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​RIBA Research Fund

The RIBA Research Fund awards annual grants to individuals conducting independent architectural research at any stage of their careers in practice or academia. The aim is to support critical investigation into a wide range of subject matters relevant to the advancement of architecture, and connected arts and sciences, in the United Kingdom.


We welcome applications to support all research topics as long as the subject matter and final outputs are relevant to the advancement of architecture and associated disciplines and professions. Applications are welcome from individuals or teams from architectural practices and academia at any stage of their research careers.

Grants are made to individuals and not to commercial businesses or to higher education institutions. The fund does not support course fees, expenses, and subsistence costs for those enrolled in PhD/MPhil or Masters programmes.

Applicants should be primarily based in the UK.

The maximum amount that applicants can apply for is £12,000.

Assessment and selection

Applications are assessed by the RIBA Research Development Group, a working group that comprises members of the RIBA Council, the RIBA Education Development Group, and other individuals co-opted for their expertise.

The following criteria will be used to select the grant recipient(s):

  • clear demonstration of the originality and importance of the research topic
  • evidence that the proposal is generally feasible and well planned, with consideration of how to mitigate risks and address eventual challenges
  • defined, measurable, and suitable outputs for the research proposal, e.g., a journal article, an exhibition, etc.
  • well-thought through and detailed financial expenditure forecast

Consideration will also be given to how the project aligns with one or more of the four Mandatory Competences detailed in the RIBA Education and Professional Development Framework: Health and Life Safety, Ethical Practice, Climate Literacy, and Research Literacy.


Please read the guidance notes (PDF) in full before submitting your online application. These guidance notes contain important details about the information you need to provide in the online form.

Access the online application form

You will need to follow the instructions to register for an account first, and then select the ‘RIBA Research Fund 2024’ form to begin your application for this fund. You will receive an automatic email notification upon submission of your application.

The deadline for applications is 3pm (BST) Friday 31 May 2024. Applications will not be accepted after this time.

If you have any issues with the online application form, please email

2022 recipients

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 RIBA Research Fund:

Aude Azzi and Frederik Weissenborn: Spatial Practice in a Post Disaster City: Learning from Beirut (awarded £6,000)

This project explores spatial practices that have emerged in Beirut in recent years. Focusing on four neighbourhoods in central Beirut - Geitaoui, Gemmayze, Karantina, and Mar Mikhael - the project investigates the spatial practices that have been developed by communities in response to the 2020 Port explosion and explores if and how they can be translated to other social and geographical contexts.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Aude Azzi and Frederik Weissenborn at the end of the 2022 project (PDF).

Kate Jordan and Julie Marsh: Moving Pictures: Reusing Cinemas as Places of Worship in the Diaspora (awarded £8,000)

This project combines primary research with the innovative art-based methodology, ‘site-integrity’ to investigate the adaptive reuse of cinemas as places of worship and explore questions of faith and diaspora in the contemporary urban landscape.

Garrett Nelli: Branching Out: Make Use, Not Waste (awarded £5,000)

‘Branching Out’ explores the use of small-diameter crown timber in adaptable and modular construction and the environmental, cultural, and economic implications once a value is associated with this forestry waste. This research leverages drone scanning technology to catalogue tree geometry for accurate stand volume calculations and a life cycle assessment to benchmark the carbon footprint of this proposed supply chain against contemporary forestry practices.

Elena Palacios Carral: Portraits of a Practice, Making of a Doll’s House by the Architect MJ Long (awarded £4,600)

This is a research project about the life and work of the architect MJ Long as told through a study of a doll's house she made in the 1980s for her young daughter. As such, the doll's house can be viewed as a portal through which to navigate MJ Long's work and life, and her archive, which is currently in storage and uncatalogued at the RIBA.

Dominic Walker: Portraits and Strategies for an Edible City (awarded £6,400)

The aim of this research project is to formulate a design guide with principles for reinforcing an integration of healthy eating and food production into the city. It will consider food through the lenses of societal, natural, climatic, and cultural benefits, and the relationship between food and architecture at the following scales: the dwelling, communal housing, neighbourhood, public institutions, and city scale. Case studies will range from academics to farmers to activists and back garden growers.

Applications were assessed by the RIBA Research Development Group.

2022 RIBA Research Fund winners in alphabetical order, left-right from top left: Aude Azzi, Kate Jordan, Julie Marsh, Garrett Nelli, Elena Palacios Carral, Dominic Walker, and Frederik Weissenborn

Previous recipients and their research


Satish BK and Allister Gall: My House, My Rules: Examining the Impact of Cultural Behaviour on Air Quality in Super-Insulated British Asian Homes (£7,000)

This project sets out to establish the impact of culturally informed choices on indoor air quality and the extent to which the norms that guide the design of energy-efficient homes ignore potentially significant cultural and behavioural differences. It will achieve this by focusing on the impact of energy behaviour and choices related to cooking on the indoor air quality of British-Asian households.

Christoph Lueder and Íñigo Cornago Bonal: How to Build with Time? Learning from Bimanagar (£5,000)

This project is a detailed study of strategies, tactics and techniques used by two co-producers of space. First the eminent, Pritzker Prize winning architect B. V. Doshi who planned and completed Bimanagar in 1987, and second, the inhabitants of Bimanagar who have since upgraded the environmental performance of their homes over a series of iterative and sometimes radical steps, and adapted their dwellings to changing needs.

Nina Vollenbröker: Deafening Architectural Modernism – Re-Centring the Work of Adolf Loos (£4,000)

Deafening Modernism brings the still untapped creativity, criticality, and knowledge of neuro-diverse human bodies to architectural scholarship. In a climate where marginalised voices are finally receiving long-due attention, an awareness of disability has yet to inform architectural history and practice: this research addresses this shortfall.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Nina Vollenbroker at the end of the 2021 project (PDF).

Jane Wong and Tom Greenall: Towards Spatial Justice: A Guide for Achieving Meaningful Participation in Co-Design Processes (£7,000)

This research seeks to assess existing forms of 'community engagement', identify current challenges that hinder citizens, communities, designers, clients and authorities in engaging meaningfully in a collaborative design process, and survey best practices and speculate ways for co­design to be integrated into design processes at different scales, and normalised as a necessity, not an afterthought or nice-to-have.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Jane Wong and Tom Greenall at the end of the 2021 project (PDF).

Mike Tuck, Ellen Peirson, George Regnart and Romey Edwards: Don’t Throw Your House Away: A User Manual for Reducing Embodied Carbon in Domestic Extensions (£7,000)

The aim of this research is to establish the contribution of the residential extension and renovation sector to national and global carbon emissions, with a focus on embodied carbon. Through a case study house, this research will look at the carbon impacts of everyday design decisions for practitioners working in this area, and where homeowners can make the most significant carbon savings.


Julia Crawford: Mien Ruys: 'The Mother of Modernism' (£5,000)

The aim of the project is to produce a large format book detailing the work of the Dutch landscape architect Mien Ruys. As modernist design did not gain a foothold in Britain, Mien (called the 'mother of modernism' in Holland) remains relatively unknown in the UK. The goal is to introduce her work to a new audience through this publication. Mien Ruys was a fascinating and important designer, albeit so far neglected in the UK, whose work continues to influence contemporary landscape architects, garden designers and architects today.

Find details of Julia Crawford’s book here.

Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows: Exposing the Barriers in Architecture from a FAME (Female Architects of Minority Ethnic) Perspective (£7,000)

FAME (female architects of minority ethnic) collective is a research-based network founded to support women of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities in architecture. FAME’s research aims to unpack the barriers in architecture, by responding to an urgent need to understand how race and gender affect established practitioners, young scholars and students, from diverse backgrounds and practices.

Read the book submitted to the RIBA by Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows at the end of the 2020 project (PDF).

Michael McMahon: Reuse in Architecture: Making Out of Waste and Ruin (£4,000)

UK architects have declared a climate and biodiversity emergency so what do we do next? Reuse in Architecture: Making Out of Waste and Ruin will question how reuse and circular construction can be enabled and promoted in order to address the devastating reality of waste and emissions in the built environment of London. By collating and sharing best practice examples, the project will offer tangible ways that built environment professionals can overhaul the way we think about and managing waste.

Francesca Piazzoni and Frances Darlington-Pollock: Designing Care: Countering the Urban Exclusion of Older Women (£7,000)

Older women across the UK face urban exclusion: cities neglect their needs while reifying sexist and ageist relations of power. The Designing Care project wants to reverse this trend by proposing new policy and spatial interventions to help empower older women.

Jack Richards and Jo Sharples: BUILD UP - Empowering Domestic Clients to Commission Zero Carbon Architecture (£7,000)

Read the first edition of the ‘Decarbonise Your House Now!’ guide (PDF)

Small practices play a vital role in communicating the importance of environmental upgrade to their domestic clients, but face significant barriers when delivering sustainable projects. ‘Build-Up’ develops resources to support clients, consultants and contractors to create zero carbon architecture. The research culminates in an exhibition of experimental building fragments in their local high street shop.


Miranda MacLaren, Polina Pencheva, Heather Macey: Emergency Homes for Young People

£5,000 awarded towards the completion of a set of recommendations for new policy and national standards for the provision of purpose-built emergency temporary accommodation for young people. In a statement for the campaign to launch these recommendations, the researchers said:

“We were shocked at the limited and poor quality guidance for homeless shelters, and specifically, how there is nothing tailored for the needs of young people. Now we are in our second lockdown, rough sleeping for young people is on the rise and is at an all-time high. There has never been a more important time than now to rectify this. We urge every local authority in the country to adopt our recommendations to ensure that young people get the support they need so they can be off the streets for good.” (November 2020)

View the campaign film.

Read the three booklets submitted to the RIBA at the end of the project: Manifesto (PDF), Leading by Example (PDF), Recommendations (PDF).

Sarah Ackland: 29% Equal - How Does Meaningful Change for Women in Architecture Occur?

The aim of this project is to create an online database of interviews, in podcast format, highlighting the experiences of significant women in architecture and how architecture could be more equitable. £10,000 awarded.

Listen to the podcast (first episode released on 14 February 2023).

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Sarah Auckland at the end of the 2019 project (PDF).

Peter Russell: White Saviours or Cultural Collaborators? The Impact of Design Build Studios in the Global South.

This research aims to understand the impacts of live teaching across cultural boundaries. £4,835 was awarded as contribution towards the completion of this project.

Alice Brown: Estate Regeneration in the Age of Climate and Ecological Emergency

This project aims to examine an alternative approach to estate regeneration in order to reduce CO2 emissions and to provide better outcomes for people and nature. £9,982 awarded.


David McClean and Peter Holgate: Mental Health in UK Architecture Education - An Analysis of Contemporary Student Well-Being

With an award of £9,178, the aim of this research was to develop an evidence-based study of the incidence and causes of student mental health problems within architecture education in the UK. This would then underpin the development of informed responses through curricula and the wider student experience.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by David McClean and Peter Holgate at the end of the 2018 project (PDF).

Mike Althorpe and Abigail Batchelor: Revolutionary Low Rise: Informing London’s Good Growth Strategy

Responding to the Draft London Plan, this research explored the parallel development of radical low-rise typologies in three cities with the aim of drawing out lessons and informing current approaches to housing typologies, massing and neighbourhood creation. £10,000 awarded.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Mike Althorpe and Abigail Batchelor at the end of the 2018 project (PDF).

Sarah Featherstone and Petra Marko: Modern Day Picturesque

This research aimed to provide an evidence based portfolio of examples to support and build on the VeloCity proposal: VeloCity is a strategic approach to growth and placemaking along the Cambridge to Oxford corridor, centred on reimagining of the village for the 21st century. £10,000 awarded.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Sarah Featherstone and Petra Marko at the end of the 2018 project (PDF).


Peter Barber: 100 Mile City

100-Mile City was a speculative proposal made in the context of the London housing crisis. Its aim was to provide a necessary and provocative response to the Adam Smith Institute’s 2016 paper which insisted that “London’s Green Belt must be built on to curtail the housing crisis”. £6,000 awarded.

View the film directed by Grant Gee, and submitted to the RIBA at the end of the 2017 project (link to external website).

Dinah Bornat: Neighbourhood Design: Working With Children Towards a Child Friendly City

Focusing on a local neighbourhood in the London Borough of Hackney, this research proposed new ways of considering space, urban design and participation to better meet the needs of the younger generation. £8,000 awarded.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Dinah Bornat at the end of the 2017 project (PDF).

Martina Murphy: Re-Building Lives? - The Human Impact of Social Clauses in Construction Projects

Social clauses are contractual arrangements written into public sector projects to use government expenditure as a vehicle for supporting new jobs and youth employment. This research aims to evaluate the human impact of social clauses and the effectiveness of this legislation to positively enhance participant’s lives. £8,000 awarded.

Nicole Porter: Mindful Architects - Increasing Health and Well-Being in the Student Architectural Community

As a response to UK-based surveys of recent years which revealed the concerns about the mental health of architecture students, this project sought to assess how the use of mindfulness training could help students to improve their health and wellbeing. £8,000 awarded.

Read the report submitted to the RIBA by Nicole Porter at the end of the 2017 project (PDF).


Bill Halsall and Robert MacDonald: Design for Dementia: The International Architectural Challenges and Responses

Philip Graham: Appropriate Housing: A Land Partnering Model to Deliver Good Homes as Places to Stay and Play

Roland Karthaus: Building Rehabilitative Spaces

Torsten Schmiedeknecht: The Representation of Modern Architecture through Illustrations in Post-War British Children’s Literature


Mhairi McVicar and Neil Turnbull: Practicing Engagement: The Value of the Architect in a Community Asset Transfer

Jorge Rodríguez Alvarez: A Case Study Handbook on Sustainable Housing Design. Feedback from London Residential Schemes

Urmi Sengupta: Language of Disaster: Exploring the Altered Architectural Fabric of Durbar Square, Kathmandu


Je Ahn: Independence and Privacy in Co-Housing

Christian Frost: From Medieval House to Palazzo: Dwelling, Festival and Ritual in Late Medieval Florence

Iain Jackson and Peter Richmond: The Architecture of Herbert Rowse: Monumental Modernism of Interwar Britain

Guan Lee and Eleanor Morgan: Clay Robotics: Sustainable Practice in a Digital World


Rutter Carroll: Something Concrete and Modern: Post-war architecture in the North-East of England

Alan Lewis: The Mathematization of Daylighting: A History of British Architects’ Use of the Daylight Factor

Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin: Shell Lace Structure

Asterios Agkathidis and Rosa Urbano Gutierrez: The Aesthetics of Energy Efficient Retrofit: Post-war Social Residential Towers in Britain


Alison Killing and Kate Crawford: (Re)Constructing the City: Integrating Urban Design into Humanitarian Response

Lesley McIntrye: Selwyn Goldsmith (1932-2011) and the Architectural Model of Disability: A Retrospective of the Man and the Model

Stephen Walker: Understanding the Architecture of the Travelling Street Fair

Steve Wolstenholme: The Design of Health Buildings in a Time of Austerity

Walter Menteth: Pathways Towards Achieving Construction Procurement Reform and Intelligent Commissioning

Suzi Winstanley: ThinkSpace: Designing for Changing Reader Needs in the Contemporary University Library


Dr Mahnaz Shah: Le Corbusier's Potato Building Typology 1963 - 1965: An Analysis

Oliver Domeisen: The Four Elements of Ornament: Foundations for a Contemporary Ornamental Practice

Lea-Catherine Szacka: Display and Debate: An Oral History of the 1976 Europa/America Show at the Venice Biennale

Dr Yat Ming Loo: Architecture and Immigration in London: The Lost History of Limehouse Chinatown (1900-1970)

Steve Parnell: AD and Post-Modern Architecture: A Critical History

Annekatrin Hultzsch: 'Date your District', 1942 Modern 'Visual Re-education' and the Perception of Victorian Architecture in the Architectural Review

James Dunnett: The Life and Work of Ernö Goldfinger, RA, RIBA (1902-1987)


Matthew French: Bio-Climatic Design of Informal Self-Built Dwellings: A Study in Kibera, Nairobi

Nicholas Jewell: Bringing it Back Home: The Urbanization of the British Shopping Mall as the West Goes East

Stephen McCusker: The Documentation and Mapping of the Central Premises of the Co-Operative Movement in the North-West of England (18442012)

Karen McPhillips: Ecclesiastical Building Disuse and Identity: The Case of Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church

Marisela Mendoza: Felix Candela's Legacy: An investigation of Felix Candela's Work and its Legacy to the Socio-Cultural Heritage and Public Identity of the Contemporary Society in Mexico and the UK


Matthew Barac: Slow Topography: Informal Urban Order in an Age of Global Change

Joseph Bedford: Real Building or Media Object? Stirling and Gowan's Leicester Engineering Building

Emily Greeves: Neylan & Ungless

Tanis Hinchcliffe: An Architectural History of Gentrification in London, 1965-1975.

Get in touch

If you want to discuss a research proposal or find out more about previous recipients and their work, please contact Sophie Arp.

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