Caird Short-Term Research Fellowship

The Caird Short-Term Fellowships support research into the NMM’s collections or related areas of interest.

The deadline for applications is 27 October 2017

£1600 per month

The National Maritime Museum has the largest collection of maritime-related objects in the world. The collections comprise over 2,500,000 objects, 98% of which are manuscripts: and include a dedicated maritime library; personal, official and business papers, oil paintings, prints and drawings, charts, scientific and navigational instruments, decorative arts, textiles, ship models, photographs and film and ship plans. Further information on our collections can be found online. You can search the library and manuscript catalogue and search for 2D and 3D objects on the Collections Online website.

Find out more about our Collections Online

More about our Library and Archive catalogues

The Museum’s Caird Library and Archive offer splendid research facilities and Fellows will be able to take advantage of an efficient and speedy delivery system to consult the Library’s large and important collection of rare books and archival material. Fellows will also be given dedicated space within the library for their research.

Researching at The Caird Library and Archive

Each year the National Maritime Museum offers a number of Caird Short-Term Research Fellowships for advanced research into its collections. The awards are intended to support scholars and museum professionals for up to three months.

The Museum’s fellowship programme has the overall aim of supporting innovative scholarly research that promotes a better understanding of Britain’s maritime past. The Museum is not constrained by disciplinary boundaries and welcomes proposals that apply a range of academic perspectives to both the collections and our subject areas. In 2018 the Museum will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the departure of Cook's first voyage. We therefore encourage applications relating to the maritime exploration of the Pacific in the 18th and 19th centuries, in particular those of James Cook.

Caird Short-Term Research Fellowships have been awarded for a wide variety of research topics, including:

  • The Michael Graham-Stewart collection of slavery and abolition material;
  • Desertion in American waters in the 18th century;
  • The history of the Greenwich Hospital Collection;
  • 18th-century cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific;
  • 17th-century Dutch art;
  • The history of navigation and scientific instruments;
  • Elizabethan and Stuart travel writing;
  • Women’s employment at sea;
  • 20th-century development of naval history;
  • An edition of Robert Fitzroy’s Voyage of HMS Beagle.

The Museum is keen to encourage proposals both from maritime historians and from scholars from other disciplines who are interested in broader cultural, social and political aspects of maritime history. We are particularly keen to receive proposals that will contribute to three strategic themes: imperial and maritime studies, art and travel, and the history of the maritime science and technology.

The conditions for a Caird Short-Term Research Fellowship are:

  • The award is £1600 per month. The award can be paid to the Fellow's Institution or to the Fellow, subject to UK Tax and N.I. Further information will be given on acceptance of the proposal.
  • The Fellowship is for a predetermined two or three month period commencing from the October following appointment, or earlier by arrangement.
  • The Museum will receive printed acknowledgement in any and all publications resulting in whole or in part from research carried out during the period of the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum (through the Research Department) with copies of all publications supported in whole or in part by the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum with a written report on the completion of their Fellowship.
  • During the tenure of the Fellowship, a Fellow may be asked to attend conferences or symposia on behalf of the Museum or to participate in informal seminars with staff.

Guidelines on how to apply

The deadline for applications is 27 October 2017.

Three documents (ideally typewritten) are required, as follows:

  • A completed Microsoft Office document iconCaird Short-Term Fellowship application form, which asks for brief personal details, the title of the proposed research project, and the names and addresses of two academic referees.
  • A curriculum vitae: this should be kept short and include details of the applicant’s education, employment history and major publications or papers delivered.
  • An outline of the proposed research project, which should not exceed two sides of A4 paper, a timetable for its completion, and proposals for making the results available. The Museum does not undertake to publish or assist with the publication of the results of research work accomplished during the tenure of the Fellowship.

Please note: emailed applications are preferred, although we will also accept applications by post.

Please return your Microsoft Office document iconCaird Short-Term Fellowship application form, CV and research proposal to:


The Research Department Executive, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6716

Reference Letters

Applicants should send a copy of their application to their nominated referees at the time of, or in advance of its submission, asking the referees to comment on their professional knowledge of the applicant and the contribution the project would make to scholarship.

The referees should be asked to send their letters direct to the Museum at the above email or address by 27 October 2017.

Please note: Emailed reference letters can be accepted.

Outcome of applications

Awards for Caird Short-Term Fellowships will be decided on from the proposals alone (i.e. no interview is required).

Applicants will be informed of the decision of the Academic Awards Committee by the following January.

For any further information please contact the Research Department Executive.