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Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Research Grant Program

Summary of Major Points (2015)manuscript page


The purpose of this grant program is to promote new research about Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford: new research about his biography, his literary life, and evidence for, and supporting evidence for, his case as the true author of the Shakespeare canon.


The plan for 2015 is to award $20,000 in grants depending on the amount of money raised.

  • Funds will be raised from membership and friends.
  • Approximately two to four grants are envisioned, amounts depending on project proposals submitted.
  • Grant recipients must be (or become) members of SOF to receive funds.
  • Financial need will be taken into account if noted on the application.
  • New unpublished applicants will be preferred to encourage new researchers.
  • In addition to basic purpose (see Rules 2 and 3 below), applicants and the SOF Board may suggest topics or activities that they are interested in.
  • Proposals will be accepted through July 31, 2015, with the Selection Committee’s decision announced by August 30, 2015.
  • Members of the Selection Committee for this second round are: Katherine Chiljan, Bonner Cutting, Ramon Jiménez, John Hamill and Don Rubin.


Grant Program Rules


1. The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship intends to make 2 to 4 cash grants to scholars and researchers for the purpose of developing new knowledge about the 17th Earl of Oxford, and new knowledge that advances his case for the Shakespeare Authorship. Members of this RGP committee and of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Board of Trustees are not eligible for consideration for a grant.


2. Grant applicants must focus on a specific topic for research, and not general research. Applicants must outline a specific plan of action, identify the expected results, and how this will advance Oxfordian and Shakespeare Authorship studies. Applicants must have pre-researched the topic, feeling confident of expected results. Applicants must already have information about the archives involved, verified access to use them, know the time when the archives are open, etc. If archives are in a foreign language (Latin, Italian, etc.), competence is required.


3. A successful grant application will propose one or more of the following:

a. Examination of a neglected or previously unknown archive, library or document that might lead to a discovery of importance about the 17th Earl of Oxford and his case for the Shakespeare Authorship.

b. Research that will identify a previously unknown person or place mentioned in the Shakespeare canon that is related to the 17th Earl of Oxford, and that will support his case for the Shakespeare Authorship.

c. Examples of specific research projects follow:

• Search for surviving letters of Oxford’s secretary, Antony Munday (or John Lyly, Sturmius of Germany, et al.) and examine them for new information about Oxford.

• Research in archives of Italian cities for existing letters of Baptista Nigrone and Pasquino Spinola, who helped with Oxford’s finances during his European tour.

 • New research on actor/author Robert Armin, who possibly referred to Oxford when he wrote that he would “take my journey (to wait on the right honorable good Lord my Master whom I serve) to Hackney.”

• Research in a private library in the United Kingdom that may have a connection with the Earl of Oxford or his descendants for documents hitherto unknown

• New research on the founder of Oxfordianism, J.T. Looney, for the centennial celebration.

         d. Projects not recommended are: research based on cryptograms, ciphers, stylometry or computer analysis.

4. Grants will not be made to finance a student’s degree program unless they meet one or more of the above criteria.

5. Grant funds may be used for travel, materials, fees and, where appropriate, living expenses.

6. Each applicant must describe the process and methods of his or her research project and explain how it meets one or more of the criteria listed above.

7. Each applicant must specify the amounts requested for travel, materials, fees, and living expenses, where appropriate, and why they are necessary. Awards will not cover salaries or personal stipends for the principal investigator.

8. Each applicant must be a member in good standing of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship in order to receive funds.

9. Proposals will be judged by a selection committee appointed by the SOF President, made up of individuals who are familiar with Oxfordian and Shakespeare Authorship studies.

10. Grants will be financed by specific donations to the Program, to a maximum of $20,000.

11. The grant proposal period will run for three months, after which the Society will announce the successful applicants. The donation period will run indefinitely.

12. Depending on the amount raised, the Fellowship will make one or more grants of $2,000 to $20,000.

13. Grantees will be expected to complete their research within 9 months of receiving their grant award and submit a written report to the SOF Board of Trustees within the following three months. A summary of the project will be published in one of the SOF publications whether or not the project achieved the expected results. The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship will announce the names of the grantees in the newsletter along with the amount of the award, and either the title of the research grant or the general subject matter (in case confidentiality is necessary).

14. Grantees will be encouraged to submit papers of their research to mainstream journals. If this is unsuccessful, the Fellowship will consider such papers for one of its publications.

15. Applications should be submitted to John Hamill at hamillx@pacbell.net.




Instructions for submission:

  1. Submit by email to John Hamill at hamillx@pacbell,net.
  2. 12-point type, double spaced, four-page maximum narrative.
  3. Grant funds are limited; the SOF prefers to give the grant to a person who would not be able to do the project as well, or at all, without it.  The SOF grant may only partially fund your project; in that case will you be able to find the other funds needed or reduce the scale of the project?  SOF grants will range from $2,000 to $20,000.


Contents of four-page narrative :

  1. A two-sentence summary of the project (for announcement purposes).
  2. Detailed line-item budget of the grant request.
  3. Need or opportunity for the research—with your hypothesis.
  4. Research plan (what will be done, where, other relevant info, timeline).
  5. Background of person doing research—education, membership in SOF, ability to do research, etc.
  6. Why you need the grant.  If the SOF can only fund a portion of your request, how will that affect your project?


Criteria  (50 points total)

35 points—research hypothesis and plan

7  points—background of applicant

4 points—need

4 points—new researcher

You can make a donation to the Research Grant Program here.