Grants and Prizes

The WHAI offers important prizes in the field of Irishwomen’s/gender history

Anna Parnell

Anna Parnell

1. The Anna Parnell Travel Grant

The Anna Parnell Travel Grant was established in 2011 to promote research among early stage scholars in Irishwomen’s and Gender History.

Anna Parnell was the fifth of eleven children born to John Henry Parnell, an Irish Protestant landowner, and Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell. Michael Davitt’s proposal to establish an Irish Ladies’ Land League led him to propose Anna as its organiser as he had previously worked alongside Anna Parnell in New York and recognised her administrative ability. Anna Parnell’s life provides a vivid illustration of the immense difficulties faced by intelligent and energetic women in the nineteenth to find a role and have their voices heard.

The travel grant is named in her honour to reflect her vigorous campaigning which saw her travel widely and her intellectual and political contributions which were largely ignored in her lifetime.  One travel grant will be awarded per year and applications are now open for the 2023 Anna Parnell Travel Grant.

It has been decided to award small grants to three suitable candidates this year. Grants of up to €170 will be available. These can be used to cover the costs of acquiring scanned/digitised copies of archival material or other online research costs as well as travel to archives. Please note that 50% of costs will be issued by cheque to the successful applicant in advance of the proposed online research costs, and 50% will be issued upon submission of receipts (to cover the entire amount of the award). If receipts total less than the amount of the award, the lesser amountt will be issued to the applicant. The grant can be combined with other awards. Online research costs must be from 2023 and awards cannot be carried forward. 

The Anna Parnell Travel Grant Award is intended to support travel for research on or conference presentations related to the field of Irish women’s and gender history in any historical era. Applicants must complete the application form in full outlining their intended use of the funds. Postgraduate students must also attach a letter of support from their supervisor confirming their student status and topic of research. The travel grant cannot be used to support conference attendance without presentation. Successful applicants must credit the Women’s History Association of Ireland award in their presentations and any subsequent publications arising from the Anna Parnell Travel Grant. The travel grant is open to any scholar who is a member of the Women’s History Association of Ireland (with current dues paid at the time of application). Applications will be considered both from scholars living on the island of Ireland or overseas who need to travel for research purposes as long as the research maintains a focus on Irish women’s and gender history. The award is not limited to those with institutional affiliations – independent scholars are most welcome to apply.

The successful applicant must provide a 500 word account of their use of the travel grant to appear on the WHAI website within three months of the completion of travel. The cheque reimbursing the remainder of the expenses will not be issued until this report has been received. Preference will be given to applicants without access to institutional support for research related travel.  The competition for the award will be judged by a select panel of the WHAI Executive Committee.

Please email us at with any queries and please email this application form to the Secretary at that address by 31st January 2023.

Click here to download the 2023 application form. The prize will be awarded at the annual WHAI conference.

2. The MacCurtain/Cullen Essay Prize in Irishwomen’s History

The MacCurtain/ Cullen Essay Prize competition for 2023 will open shortly.

The Women’s History Association of Ireland awards an annual MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History in recognition of the outstanding contribution to Irish women’s history by Margaret MacCurtain and Mary Cullen. The prize is offered for the best original essay in the field of Irish women’s or gender history by a current or recent BA or MA/MPhil student.

Eligible candidates for the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History should be current or recent BA or MA/MPhil students.   Original essays of 5-8,000 words (including footnotes) should be based on a dissertation or research essay in the area of Irish women’s or Irish gender history submitted to any university on the island of Ireland between 2013 and 2021. Submissions can deal with any chronological period, any historical subject relating to women/gender, any geographical location on the island of Ireland, and can be in English.  Membership of the WHAI is a requirement for entry.

Please email us at with any queries and please email your submission to the Secretary at that address by 28th February 2022.

If you would like to donate to the prize fund, you can do so by clicking on the PayPal button below
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