colourful image from old text of people in a boat passing something to a man in a smaller boat
BL, Additional MS 1029, f. 56v. Courtesy of the British Library.

Prizes & Bursaries

The GMS group runs a number of initiatives to help promote and facilitate the work of postgraduate and/or unwaged researchers, including an annual postgraduate student essay prize and travel bursary for GMS conference participation in January of each year.  The GMS is a non-profit organisation and donations to its Kate Westoby bursary fund are therefore most welcome. Please contact the GMS Treasurer, should you wish to donate to the fund.

Gender and Medieval Studies Student Essay Prize 2016

The 2016 Gender and Medieval Studies Student Essay Prize has been awarded to Francesca Allfrey for her essay:

‘Sex and Violence in the Early Church: Writing the Female Body in De Virginitate and Judith

Congratulations, Francesca!

Information about submissions for our 2017 essay prize will be announced here.

To keep up-to-date on the GMS conference series, please subscribe to the listserv address: or follow the link on the GMS homepage.

Previous Winners

2015: Laura Kalas Williams (University of Exeter), ‘“Slayn for Goddys lofe”: Margery Kempe’s Melancholia and the Bleeding of Tears’.

2014: Daisy Black (University of Hull), ‘“Nayles Large and Lang”: Masculine Identity and the Anachronic Object in the York Crucifixion Play’. 

Kate Westoby Travel Fund

We welcome the attendance of postgraduate students at our conferences and have a fund specifically set aside for subsidizing the travel of those who would otherwise be unable to attend. This fund was set up in 1992 in memory of Kate Westoby, one of the original organisers of the annual Gender and Medieval Studies Group conference.

Each year the steering committee and the conference organizers try to raise money to replenish the fund. Postgraduates whose own universities or other grant-awarding bodies are unable to help them are eligible to apply for help from the Kate Westoby fund. This includes students who wish to attend the conference but who are not giving papers.

Money will be divided amongst the number of students who apply and it may not be possible to pay expenses in full. We regret that no money can be paid in advance; we will reimburse applicants as soon as possible after the conference. Since funds are limited, priority will be given to travel expenses incurred within the UK; it is unlikely that we will be able to pay for international airfares. Due to the limits of our fund, and the high cost of bank charges, we can only pay expenses in GB Pounds.

For any further information on the fund send an email to the treasurer of the fund, Isabel Davis, at

We are always eager for new donors and donations. Why not donate to the fund to honour an influential tutor or supervisor? Why not celebrate a publication or new qualification by means of a small donation?  If you would like to make a donation and encourage new voices in the field of gender and medieval studies you can email the GMS Treasurer, Dr Isabel Davis ( and she will send you the GMS account details.

The prize gives free registration to the GMS conference (held every January at a different UK institution) for two years (2017 and 2018) and a contribution towards UK travel costs to the conference. In 2017 the conference will be on Gender, Places, Spaces, Thresholds and will be held at Canterbury, Christchurch University (12th-15th January).

The winning essay will also be considered for publication in the academic journal Medieval Feminist Forum, run by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS).

There may be years when no prize is awarded, depending upon submissions in any given year.

Electronic submissions should be submitted to Isabel Davis ( by November 21st 2016.

To keep up-to-date on the GMS conference series, please subscribe to the listserv address: or follow the link on the GMS homepage.