How to Apply

The Durham Residential Research Library is delighted to invite applications from researchers for Visiting Fellowships of one month in duration.

The Durham Residential Research Library aims to enable and foster research across the historic collections of Durham, notably Palace Green Library, the Oriental Museum, the Library of Ushaw College (the former Roman Catholic seminary just outside the City), and the medieval Priory Library and the archives of Durham Cathedral. The resources available to scholars include not only libraries and archives, but also 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


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:

Oct = 9 Oct – 3 Nov 2023
Nov = 13 Nov – 8 Dec 2023
Feb = 12 Feb – 8 March 2024
May = 22 April – 17 May 2024
June = 3 June – 28 June 2024

Applicants should indicate their preferred dates. They should also indicate to which university department(s) and/or research centres their research most relates. Applications should be submitted by noon on Wednesday 27 September 2023.  We shall aim to notify successful candidates by the beginning of October 2023.

Fellows will be granted an honorarium of £2,000 per month towards their transport and subsistence costs. A small number of PhD bursaries may be available to the value of £600. Please note that fellows will be expected to arrange their own travel and accommodation.

Those who have previously held fellowships are eligible to apply again after three years have elapsed since their previous award. Please note that the maximum times an individual can be awarded a fellowship is on three occasions, or the equivalent of three months, over a period of 10 years.

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 Oriental Museum, the Cathedral Library, 5 The College and Ushaw Library, all of which have limited opening hours.  In particular, access to the Cathedral Archives at 5 The College will be very restricted between February and June 2024 and it will not be possible to accommodate fellows whose research would be exclusively or predominantly based on the Cathedral Archives during this time.  There will also be restrictions on access for fellows wishing to use the Cathedral Archives alongside other collections; applicants should check details and make enquiries online here.

In addition to the above, access to the Cathedral Library will be highly restricted from August 2023 until further notice.  It will not be possible to accommodate fellows whose research would be exclusively or predominantly based on the Cathedral Library collections, and those wishing to use any Cathedral Library collections at all in their research are strongly advised to contact the Head of Library and Collections at the Cathedral before applying:

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.

Academic Enquiries: Dr James Kelly, RRL Fellowships Coordinator,

Please send applications to Barbara Jackson, RRL Administrator,

Information about the collections can be found here


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 T├│th

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.

Other Research Fellowships

The Spanish Gallery Collection Research Fellowships

Two fellowships are available to undertake research into the collection of the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland

The fellowships are affiliated with the Zurbarán Centre and Durham University ‘s Residential Research Library Scheme. Generously funded by the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH), each fellowship includes a monthly stipend of ┬ú2,100. An allowance for research-related travel will be available on request. The fellows will be part of the University ‘s research community and have privileged access to the Spanish Gallery.

To apply and for further information, see here