The David Nicholls Memorial Trust is committed to assisting original research about Caribbean societies, and the region at large, and has established several awards in memory of David Nicholls. The Trust is delighted to fund the David Nicholls Memorial Essay Prize awarded every two years by the Society for Caribbean Studies. The David Nicholls Scholarship was established to enable a postgraduate student to complete doctoral research at the University of Warwick. This scholarship is no longer running, but a limited number of annual awards are available to support Caribbean-related research projects – further details are given below. These awards have been made possible by a generous donation from Aileen Sleigh.

Research Award

Applications for the David Nicholls Memorial Trust Award are currently invited for the annual closing date of 1st April. The proposed research should be completed within six months of the specified start date, and within twelve months of the original application submission date.

Applications for the Award (up to £1500) are eligible in the following two categories:

1)  Original research to be included in the submission of a dissertation or thesis for a postgraduate degree that will benefit directly from access to the David Nicholls Memorial Library. Postgraduate students attending universities in the UK or overseas are eligible to apply.

Applicants should state clearly how the proposed research will benefit from extended access to The David Nicholls Memorial Library, which is housed at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. This collection contains David’s personal library, including research notes and his published materials on Haiti, Trinidad and modern politics in the Caribbean, as well as an extensive collection of publications on Caribbean societies, politics and theology. The library catalogue is augmented annually by acquisitions of new publications on current Caribbean research from across the Social Sciences and Humanities. Applicants may also indicate how their research might benefit from access to material housed in other libraries in Oxford. Of particular note are the archives of the Baptist Missionary Society (including material from Haiti, Trinidad and Jamaica) in Regent’s Park College, as well as materials on the Americas in the Bodleian Libraries. Details of the holdings at Oxford can be viewed via the Bodleian Libraries catalogue.

This award is intended as a contribution towards expenses such as travel to and subsistence in Oxford; library fees, or copying charges for material in the David Nicholls Memorial Library. Applications are particularly welcome from students in the Caribbean.


2)  Original research to be included in the submission of a dissertation or thesis for a postgraduate degree that requires substantive fieldwork in the Caribbean, with a minimum stay of two weeks in the region. Postgraduate students attending academic institutions in the UK or in the Caribbean are eligible to apply.

This award is intended as a contribution towards the applicant’s research expenses such as travel to and subsistence in the Caribbean, and most other costs incurred directly in relation to the research project. The award cannot be used for the purchase of research equipment.

Postgraduate students applying for the Award must provide:

  • a research proposal (maximum 1,000 words) detailing the research aims and rationale, indicating the direct benefit gained from a period of study in Oxford or the Caribbean, as appropriate. Proposals should specify a clear research methodology and feasible timeline for the completion of the project
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • a detailed budget with fully quoted costings
  • an academic reference from the applicant’s research supervisor. The referee should send the reference directly to Dr David Howard, Chair, The David Nicholls Memorial Trust by 1st April

Complete applications should be sent as electronic attachments (as .doc or .pdf files) to Dr David Howard, Chair, The David Nicholls Memorial Trust by 1st April. No late or retrospective applications will be considered for the current year of submission.

The Trust usually offers one or two awards annually. The Award Review Panel assesses applications on the following criteria: feasibility of the research proposal; direct contribution of the proposed research to the overall research project; originality and academic strength of the proposed research; compehensiveness of the proposed budget and value for money, and relevance of the proposed study to David Nicholls’ research interests.

Successful applicants will receive two-thirds of the grant in advance of the project, and one third on completion. All awards must be claimed within six months of the completion of the proposed research visit. A statement of actual expenses with receipts and a 500-word summary of the research results and analysis should be forwarded to the Chair. It is a condition of each Award that the support is acknowledged in any subsequent publications or output, which draw directly on work supported by the Trust.The Trustees would be glad to house copies of publications or theses that arise from these awards in the David Nicholls Memorial Library.

Previous Awards


Audra Diptee – Slave children in Jamaica, 1775-1838.  Subsequent publication: Diptee, A. (2006) African children in the British Slave Trade during the late Eighteenth Century Slavery and Abolition 27, 2: 183-196


Gelien MatthewsBritish West Indian slave resistance within the broader context of the British anti-slavery movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Subsequent publication: Matthews, G (2006) Caribbean Slave Revolts and the British Abolitionist Movement. Baton Rouge: LSU Press

Ruth Minott EgglestoneDevelopment of the national pantomime tradition in Jamaica


Tara InnissChildren’s health in nineteenth century Barbados: the health and welfare of children in a colonial society


Denise ChallengerFreedom, race and sexuality: the control of the female body and sexuality in nineteenth century Barbados


Dwight MckenzieAn analysis of the public sector reform and modernisation programme in Jamaica


Christina Violeta Jones – Revolution and reaction: Santo Domingo during the Haitian revolution and beyond, 1791-1844

Alejandro E. GómezThe affective and ideological impact of the Haitian Revolution beyond independence. Subsequent publication: Gómez, A. E. (2006) El síndrome de Saint-Domingue: percepciones y sensibilidades de la Revolución Haitiana en el Gran Caribe (1791-1814) Caravelle 86 : 125-155


Nadine HuntThe Caribbean trade of Jamaica: the consolidation of Atlantic networks, 1756-1807. Subsequently published as: Hunt, N. ‘Remembering Africans in diaspora: Robert Wedderburn’s ‘Freedom Narrative”. In Olatunji, O. and N. Hunt (eds) (2012) Slavery in Africa and the Caribbean: a history of enslavement and identity since the 18th century. London: I.B. Tauris, 179-198


Karst de JongThe Irish military presence in Jamaica during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries


Chloé Newcomb HodgettsThe chemical ecology of Arrow crabs and coral reef heath in Jamaica

Thérèse YardeNature-society relations in Dominica: assessing the natural heritage trail

Mark TumbridgeIndenture Wreathed in Opium: Asian presence in the Caribbean – literary representations of Indo-Caribbean and Sino-Caribbean subjects from the nineteenth century to the present. PhD thesis, The David Nicholls Doctoral Scholarship, University of Warwick


Molly CrossthwaiteMarine archaeology of Anguilla

Steven C. WilsonThe Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States: explaining democratic stability and regional integration


Keira QuinnScience, non-governmental organisations and disaster risk reduction: knowledge in social context


Jeanette EhrmannEnlightenment and state of exception: the Haitian revolution as an event and a critique of European modernity

Antony StewartTracking foreign intervention through medicine and social science in Haiti, 1900-1950


Melissa BennettPicturing the West India Regiments in an age of unrest, civil war and tourism, 1850-1914

Jack WebbThe spectre of Haiti in the British imagination, 1791–2007


Eve Hayes de la KalafMaking foreign nationals: denationalisation, birthright citizenship and the contours of belonging in the contemporary Dominican Republic


Kimberley Thomas“A sea of islands”: (re)situating the salt islands of the British Caribbean, 1680-1850


Mary CorneliusThe power of religion: individual experience and institutional expression in Grenadian colonial society, 1763-1838