Click here to download reimbursement claim form.


The Scientific Instrument Society awards small annual grants, of up to £750 each, for research on the history of scientific instruments. This page outlines the criteria for the scheme and we recommend that you click here to see examples of previously supported projects. Once you’re ready to apply, please complete the online application form. We do not accept speculative CVs (Resumes).


SIS Research Grants are intended to support new research into the history of scientific instruments, typically based on museum collections and/or archival materials that directly relate to specific instruments. They are not intended to fund activities to which an applicant is already committed or to fund research into the development of new scientific instruments and medical technologies.

Grants may be used to cover any reasonable costs of research, including travel and photography, and image Copyright costs for publication within the SIS Bulletin. We cannot support applications for outreach projects and exhibitions.


Grants are open to applicants from any country, and both members and non-members of the Scientific Instrument Society may apply. Previous successful applicants are welcome to re-apply after 3 years. Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply in a future grant round. Only one application will be accepted per candidate in each grant round.

What we cannot support:

  • Conference attendance
  • Any meals incurred during your research trip, except where they form part of an accommodation package such as hotel ‘bed and breakfast’ rates
  • The purchase of equipment such as camera, scanners, memory cards etc.
  • Paying a salary for your research time, or for research assistance or consultancy


Grant holders are expected to submit two pieces of work prior to the grant deadline – a short (typically 300-500 word) blog post about their research for the Society’s website, together with a longer article for the SIS Bulletin of 2000-4000 words. We also encourage preparation and presentation of a ‘Fireside Chat’, our popular informal virtual talk series, on your grant project to SIS members worldwide via Zoom of 25-30 minutes duration.


Please complete a Grant Application Form, in English, and then send an email to stating that you have submitted your online application. The Grants Officer will respond to confirm receipt. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt within 5 working days, please resubmit your application and resend the email.

To maximise your chances of success, it is strongly suggested that you cover the following points in your project statement:

  • Why is this topic relevant to the history of scientific instruments?
  • If applicable, how does this work relate to previous research on this topic, either by yourself or other researchers?
  • How and when will you conduct this research? (If possible, set out an approximate project timetable.)
  • If you plan to visit a museum collection or relevant subject archive, have you already contacted the relevant curator to request access to the objects? Please provide details of specific historic instruments that you wish to inspect as part of your research trip.

There is only one call for applications each year. The next deadline for receipt of applications for 2025 grants will be 1200 GMT on Friday 3 January 2025.

Applications will be reviewed by the Society’s Committee shortly after each deadline. Applicants will normally be informed of the Committee’s decision within four weeks.

Due to the high number of applications we receive it is not normally possible for us to fund all deserving projects. The amount of money offered may be less than the original amount sought.

Grant Terms and Conditions are set out below. The Committee’s decision is final.

If you have any questions, please contact 


The Scientific Instrument Society (“The Society”) attaches the following conditions to awards of research grants, which take precedence over any terms stated elsewhere:

  1. The grant amount awarded is the maximum amount available and any additional costs incurred must be met by the applicant. Grants are paid as reimbursements i.e. the applicant must pay any costs upfront and claim the grant funding following completion and submission to The Society of the grant research in an agreed format.
  2. The grant must be completed within 18 months of the grant award date, and earlier completion is encouraged. Extensions to the grant deadline will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  3. Grant holders must email the Grants Officer ( at least once every six months, or on request, to keep The Society informed of progress. The Grants Officer will provide email reminders of the closing deadline towards the end of the agreed grant award period. The Society reserves the right to withdraw or rescind the grant if acceptable progress towards the deadline has not been met, or if reasonable requests for status updates from the Grants Officer are not responded to promptly.
  4. No claims will be accepted for food and drink, or for items which are retained by the applicant after the project, such as a new camera or scanner.
  5. Unless agreed otherwise in advance of the award of the grant, it is a specific requirement of the grant award that grant holders provide two written contributions to The Society (in English) prior to the grant deadline, as follows:
    1. A short informal blog of typically 300-600 words, including one or two images with captions where appropriate, which will be posted on the SIS website;
    2. A longer contribution, a minimum of approximately 2000 words, including images with captions where appropriate, which will be published within the SIS Bulletin. We recognise, however, that the SIS Bulletin is not a peer-reviewed journal and so by prior agreement with the Society grant applicants may instead choose to submit their work to a peer-reviewed journal. In this case, SIS grant support must be clearly acknowledged in the journal article, and a short additional summary article citing the peer-reviewed journal article should be submitted to the Bulletin.
  6. Copyright or credit approvals for images or other illustrations for blogs or articles, including payment where required, must be arranged by the grantholder in advance of submission, and publication terms clearly confirmed in writing along with submitted materials. Copyright or reproduction payments for publication may be reimbursed from grant funds provided the grant claim does not exceed the agreed award.
  7. Claims for reimbursement of grant awards can be submitted following approval by the Bulletin Editor of the Bulletin article, including any required Copyright approvals. Claims should be made on The Society’s grants claim form. Copies of receipts for expensed items must accompany the claim form; electronic copies are acceptable.

January 2024

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