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Music & Letters Awards

The Music & Letters Trust makes awards twice a year, in January and July, in order to support musical research. Sums awarded recently have ranged from £50 to £1500, with most falling between £250 and £750. The maximum grant awarded to any individual application will not normally exceed £750, although a limited number of larger awards (up to £1500) may be given for proposals of exceptional quality. Support has been given for the obtaining of research materials (such as photographs and microfilms), editorial and publication costs (e.g. translations, reproduction rights), and expenses for research trips and conference attendance, as well as costs associated with conference organization. (The costs of concerts at conferences are considered for support only if the concert can be regarded, in the opinion of the Trust, as analogous to a paper by an invited speaker or as the outcome of practice-led research.)

Funds are not available for research towards a degree. Applications from research students, however, are welcomed for such purposes as conference attendance and for research expenses not directly related to the production of a thesis.

Applicants are eligible to receive funding from the Trust only once every two years. Thus an applicant who was awarded a grant in July 2009 would not be eligible to apply again until the January 2012 competition. Awards may be made to UK or non-UK applicants.

Applications should be made by email to the Secretary to the Music & Letters Trust, Dr Peter Wilton, using the pro forma (Word version available here). The deadlines for the January and July awards are 15 November and 15 May respectively. Applications received after those dates will not be considered at the next following meeting of the Trust but may be considered, if appropriate, at the meeting thereafter. Applicants should ask two referees to write directly to the Secretary of the Trust by the relevant application deadline; any delay in the receipt of a reference may jeopardise the success of the application. One of the referees should normally be from outside the applicant's institution.

Applicants are required to apply to other sources of funding, such as the British Academy and AHRC, where they are eligible. Where they do not do so, it will not normally be possible for the Music & Letters Trust to consider their application. Budgeting should take into account any funding applied for from other sources, and the amount received should such applications have been already successful. The Trust frequently funds projects on a shared basis and may make a provisional award pending the outcome of an application to another fund. It may also award a proportion of the sum applied for without reference to any other source of funding.

Retrospective applications are not considered except where an application in advance would have been impossible. All awards are made on the basis that the sum awarded will be spent on the project being funded. Successful applicants should notify the Secretary of the actual expenditure, once it has been incurred, and must return any unspent money to the Trust. The Trust also expects to receive a brief report on the outcome of the research or other activity, and to be acknowledged appropriately in published work. The Trust should of course be informed, with the return of the money, if for any reason the project has not been carried out.

The Trust makes awards at its absolute discretion, and its decisions are final.


Dr Rebecca Herissone, Manchester, UK
Dr Sam Barrett, Cambridge, UK
Dr Sarah Hibberd, Nottingham, UK
Professor Stephen Downes, Royal Holloway, London, UK