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Smuts Memorial Fund


Student Research Grants (fieldwork)

The Managers of the Smuts Memorial Funds invite current Cambridge PhD and MPhil by research students to apply for funding for fieldwork. The Managers consider applications for grants in support of study or research contributing to the advancement of Commonwealth studies in the University. All applications should be completed electronically using the forms available on this webpage. 


  • Only PhD students and MPhil by research students are eligible to apply for funding. Financial assistance will not be considered for taught MPhil students and undergraduates.
  • Even if a study or research is to be carried out in a Commonwealth country, a grant will not be awarded unless there is a clear case made that it advances the study of the Commonwealth. For instance, veterinary or medical study which is not specific to Commonwealth countries, even though it may be carried out in a Commonwealth country is not eligible.
  • If you are a PhD student, the Smuts Managers will not consider more than two applications for fieldwork during the course of your PhD.
  • Financial assistance will not be considered for insurance costs, transport or any other costs for partners/spouses, computer hardware, software or peripherals, regular office costs such as paper or printing or publication costs.

Amounts considered

The maximum amount available for student applications is £2,500 for fieldwork and £1,000 for a conference.

Please note that students who have previously been successful in obtaining the maximum financial assistance from the Smuts Fund [£2,500] will not be considered for future applications.

Ad hoc applications

PhD students who want to apply for funding which is above the financial limit or where the activity appears to be outside the remit of a research grant should submit a written application direct to the Smuts Administrator. The application should include details of the activity, how much funding is required from the Smuts Fund and what other sources of funding have been secured or applied for. Please make sure that your application begins with an overview of the activity and amount of funding being requested.

When are applications considered?

Applications are considered termly at the Smuts Managers Meeting:

  • Michaelmas Term: deadline 15th October, results communicated in late November
  • Lent Term: deadline 15th January, results communicated in late February
  • Easter Term: deadline 15thMarch, results communicated in late May

Please note that retrospective applications cannot be considered.

Individuals who receive an award from the Fund will be expected to complete a short report of approximately 500 words which may feature on the website. Further details will be provided as part of the award notification.

How to apply

For further details on how to apply, please see the relevant guidance notes before viewing the application form.

In addition to the application form, student applications should include a research proposal and a budget breakdown in spreadsheet format.

The application form can be accessed here.