The Emslie Horniman Fund was established in 1944 to ‘promote the study of the growth of civilisations, habits and customs, religious and physical characteristics of the non-European peoples and of prehistoric and non-industrial man in Europe’. It therefore includes anthropological research in its widest sense, including ethnography and all branches of human and social science relating to the physical and natural development of ‘people in society’.

The major aim of the Fund is to encourage recent graduates to pursue fieldwork, and so to develop their careers as Anthropologists and make significant contributions to the discipline. The awards are made to those who have the potential to be outstanding anthropologists and whose projects will make a contribution to anthropology.


  • Applicants must be Nationals of the United Kingdom, the Irish Republic or Commonwealth citizens.
  • There are NO restrictions on age, sex, religion or ethnic origin.
  • Grants will NOT be made for undergraduate or Masters-level fieldwork projects.
  • Grants are normally made for research that will contribute to the award of an MPhil/PhD degree. Those already in possession of a doctorate are not eligible.
  • Preference will be given to those who propose to do fieldwork outside the United Kingdom.
  • Grants are not made for library research, for University fees or for subsistence in the applicant’s home institution.
  • Funds cannot be awarded for a joint research project, but individuals who are members of such a project can apply for a grant, provided that its leader holds a PhD or is similarly qualified
  • Permission to undertake field research must be cleared with the relevant authorities and communities before an application is submitted.
  • The Fund will not normally support those returning home to undertake fieldwork.
  • If your first degree is not in anthropology/archaeology, please indicate what courses you have done in anthropology/archaeology.

Nature of the Awards

Each year the Trustees will make awards in the range of £500 to £7,000, and in exceptional cases it may be possible for additional funds to be made available to enable work to be written up.

All award holders are required to submit interim and final reports on their fieldwork and research findings.  The Trustees pay particular attention to these reports which are an important component of the award.  Repayment of awards may be requested in the case of inadequate reporting, or if the fieldwork has not been carried out in accordance with the plans approved by the Trustees.  All final reports will be posted on the RAI website.

The closing date for applications is 31 March each year and seven copies of each application with supporting references must be submitted. Alternatively the application can also be submitted electronically as a PDF to, with the references submitted separately as a PDF by the referees direct to the Office Manager.  Short-listed candidates will normally be required to attend an interview in London in late-May/early-June. Grants to successful candidates will be paid at the start of their fieldwork.

All applications must be made using the official application form, also available from the Office Manager