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Academic Grants

We're committed to supporting academic research of the highest standard to further understanding of how the Bible is experienced in contemporary society. We're keen to support work with a strong public benefit that informs pastoral practice and/or Christian dialogue with wider culture. Sounds like something you'd like to research? Read on ... 

Please note that due to the number of students now being supported by our research grants we are closed for new applications for 2023–2024 and 2024–2025.

Funding Criteria

We invite applications for full or part funding of fees for MPhil/PhD research projects which fit either criterion A or criterion B below.

A: The Bible in the Church

This stream of research should address questions of how the Bible is encountered in church communities and amongst individual Christians within England and Wales. It may focus on particular tribes, denominations or streams of Christians, or particular demographic groups. In addition to examining explicit engagement with the Bible or Lectionary texts, research may also focus on how the Bible is experienced through practices, people or the fabric around gathered church communities.

We are particularly interested in research proposals that examine how Christians grow in confidence with the Bible, or the barriers that can disrupt growth in Bible confidence. Alongside this, we welcome applications with a specific focus on:

  • the Bible amongst children and young people
  • the Bible in communities with lower literacy levels
  • the Bible in Charismatic and Pentecostal expressions
  • the Bible in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic church communities

B: The Bible in Society

This stream of research should address questions of how the Bible is encountered in the public space by people in England and Wales. It may focus on individual, group or broader societal and structural engagement with the Bible. It may focus on how the Bible shapes Christian interaction and presence in wider society, or how the Bible is experienced or understood at a distance from the practising Christian community.

We are particularly interested in research proposals that address the question of how Christians can best relate the Bible to their public lives. Alongside this, we welcome applications with a specific focus on:

  • the Bible in Early Years, Primary or Secondary Education
  • the Bible in the digital space
  • the Bible and ‘non-religious spirituality’
  • the Bible in the workplace

Application criteria

Applications will be assessed on:

  • the relevance of the research to Bible Society’s overall strategic objectives, and specifically to the funding criteria of the Bible in the Church or the Bible in Society
  • the knowledge, expertise, commitment and judgement of the applicant, the coherence of the proposal, and the ability of the applicant to express their thoughts clearly and concisely
  • the impact the research will have on Bible Society’s mission and the wider field of knowledge in this area
  • the ability and scope for sharing and disseminating the research and its insights, both within Bible Society and with our partners

Before applying applicants will need to have been offered a place at an institution to conduct this research, and have a supervisor in place.

Applicants will be required to submit a proposal of no more than 2,000 words, focusing on the aims, research questions and methodology of the research, suggestions for impact and wider dissemination of the potential insights gained, and a literature review. This should be supplemented with a bibliography to demonstrate an understanding of the existing knowledge in this field.

In addition to this, applicants will also need to submit an Academic Grants Application Form, which includes information such as:

  • details of the institution and supervisor supporting the MPhil/PhD
  • whether the study is full-time or part-time
  • how much funding is required, over what period of time
  • whether funding is being provided from alternative sources
  • a short outline of the proposal to show the nature of the research and the distinct contribution it will make to knowledge in this subject area, as well as evidence of how the research fits into the criteria and specific focus areas above

These areas of interest are not exclusive, and we welcome applications that may not easily fit into these criteria.

Applicants are also asked to provide a CV to evidence their degree and the award received, and any relevant work experience or academic prizes won.

We are working with our colleagues at Kirby Laing Centre to assess applications for these grants. Please visit their website for further information.

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