In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in May this year the Trust suspended its bidding round for 2021 projects. However, it promised to review matters in the autumn. The Trustees, having considered the current situation, feel that they have no option but to continue the suspension.
The Trust hopes that, by June 2021, it will be able to call for bids for book history research in 2022. This, of course, will be dependent on a significant reduction of the disease and its economic impact. The Trustees will make a further announcement in May 2021.
The text below will be revised just prior to any new bidding round.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
The Willison Foundation Charitable Trust
4 September 2020
Applications can be made for up to £4,000. The Trust does not fund institutional overheads and expects that an award will be spent wholly on actual research, and that any unspent remnant be returned to the Trust at the conclusion of the research. Applications for research travel costs will not normally be accepted from those living within reasonable commuting distance of the focus of their research (within approximately two hours’ travel time each way).
Applicants are normally informed via email of their success or otherwise by mid-to-late December. If the award is accepted, payment will be made by bank transfer in early January. The Trust is not responsible for any fees charged by an applicant’s own bank for administration of the bank transfer. Awards will be announced publicly on the Trust’s web site in January.
The Trust expects that projects funded will be completed within the calendar year. In exceptional circumstances the Trustees may agree to an extension.
Who can apply.
Applications are invited from anyone pursuing advanced research in the History of the Book, irrespective of nationality, discipline, or profession. ‘Advanced research’ is taken to mean work towards a doctorate, post-doctoral research, and work of an equivalent level regardless of the applicant’s formal qualifications. Applications will be judged on scholarly criteria and upon financial criteria, including the efficient use of grant money and the prospects of the project’s being finished in the time estimated in the application. Recipients will be expected to be working towards publication and/or other forms of dissemination.
An application must be made by a single individual either as an individual or on behalf of a group or organisation that carries out research in the History of the Book. The Panel welcomes applications from researchers at any stage in their careers from PhD students to senior scholars. The Selection Panel looks with favour upon bids aimed at developing new methodologies and approaches, proofs of concept testing, exploring new types of resource, and experiment-based projects.
How to apply
An application should be typed using a font no smaller than 11 point. It should consist of two parts: one, a project description of no more than 1,500 words; two, a C.V. and list of your relevant publications (if any), which together should be no longer than two pages.
A project description should begin with your full name, address, and any existing academic qualifications. If appropriate, you should add an institutional affiliation and the degree for which you are working. You should then offer a brief description of the aims of the project, the materials to be investigated, and the costs for which you are applying. This should be followed by a more detailed account of how you and, if appropriate, your working group intends to use the research materials listed earlier. As the Trustees aim as far as possible to support time spent on original documents, please give as much detail as you can, e.g. in the form of a list of library or archive items to be viewed, and/or costs anticipated in the preparation of a database or similar output. You should indicate the planned dates for starting and finishing the project, and, if possible, include list of project milestones. Please do supply cost estimates or quotations if appropriate. You should also indicate how you are going to fund the cost of any necessary expenses which would not be covered by a Willison Foundation award, and make it clear to the Trust whether such funding is being applied for, or has been awarded, from other organisations and, if the latter, how much has already been secured.
You should also approach two referees, and send them a copy of the project proposal and the Referee’s Form. This should be completed and returned in confidence by the referees via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 October 2019. Applicants are urged to choose as referees those who could comment in detail on their work, rather than just those in a position of formal authority. Preferably one referee should be from an institution other than your own. It is also suggested that candidates avoid using a Willison Foundation Trustee as a referee.
The Selection Panel requires all submissions, correspondence and reports to be sent by email to:
so as to be received by 5 pm GMT on 30 September 2019.
The Trustees will acknowledge receipt of the application and confirm when it will be considered. Any further information required will be requested. Applicants will be informed by email whether the application has been successful. Please provide a home (and email) address, if available, for notification during the Christmas period.
Decisions as to whether applications fall within the Trust’s purposes are at the Trustees’ absolute discretion. Grants will only be made for specific projects if sufficient evidence has been provided that the proposed projects meet the objectives of the Trust.
Acknowledging the Trust
Please note that the public announcement of any event that has been assisted by the Foundation’s funding should include an acknowledgement of the Willison Trust’s support.
Reporting the project
The Trust will expect to be provided with a link to go up on its web page to any published resources in the public domain to which its funding contributed. Final reports are due within two months of the completion of the funded project. A report should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words long and should be presented as an RTF or ASCII file (that is, it should not be elaborately formatted). The report should include a section detailing the sums of money spent and the countries in which they were spent. The report should review the period spent working on the funded project, the collections visited, and provide a factual account of the work undertaken. The report should be clear about when things worked and when they didn’t. The report should state the contribution the Trust’s funding made to the research, and offer an estimate of the significance of this research for the candidate’s overall plans for publication or other scholarly output, as well as anything else the author feels relevant. What has been discovered? Was it as expected? Was anything different? How will this work advance knowledge of the subject?