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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... 

Funding Criteria

We invite applications for full or part funding of fees for M.Phil/PhD research projects which fit either criteria A or criteria 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

Applicants will be assessed against a criterion that focuses 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 2000 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 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 distinct contribution it will make to knowledge in this subject area, as well as evidence 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.

Applicant Requirements

As a condition of receiving funding from Bible Society, applicants will be expected to:

  • provide Bible Society with a report every 6 months, detailing the progress of their research and any insights made
  • provide a final report on completion of the study of no more than two sides of A4
  • supply Bible Society with a copy of the completed thesis, either digitally or as a hard copy
  • be available for at least one Bible Society event per year to enable knowledge sharing and mutual support
  • participate in other opportunities to disseminate and share the research and its insights

Once you have completed the application form overleaf, please return to the Grants team via email at, or post to:

Academic Grants, Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon SN5 7DG

Application Process

Your application will be reviewed by the Academic Grants Review Panel.

Once your application has been reviewed against our funding criteria, we will write to you to confirm if you have been successful in receiving funding.

If you have been successful, we will confirm payment terms, usually directly to the institution in which you are studying, and any other arrangements that we need to make.

If you are unsuccessful, we may ask you to clarify or further elaborate on areas, and then to resubmit. You can also request further information as to why you were not successful, in order to aid resubmission for future funding.

Bible Society reserves the right to withdraw funding with at least 6 months’ notice, should the charity enter financial difficulties or undertake a significant change in strategic direction.



Applications for this financial year are now closed.


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