Council for British Archaeology

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is an educational charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

The CBA’s Challenge Funding Scheme is a grant scheme that provides modest grants to encourage independent, voluntary effort in original archaeological research. It is supported by English Heritage, the CBA, Historic Scotland and Council for Scottish Archaeology. Since 2004 the former British Archaeological Research Trust awards have been amalgamated with Challenge Funding.

Most of the funding is earmarked for England and Scotland, but the CBA’s contribution is available anywhere in the UK.

Groups, societies and individuals working in a voluntary capacity or promoting voluntary involvement are challenged to put forward proposals for projects which will either: say something new about the history of local surroundings, and thus inform their future care and appreciation; or contribute to archaeological innovation (ie new or under-studied aspects of the historic environment, or new methods, techniques and approaches); or help non-government bodies to establish long-term resources or facilities to enable others to carry out their own original research.

Normally up to £1000. A slightly higher figure may occasionally be awarded to schemes of exceptional promise. However, you are strongly advised not to overbid.

In principle, expenses for almost anything directly related to undertaking the project, but not basic salary costs. Examples generally fall into two categories: equipment purchase or hire, drawing and photographic materials, travel expenses etc.; fees for obtaining external specialist services (eg geophysics or topographic survey, scientific dating, finds or environmental analysis etc).

If you have questions about what might or might not qualify, they will be glad to advise.

They are happy both to contribute to schemes that already have support, and to provide seed-corn funding which may help attract other support. The key point is that the project must still fulfil their eligibility criteria and satisfy nominated referees.

Funding Opportunities:

  • Marsh Archaeology Awards 2016
  • Mick Aston Archaeology Fund (projects in England only)

Application Form: Available from website to download and complete – return by post or email


  • Marsh Archaeology Awards 2016: 31st August 2016
  • Mick Aston Archaeology Fund: No deadline.

Contact: CBA, St Mary’s House, 66, Bootham, York, YO30 7BZ

Tel: 01904 671417