How to Apply

The recently-launched Durham Residential Research Library is delighted to invite applications from researchers for Visiting Fellowships, of one month in duration. In addition, a series of named fellowships are available to work on particular collections or subject areas.

The Durham Residential Research Library aims to enable and foster research across the three historic collections of Durham – those held by Durham Cathedral, Ushaw College and Durham University, including Palace Green Library and the Oriental Museum. They include not only libraries, but also archives, collections of visual and material culture, and architectural assets. The purpose of the Visiting Fellowships is to support research into these globally significant collections.

Named Fellowships

In addition to the general scheme, there are several named visiting fellowship programmes. The Lendrum Priory Library Fellowships specifically support work on the surviving contents of Durham Cathedral’s medieval priory library. This collection is currently the focus of a large-scale digitisation project, Durham Priory Library Recreated ( The Holland Visiting Fellowships support research into any of the collections held in Durham. Applicants do not need to apply separately for named fellowships. Those whose research falls within the subject area of the named fellowships will be automatically considered for those fellowships as well as for the general scheme.

Fellows will be encouraged to work collaboratively with academic subject specialists, librarians, archivists and curators to realise the collections’ research potential, and to develop innovative research agendas. They will also be encouraged to participate in the life of the University, particularly its broad range of seminar series.

Durham University would like to express our sincere thanks to Chris and Margaret Lendrum, and to Peter and Tina Holland, for their generous support of new fellowship schemes at the Durham Residential Research Library.


Applicants should submit a short CV together with a summary of the project and materials they propose to work on, and the expected publications or other outcomes (maximum two sides of A4). Applications should demonstrate a serious research interest that focuses on primary source material within the collections held at Durham. Applicants who plan to collaborate with Durham academic staff are especially welcome and should mention this in their application.

There will be five fellowship intakes throughout the academic year, lasting for four weeks each:

  • 28 September – 23 October 2020
  • 16 November – 11 December 2020
  • 1 February 2021 – 26 February 2021
  • 26 April 2021 – 21 May 2021
  • 31 May 2021 – 25 June 2021

Applicants should indicate their preferred dates. They should also indicate to which university department(s) and/or research centres their research most relates.

Fellows will be granted an honorarium of £1,800 per month towards their transport and subsistence costs.  A small number of PhD bursaries will be available to the value of £540.  Self-catered ensuite study bedrooms will be available at a competitive rate.  Please note that fellows will be expected to arrange their own travel.     Fellowships will generally last for one month but can last up to a maximum of three months.

Applicants are strongly advised to consult with the relevant collections staff to ensure that the materials they wish to work with are available at the times of their visit. This is particularly important in the case of the Cathedral collections, and applicants should be aware that the Cathedral Library is normally open only three days each week. Recipients of all fellowships are expected to be in continuous residence in Durham and to participate in and make a contribution to the intellectual life of the University.

Due to the current Pandemic, Fellowships have been suspended.  Further information will follow shortly.

Academic Enquiries: Dr James Kelly, RRL Fellowships Coordinator,

Please send applications to Barbara Jackson, RRL Administrator,

Information about the collections can be found here

Fellowships Awarded 2019/20

Durham Visiting Fellow

Roma Tre University (Italy)

Lendrum Visiting Fellow (Durham University)

Holland Visiting Fellow (University of Manchester)

Holland Visiting Fellow

Lendrum Visiting Fellow (Pontifical University, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland)

Holland Visiting Fellow

Durham Visiting Fellow (Institute of Historical Research, London)

PHD Bursary (University of York)

Durham Visiting Fellow (Department of Archaeology and Museums, Islamabad)

PHD Bursary (Aix-Marseille Université (AMU)

Durham Visiting Fellow

Durham Visiting Fellow (University of Cambridge)

Lendrum Visiting Fellow

PHD Bursary (University of Birmingham)

View Past Fellowships


Elizabeth Biggs

Lendrum Priory Library Visiting Fellow (University of York, England)

I was delighted to be awarded a Lendrum Fellowship to work at the Durham Residential Research Library and to be part of the fantastic research community around these collections. My research would not have been possible without the fellowship, because the books I am working with are specific to Durham Cathedral in the sixteenth century, and offer important clues about what happened there during the Reformation. Durham is enormously fortunate in its collections because such a large proportion of its pre-Reformation books stayed in the region, whether in the Cathedral collections or gathered into the library at Ushaw, and it has great pleasure to be a part of the DRRL.

Zsombor Tóth

DRRL Visiting Fellow (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)

While a Visiting Fellow at the DRRL I worked on two early modern topics relating to central and eastern Europe. I was able to study the English reception of the works of an Augsburg-born Jesuit, the different editions of the translation being available at Ushaw. I was also able to consult the collections in Durham Cathedral Library to explore the life of a chaplain to King Charles I, who was active in Transylvania in the mid-seventeenth century. The collection includes Hungarian-language original documents, testifying to the global reach of the collections in Durham. The whole research experience was hugely enjoyable, from the support of the library and archives staff, to plugging into the university’s research life and the opportunity to forge links with several academics.

Karly Kehoe

Holland Visiting Fellow (St Mary’s University, Canada)

My Holland Fellowship at the DRRL was amazing. It provided me with easy access to outstanding archival collections and gave me the opportunity to discuss new research directions with Durham University colleagues. There is no question that my work will benefit significantly from the research that I was able to undertake there. I am so grateful for the experience.

Nigel Aston

DRRL Visiting Fellow (University of Leicester, England)

My DRRL Visiting Fellowship allowed me the time and scope – and, crucially, the financial support – I required in order to initiate a new research project on English northern cathedral communities in the eighteenth century. At every stage of my Fellowship, I had prompt organisational support and tie-ins with other resident Fellows and permanent members of the History and Theology Departments. No less supportive were the staff at Ushaw College and the opportunity for membership of St Chad’s College SCR added a much-valued additional dimension of academic collegiality. Above all, it was the helpfulness of library staff in facilitating my research that has given it such a flying start. The visit as a whole has given me what I hope will be enduring ties to many people and places in contemporary Durham.

Tahir Saeed

DRRL Visiting Fellow (Department of Archaeology & Museums, Pakistan)

I was pleased to be awarded a DRRL Visiting Fellowship to undertake research on Sir John Marshall’s one-hundred-year-old photographic collection now preserved at the Oriental Museum. The Fellowship provided me with an excellent opportunity to understand the provenance of Buddhist sculptures preserved in Peshawar Museum Collection (Pakistan) and to compare the sculptures with others at important Buddhist sites in the Gandhara region and across the Indus in Taxila Valley. I was also able to study the present state of conservation of some of the objects now preserved in the different museums of Pakistan thanks to this photographic collection, as well as those held at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw. The Fellowship provided me with an excellent opportunity to discuss a number of new research initiatives for the protection of cultural heritage with several researchers at Durham University. Throughout, my research was actively supported by museum staff, librarians and archivists, and I am grateful for this support.

Claire Schiano

Visiting PhD Bursary (Aix-Marseille University, France)

I was honoured to be granted a Visiting PhD Bursary at the DRRL. Durham University staff gave me a warm welcome and helped me all throughout my research stay. This fellowship was a great opportunity to work on the Poor Clares Darlington Collection held in Palace Green Library. With the assistance of the archivists and librarians, I was able to consult a great number of manuscripts. These primary sources allowed me to analyse and compare different aspects of female lived spirituality within English Poor Clare convents which is at the heart of my PhD. Last but not least, this award gave me the opportunity to meet other scholars and PhD students with similar research interests. I feel very thankful for this rewarding experience.