History of Astronomy or Geophysics -related activity grants

(Activities related to the history of Astronomy or Geophysics to be selected as category of grant when making the online application). 

When are the deadlines?

Applications are assessed twice a year; the deadlines for these grants rounds are 15 February and 15 August each year. A call out will be made to announce when the online application process is open for each round.

How much can be applied for?

Applications should normally be for sums between £250 and £5,000. Evidence of application for matching funding from other sources must be provided, and the majority of grants are awarded on the basis of such funding being available.

The Rules for conference/meeting travel assistance grants:
  • Only Fellows may apply for grants.  It is not possible to apply on someone else's behalf, except in the case of summer undergraduate bursaries and for E&O grants, which are open to anyone.
  • The maximum contribution, per application, for a student's travel, registration and subsistence at a conference, meeting or workshop will be £500 for the UK and £1,000 for the rest of the world, or 50% (normally) of the total cost of attendance at the event, whichever is less.
  • Applicants for conference, meeting or workshop attendance must include an abstract of the talk or poster that they have submitted or will submit.
  • The maximum contribution, per application, for student research visits, field-trips or trips to observing facilities where this is not supported by the facility's own funding schemes (a "travelling grant" from the E.A. Milne Fund) will be £2.5k, as specified by the fund, or 50% of the total, whichever is less.
  • Applicants will be expected to append to their application form travel agent quotes/printouts of web pages showing flight, accommodation and other relevant costs (e.g. car rental for field trips),
  • PhD students will be permitted to apply for at most two grants in support of travel (whether conference or "travelling grant") during the course of their PhD.
  • Applications from academics and postdoctural researchers/fellows for travel will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances; examples of such circumstances will be given as guidance.
  • Urgent applications will no longer be accepted.  All applications must be to one of the two deadlines.  Therefore applicants will need to plan accordingly. i.e. a student may need to apply before a talk or poster has been accepted at a meeting.
  • Only prospective supervisors who are Fellows may apply for summer undergraduate bursaries.  Each prospective supervisor may submit only one bursary application, the student must be named on the application, and a statement from the student must be included
  • The submission of a report on the use of grant money is mandatory for future eligibility and for claiming grant funds.

The RAS will generally NOT provide funding for:

  • Professional academics based in the UK who would be expected to apply for departmental or research council funding.
  • Students seeking fees for organised courses at GCSE, A level, undergraduate degree, PhD or diploma level.
  • 100% grant funding for travel by postgraduates who can obtain some support from research council training awards. Applications for partial funding only will be considered.
  • Travel on research projects funded by, or eligible for funding from, research councils.

To apply

Please complete the online application form here.

Conditions of the Awards

Successful applicants should promptly acknowledge receipt of their award and must agree to adhere to the general conditions of the awards:

For all awards:

(i) Payment will be made on submission of receipts, or invoices from audited bodies. Invoices from the applicant's institute are the preferred method of payment.

(ii) Payment will not be paid until a short summary (not exceeding 1 A4 page) of the outcome of the grant has been received.  This should be submitted to the Office, Events and Building Manager ( awards@ras.ac.uk ) on completion of expenditure.

(iii) Any publications arising from the award, whether wholly or in part, should acknowledge RAS support (this includes online publications, such as conference websites). If required, digital versions of the RAS logo are available at



For awards in support of organization of professional meetings/conferences:

(iv) At least half of the sum awarded should be designated for the support of participation by scientists at an early career stage (e.g., postgraduate students).

(v) RAS sponsorship should be clearly indicated where appropriate.

(vi) A copy of any published proceedings should be made available to the RAS library.

If no invoice (or explanation for the delay) is received within a year of the award being made, the award is deemed to have lapsed.

Objectives of the Society

Competitively within each Grants round and the resources available, the Society will consider any applications that advance its charitable objects, namely to ‘advance astronomy and geophysics’: within this broad area nothing is explicitly excluded. However, given the modest scale of the its grants programme, which cannot compete with government funding, the Society wants to make contributions to its sciences that are additional to their normal functioning. It especially seeks applications for grants for purposes that are not usually supported by other organisations or for the benefit of people who are ineligible for grants from well-established sources.