Tolkien Society Bursary

The Tolkien Society is dedicated to promoting the study of the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. We are delighted to offer a Bursary to support budding academics in their research and its dissemination.

What is it?

The Tolkien Society Bursary is intended to help outstanding postgraduate students to pursue and present their research to the wider Tolkien community, no matter their personal circumstances. We want to facilitate new academic discussions from diverse backgrounds by helping new voices gain confidence in the field of Tolkien studies.

Why it is important

The Bursary aims to pave a way for new voices in the field of Tolkien studies, as well as providing members of the Tolkien Society with the very best of new Tolkien scholarship, thus fulfilling both our charitable and educational remits. We want to nurture and support the next generation of Tolkien scholars so Tolkien scholarship keeps up with the latest trends and developments; this is in line with our charitable aim:

The Society shall seek to educate the public in, and promote research into, the life and works of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE.

Few universities offer Tolkien-specific courses, so Tolkien Society events are a platform for Tolkien scholars to present their work to an audience of like-minded people. We are proud to help as many researchers as we can to attend our events.

How it works

Every year, the Society makes available a number of Bursaries, each providing funding up to £500 (GBP). The Bursaries can be used in a number of ways:

  • To support registration costs, travel and accommodation to allow the student to present their work at a Tolkien Society event (the Seminar, Oxonmoot, and special events like Tolkien 2019)
  • To support registration costs, travel and accommodation to allow the student to present research directly related to JRR Tolkien at another recognised academic conference
  • To support the costs of undertaking research directly related to JRR Tolkien, for example travel to specific sites of interest or to access resources, or fees associated with accessing resources.

Applications for Bursaries are welcomed at any time. Applications will be assessed periodically throughout the year, and in particular we will assess applications for support to attend Tolkien Society events shortly after the close of the Call for Papers for these events.


The Tolkien Society Bursary is available to postgraduate students pursuing an MA, MSc, MRes, MPhil, DPhil, PhD or equivalent degree from a recognised higher education institution.

Each candidate can only submit one application per year.

No-one may be awarded a Bursary on more than two occasions.

Application Process

Full details of the application process can be found here.

There is no closing date for applications, however if you are applying for a Bursary to support attendance at the Tolkien Society Seminar or Oxonmoot, you should ensure you submit your application before the closing date for the relevant Call for Papers as we will assess the Bursary Applications and Papers at the same time.

Apply for a Tolkien Society Bursary

Previous Bursary Awards

The Tolkien Society Bursary was launched in 2019, with four Bursaries awarded to support attendance at Tolkien 2019. Owing to Covid-19 the Bursary was put on hold in 2020 since no face-to-face events were held, but it was re-started in 2021, with four Bursaries awarded to support presentation at Oxonmoot.

Brief biographies of the previous winners can be found here: