The Barrie Dobson Scholarships

Professor R. B. Dobson (1931-2013)
Professor R. B. Dobson (1931-2013)

For almost fifteen years Barrie Dobson was the genial, shrewd and scholarly chair of the steering committee of the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium. He took his role as chair of the committee seriously and worked hard between meetings to move forward the programmes and the publications. But his particular contribution to the symposia was his inclusive style of leadership. He considered that everyone who came to the symposia was important and worth talking to, and he encouraged all the speakers by his perceptive but gentle questioning, often followed up by a thoughtful letter afterwards.

Barrie was immensely distinguished and his range of publications might have been daunting for the fledgling historian. But Barrie instantly dispelled any sense of distance or hierarchy. He was courteous, approachable and generous, and especially to young scholars. For this reason it seems entirely appropriate that two postgraduate bursaries endowed jointly by Harlaxton College and the Symposium committee should carry Barrie’s name and so perpetuate that encouraging enthusiasm which was the hallmark of Barrie’s scholarship.

Caroline M. Barron

Royal Holloway University of London


2023 Dobson Scholarships

Please note that the 2024 Dobson Scholarships award is not yet open for applications.

Two Dobson Scholarships are available for the 2023 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium for PGRs and ECRs whose research relates closely to the theme of the symposium. A letter of reference and a completed booking form should be sent to The deadline for applications is Friday 16th June 2023.

PGRs and ECRs are also encouraged to present an aspect of their research in our poster competition. Presenters will be eligible to apply for our postgraduate bursaries to help with travel costs (funds permitting). Please submit a PDF of your poster in A2 size to by 31st July 2023.

The Dobson Scholarships are competitive awards, and we realise that the cost of the symposium might otherwise preclude PGRs and ECRs from attending. As we hope to encourage as many new scholars to attend Harlaxton as possible, please see our list of potential sources of funding that might help with conference fees. Please direct any queries about these external sources to the relevant funding body directly.

Previous Award Winners:

2023 – Aline Douma (University of Groningen) and Lucy Turton (University of St Andrews)

2022 – Julia Faiers (University of St Andrews) and Samuel Lane (University of Oxford)

2020 and 2021 – no Dobson Scholarships awarded due to Covid-19

2019 – Eleanor Baker (University of Oxford) and Sophie Kelly (University of Kent)

2018 – Taylor Aucoin (University of Bristol) and Aurélie Blanc (University of Fribourg)

2017 – Claire Kennan (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Esther Lewis (University of Nottingham)

2016 – Fiona Whelan (University of Oxford) and Oliver Fearon (University of York)

2015 – Daisy Gibbs (University of Newcastle) and Katie Harrison (University of York)

2014 – Eliza Hartrich (University of Oxford) and Sam Gibbs (University of Reading)