BARS President’s Fellowship

The BARS President’s Fellowship

In June 2020, the British Association for Romantic Studies announced its unequivocal support of the Black community, its condemnation of all forms of racism and its commitment to practical action. In response to the enduring and systemic damage caused by racism, the BARS Executive commenced a programme of initiatives focused on the histories and literatures of People of Colour. Among these initiatives is the BARS President’s Fellowship, which was officially announced at the 2021 summer virtual conference, Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections

The President’s Fellowship is open to scholars from Black, Indigenous and other minority ethnic backgrounds working on any aspect of Romantic Studies to support research, teaching and/or public outreach expenses of up to £1500. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, costs emerging from: travel and accommodation for research-focused or archival visits; photocopying and digitisation; caring commitments; producing and circulating teaching resources; organising and delivering public outreach activities; setting up and running networks or collaborations; set up and maintenance costs for online platforms such as blogs and websites.

BARS invites applications from postgraduate, early career and independent scholars. Awards will be made based upon the significance and relevance of the project rather than upon the career status or affiliation of the applicant. A postgraduate must be enrolled on a PGR programme; an early career scholar is defined here as someone who holds a PhD but has held a permanent academic post for less than five years by the application deadline. Application for the award is competitive and cannot be made retrospectively. Applicants are encouraged to consider applying for the maximum amount, if appropriate, although applications below the threshold will not adversely affect the judgement of the awarding panel. Please indicate any relevant existing funding – match funding (whether cash or in-kind) will be looked upon positively. We anticipate awarding one President’s Fellowship in any given year; in exceptional circumstances, additional awards may be made. Successful applicants need not be based in the UK, but must be members of BARS before taking up the award.

The inaugural 2023 President’s Fellowship awardee was Ifemu Yaa Omari (University of Wolverhampton), for a project on Mary Prince. For a write-up of Ifemu’s award, see here.

The 2024 awardee was Dr Yasser Shams Khan (Qatar University), for a project titled ‘Staging the Orient: A Study of Oriental Scenography on the Romantic Stage’.

Please download and complete the linked form when applying for this scheme:

The name(s) of the recipient(s) will be announced on the BARS website and social media.

The awardee or awardees will be expected to work with BARS on a report or other project dissemination activity. This could take the form of a written piece for the BARS Blog; a video or podcast; or a talk or a digital event. We are open to suggestion and applicants are invited to pitch an idea for this element of the award in the application.

Applications and informal queries should be directed to the Bursaries Officer, Dr Gerard McKeever ( at the University of Edinburgh. If you require further guidance about the funding aspects of the scheme, please feel free to contact the Treasurer, Dr Cassie Ulph (

There will be one round of the BARS President’s Fellowship in each calendar year: the closing date for the 2025 round will be 5pm on Friday, 8 November 2024. In usual circumstances, applicants will be informed of the panel’s decision within four weeks of this closing date. It is anticipated that the successful applicant(s) would take up their award as close to the commencement of 2025 as practicable.