BAC Bursary for Business History Research

One of the key purposes of the Business Archives Council is to encourage interest in and study of business history and archives, with a remit covering England and Wales. This bursary - made possible by the generosity of Sir Peter Thompson, former Chairman of the National Freight Corporation, and the Wellcome Foundation - provides financial support for researchers to access business and organisational archives who would not otherwise able to do so.

We will prioritise applications focused on the use of business and organisational archives. Research on business-related collections held in the National Archives or in county record offices will not normally be considered, but we may support projects that involve some work in public archives or that are particularly creative or innovative in their approach to business history. 

We welcome applications from researchers of all kinds who are unable to fund their costs, particularly those who don’t have permanent contracts of employment. Our aim in awarding the bursary is to foster diversity and inclusion in access to business archives.

Our annual bursary fund is approximately £1000 and we may make one or more awards up to this total amount. The size of the pot makes it most suitable for smaller-scale projects, such as scoping or pilot studies, early-stage development of collaborations and exploratory work. We are open, however, to any proposal focused on business archives that meets the eligibility guidelines, regardless of the form and purpose.


To be eligible for the BAC Research Support Bursary, researchers should:

  • Be able to name one or more business or organisational archives based in England and Wales that they intend to use within a 200-word project outline, as well as any outputs they hope to produce

  • Be willing to contribute two short articles for the BAC newsletter or website about their research

  • Commit to acknowledging the BAC and the specific archives used in any outputs arising from their research, such as talks, papers, blogs and articles

  • Confirm that they don’t have access to alternative funding sources to support their project


We are keen to give our award-holders opportunities to share their research. We will therefore offer all successful applicants the following, without obligation:

  • Free attendance (when charged) for successful applicants at the BAC annual conference the year after receipt of the bursary

  • An invitation to give a short, informal talk about their research at a BAC event

  • A fee waiver to attend the annual Association of Business Historians conference in the year of or the year after your award. Support for travel may also be available. Award holders are encouraged to submit a proposal for the conference or to join a panel proposal for award holders.

How to apply

Please complete the GoogleForm midday on 20th September 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by 30th September and invited to attend the BAC’s annual awards event in October 2024, at which the 2024-25 bursaries will be formally announced. If you have any questions, please contact Alix Green: 

The judging panel is: Dr Alix Green (BAC Trustee, University of Essex), Prof John Wilson (Newcastle Business School) and Prof Lucy Newton (Henley Business School).

Details of the past winners can be found here