The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Applying for a Nowlan Digitisation Grant

The scheme aims to expand the range of digitised historical and archaeological sources available through open and free access to researchers, for private study or education purposes. Proposals can take two forms:

1) The digitisation of a historical or archaeological source or sources (including making it searchable and freely available online)


2) The updating of existing digital historical or archaeological resources to enable continued online public access

Key Points

  • The intention of these grants is to fund research focusing on professional digitisation with a distinct and identifiable standalone output of making a body of information accessible to anyone upon completion of the project

  • Proposals are welcomed for a clearly defined standalone project accessible on an institutional website, to be completed within the Grant programme timeline (completion by end April 2025)

  • In line with the Academy’s focus on ensuring long term preservation and access to digital collections, all projects must also make their digital outputs and metadata available to the Royal Irish Academy for inclusion in the Digital Repository of Ireland (please see further details in guidelines document)..

  • The purpose of this grant is to provide support for the direct costs of digitising material, up to a maximum of €10,000

  • All applicants must be the copyright holders of the original data, be acting on their behalf, or the work must be out of copyright

  • The application form is available here

  • All queries can be sent to

Information required to apply for 2024

In order to make an application for funding you will need to familiarise yourself with the ‘Guidelines for applicants’ document which you can view here.

Funding available

The scheme will be competitive, and there is no lower limit on the amount requested but it is anticipated that Grants will be made in the region of €8,000-€10,000

Costs and activities which are eligible

  • Invoices for services rendered as part of project

  • Salary payments specific to project (as the Academy can only reimburse costs which are supported by evidence of payment, any request to reimburse salary costs must be supported by evidence that the salary has been paid (in the form of payslips, paid invoices etc.) from the employing body)

  • Research costs

  • Limited consumables (to a maximum of €1000)

The only expenses payable are the costs directly related to the research being carried out, up to a maximum of €10,000.

All expenses must be supported with vouched expenditure. Please note that these costs are subject to the maximum subsistence rates as set out by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Academy does not pay per diem rates and will only cover expenses that are vouched by receipt.

Costs and activities which are ineligible

  • Grants will not be made retrospectively i.e. the work for which the support is requested must not have commenced before the grant decision is communicated

  • An application will not be accepted if there is a report outstanding or any outstanding funds to be returned on any previous research grant awarded by the Academy to the principal investigator or co-investigator(s) named in the current application

  • Costs which are already funded by another grant or alternative source

Who can apply

  • Researchers (PhD students and onwards) in the field of Irish History based in a third level institution who are on a permanent contract or temporary contract that will not end during the course of the grant

  • Applicants can submit one application per grant round

  • Applicants should be ordinarily resident and working on the island of Ireland (including Northern Ireland)

  • Applicants may hold a maximum of two Nowlan Academy awards in any five-year period

Criteria and assessment priorities

Each application will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Academic merit, taking into account originality and the scholarly importance of potential research based on the digitised source

  • Demonstrable ability and experience of applicant to carry out the proposed project

  • Suitability of methodology

  • Feasibility of project within time scale (All projects must be completed, and all associated reports and invoices/financial details submitted by end April 2024).

  • Added value of digitising the proposed source or restoration to public use of an existing digital source

  • Intended outcomes

Submission deadline

The Nowlan Grants Scheme opens from 22 February 2024 until Tuesday 11 April 2024. All queries can be sent to


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