Combe Trust Fellowship


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 2024-25 round of applications will be Friday 23 February 2024 at 17:00 GMT.

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 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.

Notes for guidance

  • Candidates for Fellowships will hold a doctorate or equivalent professional qualification. Consideration will be given to the academic record and the publications of all applicants and their capacity to disseminate their work across different audiences. Applicants must be employed for purposes including investigative research and have a suitable project or study to undertake. It is expected that applicants will have at least ten years’ experience of research within a higher education institution or similar research body.
  • For information about the scope of work undertaken at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, see their website or browse through the staff pages of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Candidates will be expected to have been in communication with the member of CTPI or CAHSS staff with whom they intend to collaborate before applying, and to name the collaborator/mentor in their application. The collaborator should also provide one of the necessary supporting statements for the Fellowship.
  • Candidates should include within their application a brief abstract and title for their proposed Combe Trust Lecture.
  • Fellows are expected to be resident in Edinburgh throughout the tenure of their Fellowship and to play a full part in the activities of IASH and the CTPI. The Institute may be able to help with finding suitable accommodation in Edinburgh. These fellowships are usually for a duration of one semester (3 months), and not less than 2 months, and are usually funded at £1,300 per month as a contribution towards living costs and travel. Applications for less than two months will not be considered.
  • No regular teaching is required, but Fellows are expected to become involved in the CTPI. Fellows will give at least one seminar at IASH and one seminar / workshop in the CTPI on their current research work.
  • The Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI) was founded at the University of Edinburgh in 1984 as the world’s first centre for reflection and research on public theology. More than three decades later, CTPI continues to bring theological voices into conversations about pressing matters of public concern. CTPI engages with a range of public issues, such as politics, the environment, law & justice, interreligious dialogue, peacebuilding and the arts. Based at the University, we conduct research into these areas, and host a range of events intent on dialogue, education and transformation.
  • The Institute is close to the University Library and within easy reach of the National Library of Scotland, the Central City Library, the National Galleries and Museums, the Library of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, the library of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the National Archives of Scotland. Access to both the extensive archival and online resources of all of these collections can be arranged for Fellows as appropriate.
  • Only fully completed applications will be considered. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that all documentation is complete, and that referees submit their reports to the Institute by the closing date. Applications may include a copy of any one article or publication that is thought to be especially relevant to the research proposal and Fellowship submission.
Date de candidature
2-3 months
Humanités : Art et histoire de l'art, Philosophie, théologie et religion
Sciences sociales : Droit, Psychologie et sciences cognitives, Sciences de l'éducation
Autres : Biologie, Médecine