The OSPA Annual Travel Bursary supports postgraduate research in British colonial administration and development. 

About the OSPA

The Overseas Service Pensioners' Assocation (OSPA) was founded in 1960 and represented the interests of civil servants who had worked for the governments of former British colonial territories. Upon the closure of OSPA in 2017, the organisation established an annual travel award for postgraduate research students working on topics related to British colonial administration and development policy. 

About the Award

The OSPA Annual Travel Award issues an award of up to £1,000 per year for postgraduate research students to undertake research trips in support of their projects. 


To be eligible for the OSPA Annual Travel bursary, applicants must:

  • Be registered on a programme of doctoral study (MPhil/PhD) at a recognised university in the UK;
  • Be working on a topic related to British colonial administration and/or development policy;
  • Not have received any previous awards from the OSPA Annual Travel Bursary. 


The 2023 deadline has now passed.

How to apply

Please download and fill in the application form. Given the unprecedented situation, the Institute will adopt a more flexible approach as to how and when this year's award can be spent to enable researchers to be supported at this difficult time. 

Please note that funding is not provided retrospectively for trips that have already taken place.

Successful applicants should acknowledge the assistance from OSPA and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in their doctoral thesis and any subsequent piece of published work arising out of the sponsored research.