The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in Nineteenth-Century Media

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) is pleased to announce the  Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship, made possible by the generosity of publisher Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in support of dissertation research that makes substantial use of full-text digitized collections of 19th-century British magazines and newspapers. A prize of $1500 will be awarded, together with one year’s passworded subscription to selected digital collections from Gale, including 19th Century UK Periodicals and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.


This year’s winner: RSVP is delighted to announce that the Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship for research to be undertaken in 2017 has been awarded to Nora Moroney a PhD Candidate in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. A synopsis of Nora’s project can be found below:

The Contribution of Irish Writers to British Periodicals in the 1890s

This project examines the dynamics of Irish writers’ contributions to the British periodical press of the 1890s, in particular those journals digitised in the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals. It focuses on the canonical elision of successful figures in London publishing circles, and how they represented or developed notions of ‘Irishness’ in major literary journals such as the Fortnightly Review, Nineteenth Century and Macmillan’s Magazine. It is explicitly indebted to the Wellesley Index – a uniquely helpful resource for this project, as it allows for the collation of articles by author, subject matter or journal title.

Drawing on the tools and methodology of periodical criticism, it situates each article within its specific material and cultural context and utilises a range of primary sources (editorial correspondence, personal papers, and article drafts) to discern any underlying ideology in relation to the journals. The project is therefore transnational in nature and, in its assessment of the importance of historiography in literary production, uniquely interdisciplinary in approach.

Previous winners of the Gale Dissertation Fellowship are:

  • 2016: Amelia T. Joulain-Jay (Lancaster University)
  • 2015: Linda Friday (Edge Hill University)
  • 2014: Lauren Boasso (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • 2013: Helena Goodwyn (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • 2012: Liam Young (University of Alberta)
  • 2011: Adam Crymble (King’s College London)
  • 2010: Bob Nicholson (Manchester University)

    Dates for the 2019 Competition have not yet been announced.

  • Purpose: The purpose of the Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship is two-fold: (1) to support historical and literary research that deepens our understanding of the 19th-century British press in all its rich variety, and (2) to encourage the scholarly use of collections of full-text digital facsimiles of these primary sources in aid of that research.


    In order to be eligible for the award applicants must be enrolled as a postgraduate student at the time of entering the competition. They may be based in any academic discipline, but must be working on a doctoral dissertation or thesis that centrally involves investigation into one or more aspects of the British magazine and newspaper press of the 19th century. Preference will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in approach, and that propose to use innovative methods of exploration that are uniquely possible with online collections. The digitized collections used in this research may include those created by any publishers or projects, whether commercial or non-commercial. Applicants who were unsuccessful in previous years are encouraged to apply again if they continue to meet the above criteria.

    Applications: Applicants should send a c.v. and the names and contact information of two scholars who are familiar with the applicant and his or her dissertation project; it is expected that one of these will be the student’s dissertation director. The project description (approx. 500-800 words) should concisely explain the aims of the proposed research and the key importance of the role of full-text digitized collections in that research. Applications for the Gale Fellowship for dissertation research to be undertaken in 2018 must be submitted in electronic form and sent to by February 1, 2018. Any queries about the application may be sent to the same address. Notification will take place by email not later than April 1, 2018. The successful applicant will be expected to submit a brief report to RSVP at the conclusion of the funded portion of the project, describing the results of the research.