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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R.J. Hunter Research Bursary Scheme

The R.J. Hunter Grants Scheme was established in 2014 using funding generously made available by his daughter, Ms Laura Hunter Houghton, through the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

R.J. (Bob) Hunter was a highly respected (and much loved) historian of the Ulster Plantation, who spent the bulk of his academic career teaching at the University of Ulster. His varied research interests included the role of the English settler in the Ulster Plantation, the history of Ulster trade and migration from and to Britain and North America, the development of towns, and the cultural and intellectual history of Ulster from 1580 to 1660. In light of the breadth of these research ambitions, it is no surprise to find that, upon his untimely death in 2007, his private papers (now lodged in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) attest to a great body of unfinished research.

  • The purpose of this grant is to provide support for the direct costs of research on aspects of Ulster History during the period 1500-1800, up to a maximum of €2,500

  • Typically grants made are in the region of €2,000-€2,500

  • The application form is available here

All queries can be sent to

Several bursary awards have been made to date, including research into the plantation of Inishowen and its impact on the parish of Clonmany, Co. Donegal, and a study of early 17th Century vernacular architecture in the Merchant Taylor’s plantation village in Macosquin, Co. Londonderry.

The R.J. Hunter Research Bursary scheme 2023 opened on 2 March and will close on 13th April 2023.

Information required to apply for 2023

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.

The application form can be found here.

Find out more

Should you have any questions or require further information on this grant scheme, please email


The Royal Irish Academy has an agreed set of  procedures and responsibilities for appeals in connection with a decision to decline funding of a grant application. For further information see here.


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