Bithell Prizes

Jethro Bithell and Alice Emily Bithell Prizes

All Colleges of the University offering degree courses incorporating a German component are eligible to enter students for the Jethro Bithell and Alice Emily Bithell Prizes. In respect of the prizes for the internal BA degree only final year students should be nominated although work completed by the nominees before the final year may be taken into consideration.

The Jethro Bithell Prize (£200) is offered for the best performance in an MA of the University of London. Any taught MA with a minimum of three content papers in German or a German component, however distributed among different papers, which in total constitutes 50% of the overall assessment for the MA will be eligible.

The Alice Emily Bithell Prize (£150) is offered for the best performance in modern literature papers at BA level. Any BA course with a minimum German component of 50% will be eligible.

Sylvia Naish Lecture

The Sylvia Naish Lectures were launched in memory of Sylvia Naish, an accomplished linguist, translator, Friend of Germanic Studies, and benefactor of the former Institute of Germanic Studies.

Each year, research students registered for higher degrees in the field of Germanic studies at Universities in the United Kingdom are invited to submit proposals for the next lecture. The event forms part of the Institute’s programme of activities, which are open to the public. The theme of the lecture should be related to the student’s topic of research; the lecture itself should appeal to an audience of non-specialists and aim to convey both the excitement and the importance of the research topic. The winning entry carries a prize of £400, plus reasonable travel and/or accommodation expenses as appropriate, which are covered by the Sylvia Naish Bequest. The lecture is published in abridged form in the next issue of the Newsletter, the annual magazine of the Friends of Germanic Studies.

The 2023 Sylvia Naish Lecture, entitled 'A "Baedeker durch das geistige Paris". Walter Benjamin's (National) LIterary Histories as Travel Guides', given by Sophia Buck (Merton College, Oxford) is available as a podcast.

The 2022 Sylvia Naish Lecture, entitled 'Sex and the Sisi: An Examination of the Postmodern Literary Commemorations of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Twenty-First Century', given by Rhoslyn Beckwith (Swansea) is available as a podcast

The next Sylvia Naish Lecture will take place on Thursday, 2 May 2024.

Robson-Scott Scholarship

William Robson-Scott Travelling Scholarship

Established in memory of Professor W.D. Robson-Scott, Honorary Director of the former Institute of Germanic Studies from 1968 to 1973, the scholarship is awarded by the Institute in the spring of each year.

The award is designed to assist research students registered for an MPhil/PhD or equivalent degree at a University in the United Kingdom to travel abroad to carry out research bearing on the languages and literatures of the German-speaking countries, of the Netherlands, or of Scandinavia. The award, currently £500, is not available for attendance or participation at conferences, and must be taken up before submission of thesis. Applications cannot be considered for journeys which will have taken place, or which will commence, before 1 August.

Method of application: Application form which should be sent by email to reach by 7 June 2024. Applicants should arrange for two academic references (one of whom should be a supervisor of the dissertation) to be sent direct to by the closing date. References must be specific to this application and indicate what benefit the trip will have for the research project.
Applicants can expect to be notified of the outcome of the competition by early July.

Application form [PDF]