WMF/PMC/YCBA Research Scholarship

Each year, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), together with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC), and the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) offer a summer graduate student research scholarship that focuses on a specific WMF site.


The WMF/PMC/YCBA scholarship, available through the Center, is open to graduate students in all disciplines who are affiliated with Yale University. One scholarship will be offered per year for an applicant to conduct research at the site that best matches his or her interests. Applicants to the program should write with specific reference to the project for which they wish to apply, along with their qualifications and reasons for their interest in that particular site.

The 2020 application cycle is now closed.

2020 Summer Project Offerings

Sea Change Conference Publication

On September 4–6, 2019, the WMF hosted a major conference on climate change and coastal heritage. Poignantly held in Blackpool—all three of Blackpool’s Piers are now included in the 2018 World Monuments Watch in recognition of their vulnerability to climate change—the Sea Change Conference drew speakers from diverse disciplines and professional backgrounds within the conservation community. Shaped by the four key themes of cultural identity, resilience, sustainability, and best practice, WMF is now looking to publish a selection of the conference papers in a digital format. The Yale scholar for 2020 will contribute to this output in a subeditorial capacity. Responsibilities will include gathering and editing a range of scholarly papers, assisting with the production schedule, and helping to direct content and format layout and visual accessibility. 

Bennerley Viaduct

In 2020, WMF will offer two specialized research projects associated with the Bennerley Viaduct. Built from wrought iron in 1877 to cross the Erewash River, the viaduct was a vital part of the railway network of the East Midlands crossing through the counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It is now one of only two surviving wrought-iron viaducts in England, but it is no longer used for transport purposes. The two WMF projects aim to capture and consolidate existing archival and primary source material, explore visitor engagement potential, and help develop a governance structure for the ongoing preservation and community use of the viaduct.

Bennerley Viaduct: Archival Material and Systems

The first of these projects centers around archival research and the construction of an archival processes. Working closely with the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, the successful Yale scholar in 2020 will conduct new archival research on the viaduct and create an inventory of known archival materials with their locations. Opportunities to connect with local universities and archival repositories will be explored with the intention of establishing ongoing access to experts. Through academic and practitioner advice, the scholar will determine and implement the best archival system that will safeguard critical information about this venerable site for future generations.

Bennerley Viaduct: Interpretation Masterplan

The second project connected with the Bennerley Viaduct looks for a scholar to establish an Interpretation Master Plan. Working closely with the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, the successful applicant will carry out an audit by generating a comprehensive list of the interpretations, public outreach, and programming ideas that have been recommended in the past. An emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of successful public outreach initiatives that are active in the heritage sector, by visiting comparative sites both locally and nationally. In addition, the scholar will help facilitate small focus groups to assess how the viaduct can help address any specific needs or desires within the community, gather feedback on ideas that have been suggested, and collect any new ideas. From this research, the scholar will be able to formulate a tailored Interpretation Master Plan that includes an assessment of potential funding opportunities. 

A study of the topography and iconography of the Castle Howard landscape

This project requires the successful student to consider the early fashioning of the landscape of Castle Howard in order to ascertain whether the topography alone determined the site of these structures, or whether (any) iconographical design was planned and influenced their sequencing and location. Located just outside of York, Castle Howard is one of Britain’s premier stately homes having been in the Howard family for more than three centuries. This research project will involve the analysis of estate maps and drawings, such as Nicholas Hawksmoor’s plans for the mausoleum, as well as a personal exploration of the terrain. Scholars have investigated this question before, and there is much secondary, as well as primary, reading that should be done in New Haven before reaching Yorkshire. However, to collate and assess this information with a fresh perspective would be a worthwhile endeavor.

Contact the Research department at
ycba.research@yale.edu | +1 203 432 2824