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Interdisciplinary Trust Funds

We are the trustee of over 100 trust funds, used to support academic activities at our member institutions, the School of Advanced Study and Senate House Library. ​

Reading an open book in Senate House Library
The University of London - Interdisciplinary Trust Funds.

The trust funds were established following generous donations from supporters. Some are almost as old as the University itself, dating back to the 1850s, while many others have been created since 2000. Please find details of our Interdisciplinary Trust Funds below:

Interdisciplinary Trust Funds

This Trust Fund is used to fund a Visiting Professorial Chair to research the Commonwealth at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.  It is open to distinguished academics specialising in Commonwealth Studies who are in post at a university or equivalent institution in a Commonwealth nation.  The Chair is named after Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the third Commonwealth-Secretary General. Chief Anyaoku is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, and attended when it was an external college of the University of London (then University College of Ibadan).

The Australian Bicentennial Trust was established in 1988 to commemorate 200 years since the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney. The Trust Fund was established with the support of the Australian Government and numerous donors, and in accordance with the official organisers of Australian Bicentennial celebrations.  The Fund was to be used to promote scholarship, intellectual links, and mutual understanding and awareness between the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Trust Fund is used to support Australian Bicentennial Scholarships and Fellowships at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London. The Scholarships and Fellowships enable UK postgraduate students or academic staff to undertake research and study in Australia and are also open to Australian postgraduate students and academic staff wishing to come to the UK.

The Central Research Fund was created by the University to support postgraduate students and academic staff undertaking research.  It is used by the School of Advanced Study for academic staff development, with awards overseen by the School's Research Promotion and Facilitation Committee.

In 1956, the University was informed that Mr A. C. Coffin, who had been a Chief Education Officer of Bradford, had left his estate to the University. The Coffin bequest had a number of elements, which became individual trust funds. The Coffin Fund for Promising Students was created to award “Prizes for outstandingly promising students in any department of the University” and now funds a scholarship for a Master’s student at the School of Advanced Study. 

In 1956, the University was informed that Mr A. C. Coffin, who had been a Chief Education Officer of Bradford, had left his estate to the University. The Coffin bequest had a number of elements, which became individual trust funds. One of aims of the bequest was to “provide for the printing of reports of educational progress by the Directors of the Institute of Education.”

The money from the Trust Fund is allocated to the Institute of Education every year and used to support its Publications Department.

Convocation, as the body of graduates of the University, was established by Charter of 1858 and flourished throughout the period when the central organs of the University were dominant. Over the years the officers and members of Convocation made a valuable contribution to the affairs of the University.

Following the restructuring of the University, in which many powers were decentralised to the Colleges, the Convocation in its original form was closed.  The Convocation Trust, which had been funded from the donations of former students, remained open for the benefit of the University of London community

The Convocation Trust continues to play an active role across the University of London federation. The Trust is run by a management committee made of up of external trustees and is a decision-making body independent of the University’s central management. The Trust’s remit remains the same as that of the previous Convocation association, which is for the benefit of all federal University of London students. In recent years the Trust has funded a range of activities and made numerous grants to areas of the University, including to the Senate House Library..

The Convocation Trust continues to receive donations and support from University of London graduates.


The Convocation Trust Committee of Management has agreed a Statement of principles and working practices and management. Departments of the University and Member Institutions wishing to bid for support from the Convocation Trust for their projects are invited to use the Committee's application form and consult its guidelines.

Sir Banister Fletcher was an architect and an architectural historian who trained at both King’s College London and University College London. His book, A History of Architecture, is an important textbook.

The Sir Banister Fletcher Bequest was left to the University in 1953. The Trust Fund’s purpose is to support the publication of new editions of the book. Sir Banister’s will named the University and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) the joint holders of the copyright to the work and the institutions have worked together to publish the book.  A new edition, Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture, will be published in 2019.

Sir Banister Fletcher was an architect and an architectural historian who trained at both King’s College London and University College London. His book, A History of Architecture, is an important textbook.

The Sir Banister Fletcher Lectureship Fund was set up in 1953, at the same time as the Banister Fletcher Bequest, for the publication of future editions of the textbook. Sir Banister made a further gift to the University in his will and he asked that it be used to fund an academic chair in architecture. The sum of money was not enough to fund such a post, so in 1979 the University created the Banister Fletcher Lectureship, which is currently hosted at the Bartlett School of Architecture (part of UCL).

The ST Lee Visiting Professorial Fellowship was created following a donation from Dr S. T. Lee of Singapore. Lee Fellowships are short-term roles, with post-holders being based at one of the Institutes of the School of Advanced Study or the Human Rights Consortium, for between four and six weeks.  The Lee Professor undertakes research and engages in lectures and other media communications at the School of Advanced Study.

Details on the S T Lee Visiting Professorial Fellowship may be found here.

The Neaveth Fund was established following a gift to the University made by Mr A. T. Neale and Mr C. S. Eveleth “for the benefit of students of Hungarian nationality” and in 1971 the balance of the Hungarian Students Relief Fund was transferred to it. The history of the gift is complicated by difficulties that had their origins in the rise of Nazism in Hungary.

In 2014 the Trust Funds Committee agreed that all University of London Member Institutions and the School of Advanced Study could seek assistance from this fund for Hungarian students. To be eligible for Neaveth funding the students in question must have been deemed by their host Institution to qualify for financial assistance bursaries under their normal criteria. For more information Member Institutions should contact The University will not accept applications directly from students; students who think they may be eligible for support from the Fund should contact their own departments.

The Publications Fund was established by the University in 1981 following the sale of the Athlone Press to a private company. The Fund was to be used to support the publication of individual works of academic merit. The first publication supported by the trust fund was 'Germany in the Later Middle Ages' by Emeritus Professor F. R. H. du Boulay.

The Fund is now administered by Senate House Library, supporting publication in digital format and digital projects in open access format.

Dr Abdul Latif Tibawi was a Palestinian historian and educationalist who took his PhD at the University of London and taught at the University’s Institute of Education.  Dr Tibawi left money in trust for the establishment of a research fellowship in his name. The Fellowship was to support Palestinian Arab students, male or female and from any religion, whose family had been forced from their homeland between 1948 and 1949 or in 1967. Dr Tibawi also requested that the Fellowship be for research into education, history or literature related to Palestine after 1850.

Meeting Dr Tibawi’s wishes in full was difficult and with the express permission of Dr Tibawi’s family, the University altered the terms of the trust, which now offers support through the Tibawi Trust Award to Palestinian Arab students at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Dr Tibawi’s family has generously added to the original gift for the fund.

Ethel Mary Wood was a philanthropist and collector of bibles, and biography of her father Quintin Hogg who established the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster).  Mrs Wood offered a gift to the University to establish a series of lectures on any aspect of the English Bible that was not theologically controversial. Ms Wood later bequeathed her collection of rare American and English bibles to the Senate House Library and established a book fund.

The Ethel M. Wood Lectures are hosted by King’s College London, having previously been organised in consultation with Heythrop College.

The Research, Studentship and Prize Funds were created by agreement with the Charity Commission to combine smaller funds that had become difficult to use into three larger funds for more general academic purposes that continued to reflect the wishes of the donors to the original funds.

The Research Fund is shared among between the University of London Member Institutions, the School of Advanced Study and the University of London Institute in Paris, based on  student numbers.   It is for each institution in receipt of funds to allocate them for research.

The Studentship Fund is shared in the same way and each institution is free to offer studentships at any level for any subject. 

The Prize Fund is also shared by institutions based on student numbers and institutions distribute their allocations as academic prizes.

To find out more about the Research, Studentship and Prize Funds agreement, please read the Charity Commission 2011 report.