For years now British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) has quietly and wonderfully supported research students working on areas related to the Bible and contemporary life. KLC has entered into an agreement with BFBS to manage their programme in this respect. You can find important information related to the BFBS Academic Grant Programme, as well as the link to the application form below.
We invite applications for full or part funding of fees for M.Phil/PhD research projects which fit either criteria A or criteria B below.
A: The Bible in the Church
This stream of research should address questions of how the Bible is encountered in church communities and amongst individual Christians within England and Wales. It may focus on particular tribes, denominations or streams of Christians, or particular demographic groups. In addition to examining explicit engagement with the Bible or Lectionary texts, research may also focus on how the Bible is experienced through practices, people or the fabric around gathered church communities.
We are particularly interested in research proposals that examine how Christians grow in confidence with the Bible, or the barriers that can disrupt growth in Bible confidence. Alongside this, we welcome applications with a specific focus on:
B: The Bible in Society
This stream of research should address questions of how the Bible is encountered in the public space by people in England and Wales. It may focus on individual, group or broader societal and structural engagement with the Bible. It may focus on how the Bible shapes Christian interaction and presence in wider society, or how the Bible is experienced or understood at a distance from the practising Christian community.
We are particularly interested in research proposals that address the question of how Christians can best relate the Bible to their public lives. Alongside this, we welcome applications with a specific focus on:
Before applying applicants will need to have been offered a place at an institution to conduct this research, and have a supervisor in place.
Applicants will be required to submit:
The Online Academic Grants Application Form itself will include information such as:
These areas of interest are not exclusive, and we welcome applications that may not easily fit into these criteria.
As a condition of receiving funding from Bible Society, applicants will be expected to:
If you are already a recipient of a BFBS academic grant, then please note that a report on your progress is required every six months on or before 31 January and 31 July. The report form is available here and it can be submitted online.
Once you have submitted the online application form (including uploading the required supporting documents), your application will be reviewed by the Academic Grants Review Panel.
Once your application has been reviewed against our funding criteria, we will write to you to confirm if you have been successful in receiving funding.
If you have been successful, we will confirm payment terms, usually directly to the institution in which you are studying, and any other arrangements that we need to make.
If you are unsuccessful, we may ask you to clarify or further elaborate on areas, and then to resubmit. You can also request further information as to why you were not successful, in order to aid resubmission for future funding.
Bible Society reserves the right to withdraw funding with at least 6 months’ notice, should the charity enter financial difficulties or undertake a significant change in strategic direction.
Research is not better than other parts of the missio Dei, but it is an important part. In his classic, The Intellectual Life, A. G. Sertillanges refers to intellectuals as “athletes of the mind” and he says of them that they “must be prepared for privations, long training, a sometimes superhuman tenacity. We must give ourselves from the heart, if truth is to give itself to us. Truth serves only its slaves.” Research is wonderful, but it is not easy. Those called to it deserve and need our support and encouragement.
Sadly, in much contemporary life a divide remains between church and academy. It ought not to be so. The church needs her athletes of the mind, and the athletes of the mind need the church. Indeed, research ought to enhance the church’s participation in the great missio Dei and to contribute to the flourishing of the world. This is the vision of both BFBS and KLC, and so we are delighted with this partnership.
In its previous incarnations, first as the Whitfield Institute in Oxford, and then as KLICE, KLC did a great deal to support research students. The list is long and impressive. The first Director of KLICE, Dr Jonathan Chaplin, significantly enhanced this work with the conferences he organized for PhD students. Part of KLC’s arrangement with BFBS is to host a conference for research students each year. Holders of awards from BFBS will be required to present at such events, but our hope is that many other research students will find this event an invaluable place in which to build intellectual and spiritual community, share insights, and spur one another on in their work. The conference will be blended, with face to face and virtual participation, so that all those who wish to participate can.
To apply for a Bible Society Academic Grant, please select the button below to fill out and submit the online form: