Dame Lillian Penson Memorial Fund

Professor Dame Lillian Penson was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London between 1948 and 1951, becoming not only the University’s first female Vice-Chancellor but also the first woman to hold such a post at any British University.

Dame Lillian had a long history with the University, first attending Birkbeck College before attaining both a Bachelor of Arts (History) in 1917 and a PhD in 1921 at University College London. She became a full Professor of History at the age of just 34 and was a member of the University Senate for 20 years before also serving as a member of the University Court. Professor Penson served as professor of Modern History at Bedford College from 1930 to 1962, before becoming Professor Emeritus. She also held academic positions at Birkbeck College and Queen Mary College.

In commemoration of her important role in its history, the University of London named one of its intercollegiate halls after her, the Lillian Penson Hall. In addition, the Professor Dame Lillian Penson Memorial Fund was established in 1966. The trust fund provides travel grants for students of the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies to support their studies.

In order to make an application to the Professor Dame Lillian Penson Memorial Fund, you must be a registered student of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (including its Human Rights Consortium), undertaking the following degrees:

  • MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights
  • Research Degrees

Awards from the Professor Dame Lillian Penson Memorial Fund may only be used towards travel for research purposes to support your studies. Awards may not be used towards tuition fees, maintenance, or conference attendance, and any award found to be used in such a way will be withdrawn from the awardee.

Further details about the Fund may be found in the Further Particulars and Application Form. The deadline for applications in academic year 2019-20 has passed but applications for 2020/21 will open in due course.

Further Particulars and Application Form