Colston Research Society

Colston Research Society logo

The Colston Research Society is a body made up of academic and external members who are committed to sponsoring and supporting an annual academic symposium. Previous Colston Symposia have covered the whole range of academic disciplines and cross-disciplinary Symposia have been particularly encouraged. The financial support offered by the Society can provide invaluable seedcorn funding for symposia which might not otherwise have been able to run.  The Society is happy to receive proposals from University academics for future symposia. The faculties are on a rotation in order to submit proposals as follows:

Each Colston symposium consists of three elements: a conference over two to three days, a dinner and a public lecture. Following the event, the proceedings are published; past Colston symposia publications form a series of volumes, held in the Special Collections in the University Library.

The Society was founded in 1899 as the ‘University College Colston Society’, by a body of Bristol citizens who wished to assist the University College. From 1908 to 1948 it applied its resources in grants towards specific research projects in various departments of the University. The Society has been supporting symposia since 1948.

Details of future symposia and previous symposia are available.

Travel Scholarships

In July 2013, the Trustees of the Colston Research Society agreed that, in keeping with the aim of spending funds in a way that will benefit students and on-going research, they would award annual scholarships to fund postgraduate or post-doctoral research students wishing to attend conferences and symposia, either in the UK or overseas.

As of June 2018, the administration of these scholarships were transferred to the Bristol Doctoral College. Please contact for more information. 

A Travel scholarship report 16-17 (Office document, 35kB) from students who have recently been awarded scholarships is available.

Trustees of the Society

President: Dr Ros Kennedy


Secretary to the Society: Alison Dawson

All enquiries: Emma Henry