Combe Trust Fellowship

Combe Trust Fellowship

The Combe Trust Fellowship is intended to encourage outstanding interdisciplinary research, international scholarly collaboration, and networking activities of visiting Fellows together with academics in the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI): Applications for visits of two to three months are welcomed from senior researchers in the following areas: public theology, religion and religious education, physiology and health, Scots law, peacebuilding, prison reform, psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, moral philosophy, natural sciences or the arts (e.g. theatre, film, dance, visual arts). We would also particularly welcome applications linked to the themes of the new Institute Project on Decoloniality (IPD'24) taking place at IASH from 2021 to 2024. This project invites scholars from around the world to visit Edinburgh and conduct research on the theme of decoloniality, broadly understood. Fellows will be expected to work in collaboration with one or more members of academic staff in the CTPI, and to take an active part in both IASH interdisciplinary and CTPI events.

The Combe Trust Fellow is also expected to deliver the annual Combe Trust Lecture as a condition of the award. Proposals for the lecture topic, emerging from the interests of George Combe (1788 - 1858), will form part of the evaluation of candidates. George Combe was a Scottish lawyer, and founder of the Edinburgh Phrenological Society. In addition to phrenology and physiology, Combe was interested in chemistry, history, moral philosophy, prison reform, education and secularism.

The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities is housed in a 19th-century courtyard close to the University Library and about 30 scholars are in residence at any time. Fellows are allocated a private office in the Institute with all the usual research facilities. During the course of their stay in Edinburgh, the Combe Trust Fellow will be expected to make two seminar presentations on their research – one at IASH and one at the CTPI – and to take part in IASH work-in-progress sessions and relevant workshops and seminars in the CTPI.

Funds are available in support of travel and accommodation costs, up to a maximum of £3,900.


Application procedure

Closing date

The closing date for the receipt of the next round of applications is 25 February 2022.

Applications received after that date will not be considered. Successful candidates will be notified by email with a formal letter of confirmation to follow; please ensure that you supply a valid email address so that you can be contacted quickly after decisions are made.


The application form

You can find our application form here.


Supporting statements

  • A minimum of two and a maximum of three supporting statements are required.
  • Applicants should ask their referees to write in confidence directly to the Institute Director at the address above or by email to by the closing date.
  • Referees should comment on the nature and quality of the research proposal, as well as on the qualifications of the applicant.
Application date
2 to 3 months
Humanities : Arts and Art history, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Law, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences