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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.

Payments of grants from the RIBA Research Fund are made directly to individuals (practitioners and academics) 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.

The RIBA are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Research Fund are:

  • Sarah Ackland, ‘What are the values of feminist architectural practice? How can meaningful change for women in architecture occur?’ - £10,000
  • Peter Russell, ‘White Saviours or Cultural Collaborators?: the impact of design build studios in the Global South’ - £4,835
  • Alice Brown, ‘Estate Regeneration in the age of Climate and Ecological Emergency’ - £9,982
  • Miranda MacLaren, Polina Pencheva, Heather Macey, ‘Temporarily home : Step 1’ - £5,000

Clockwise left-right: Peter Russell, Alice Brown, Sarah Ackland, Polina Pencheva, Heather Macey, Miranda MacLaren.

On announcement of the 2019 recipients, RIBA President Alan Jones said:

“Research is essential to the architects’ profession.

To research encourages a methodical, systematic and rigorous way of working that is efficient and innovative, increases expertise and reduces risk. The collection, sharing and application of research, of knowledge and know-how, helps all architects have more positive impact for their clients and the wider world.

The RIBA is proud to support the endeavours of this year’s Research Fund recipients and their work to tackle some of the key issues facing architects and society.”

Bob Brown, Chair of the Research Grants Sub-Committee also added:

“The applications received, and the selected applicants in particular, demonstrated a laudable level of ambition and a willingness to engage with a range of concerns pertinent to the profession and wider society; such intentions bode well for the future of the profession.”

The RIBA Research Fund applications were assessed by the RIBA Research Grants Sub-Committee which comprises: Professor Robert Brown, University of Plymouth (Chair); Laura Evans, Howland Evans Architects; Dr Saul Golden, Ulster University; David Hills, DSDHA; Dr Mhairi McVicar, Cardiff University; Meryl Townley, van Heyningen and Haward Architects; Jessie Turnbull, MICA Architects; Dr Stephen Walker, The University of Manchester.

Previous recipients and their research are outlined below. If you would like to view examples of previous written outputs of research please email


David McClean and Peter Holgate: Mental Health in UK Architecture Education: An analysis of contemporary student well-being

Mike Althorpe and Abigail Batchelor: Revolutionary Low Rise : Informing London’s good growth strategy

Sarah Featherstone and Petra Marko: Re-imagining the Village for the 21st Century


Peter Barber: 100 Mile City

Dinah Bornat: A Vision for 2026: Hackney – the child-friendly city

Martina Murphy: Re-building lives? - the human impact of social clauses in construction projects

Nicole Porter: Mindful Architects: Increasing health and well-being in the student architectural community


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 & 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.

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