RIBA Research Trust Awards

The RIBA Research Trust Awards is an annual funding scheme supporting independent architectural research. Applications are welcome from researchers at any stage of their research career.



The 2016 RIBA Research Trust Awards are now calling for applications.  

"The funds provided by the RIBA's Research Trust Awards each year are an invaluable aid to those who are pursuing new knowledge in architecture. There is intense competition to get them, yet it's also the case that a good many of our best scholars and practitioners have benefited from this source of financial support at some point in their careers."

- Professor Murray Fraser, past Chair, RIBA Research Grants sub-committee


The awards scheme is open to applicants interested in a wide range of subject matter relevant to the advancement of architecture, and connected arts and sciences, in the United Kingdom. 

The RIBA Research Trust Award is for a closely defined piece of architectural research. The committee will support practice-led or academic research, but it will not support course fees and subsistence costs for PhD/MPhil or Masters programmes. Awards are given only to named individuals, not organisations. The maximum grant applicants may apply for is £10,000. A detailed breakdown of costs should be provided in the application form.

Applicants based outside the UK are also eligible to apply; however the research work must in the main be undertaken within the United Kingdom.

Information about how to apply to the 2017 awards scheme will be uploaded in Spring 2017.

Some of our past recipients speak about their experience of the awards:

Stephen Walker, 2012 RIBA Research Trust Award 

"It is really unusual for researchers working in fields of architecture to be able to make grant applications directly to an architectural panel, and this in itself is worth emphasising and enjoying. The application process itself was both rigorous and streamlined, with the knowledge that the applications would be assessed by people already familiar with ways of architectural thinking and working. Compared to applications that go to more generic funding bodies, where work has to be done to 'translate' architectural approaches into more conventional research language, the RIBA application process fosters a much clearer explanation of research projects.

Now the RIBA funded project is completed, I am continuing to exploit the material I have gathered and the research experience I have gained. The award of this grant has allowed me to build up a research profile in an unusual and under-examined area (Fairground Architecture), and will provide a stepping-stone as I approach other funding bodies to support follow-on work. The fact that the RIBA was willing to support a fairly exploratory project will, I'm sure, be really useful in persuading other, more conventional, organisations that the topic has some traction, and allow the research started here to be developed in scale and coverage."

Anna Liu, 2014 RIBA Research Trust Award 

"Between 2008 and 2014, we undertook numerous architectural competitions to find new work during the recession. We borrowed time from the few actual projects to invest in these competitions. It was during this process that we invented and pursued Shell Lace Structure. So one can say that Shell Lace Structure was a product of the recession.

The RIBA Research Trust gave us the structure and confidence to carry on doing so, amidst the realities of practice. The application process made us articulate the strengths and weaknesses that Shell Lace Structure had. The one year deadline created a fantastic amount of work and momentum for the research. It also made us think of the ideal scenario - collaborators, partners, and projects. The Trust help validate our research, to approach more collaborators and other grants.

We are currently still taking the research forward, in the form of a PhD, a  tower structure, a bridge, and a collaboration on developing a biological stent."


Information regarding past projects can be found below: 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2016

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2015 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2014 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2013 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2012 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2011 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2010 

Recipients of the RIBA Research Trust Awards 2009 

In 2009 the Modern Architecture and Town Planning Trust merged with the Historical Research Trust to create the RIBA Research Trust.

The Modern Architecture and Town Planning Trust supported the study of contemporary and recent architecture. This included the decoration and furnishing of buildings, and the arrangement and landscaping of land adjacent to buildings in any part of the world. 

The Historical Research Trust supported the study of architecture, other than contemporary and recent architecture. This included the decoration and furnishing of buildings in any part of the world.

Recipients of Awards 2008 

Recipients of Awards 2007 

Recipients of Awards 2006 

  • Dr Samer Bagaeen - Redeveloping Former Military Sites: An International Perspective.
  • Mr Benson Lau - The Poetics of Sacred Light.

Recipients of Awards 2005 

  • Ms Sophie Handler - Old People and Public Space in the London Borough of Newham.
  • Mr Dominic O'Neill - An Investigative Study and Analysis of the Architecture, Context and Function of Ten University Business Schools Completed Since 1995.
  • Dr Tatjana Schneider - Notions of Modernity: The Arts Tower in Sheffield.


More Information 

For further information contact hayley.russell@riba.org or 020 73073678.

The applications are assessed by the RIBA Research Trusts Awards Committee:

  • Robert Brown, Plymouth University (RIBA Council member)
  • Dolan Conway
  • Dr Saul Golden, University of Ulster (RIBA Council member)
  • Sophie Handler (Chair), past recipient
  • Alexandra Stara, Kingston University
  • Victoria Thornton, Open City
  • Meryl Townley, van Heyningen and Haward Architects (RIBA Council member)
  • Stephen Walker, University of Sheffield, past recipient

If you have completed a research project, you may be interested in submitting work for the RIBA President's Awards for Research.