research and development, rehearsal work, performance activities, field trips, and networking events. Funds can be used to pay appropriate fees for professional practitioners, along with appropriate travel and accommodation costs. Applications can also include funds to pay for supporting equipment, training, and any associated media resources, including information technology, software, website support and publication costs. Funds are also available for practice-led research conferences and events.

Within the total budget of £22,500 the Fund Committee expects to select projects for funding according to their respective merits, and to offer funding to a range of projects of different scales, large and small. The Fund Committee nevertheless hopes to fund two or three ambitious larger projects, making awards for funding, usually up to £7,500 per individual Senior Member of Faculty, per bid. The Fund Committee reserves the possibility of awarding larger sums, up to the total budget, for collaborative projects involving more than one Senior Member of the Faculty.


All applications should be submitted by noon, 31st January, 2020, and should not be longer than 2,000 words in total. Each application should indicate:

        1. The Project name
        2. The Principal / Lead Investigator
        3. All co-applicants, collaborative groups and affiliated institutions.
        4. The project’s main research aims, and an outline of its rationale as practice-led research, the proposed outcomes and the duration of the project.
        5. Supporting evidence of existing or comparable practice-led research work relevant to the project.
        6. A brief outline of longer-term impacts, outcomes and any associated future plans.
        7. A budget indicating a detailed break-down of all the costs with the project and funding applied for, including, where applicable, all co-funding existent or applied for other sources.

Please send completed applications to the Judith E Wilson Drama Studio Administrator.

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquiries about these grants can be made to the Chair of the Judith E Wilson Fund Committee, Dr Drew Milne (agm33@cam.ac.uk) or to other members of the Judith E Wilson Fund Committee: Prof Nicky Zeeman, Prof Clair Wills, Dr Kasia Boddy, Dr Michael Hurley, and Dr Sophie Read.