The Visitor Studies Group: Championing excellent visitor experiences



Alison James Professional Development Bursary


The VSG annual bursary provides financial assistance to early career professionals to pursue development opportunities that are in keeping with the mission and goals of the Visitor Studies Group. After the untimely death of Alison James, who was keen supporter of professional development within the sector, we celebrated Alison’s contribution to the field by renaming the bursary in her honour.

After much consideration the VSG Committee has decided in 2015, for the first time, to change the eligibility criteria for applications for the Alison James Professional Development Bursary.

As a Committee we are keen to support and encourage those at the earliest stages of their careers in visitor studies – you are the sector’s future. This year we will prioritise applications for the Bursary from students on a course relevant to visitor studies or someone who has worked in audience research for two years or less. You do not have to have previously been a VSG Member to apply for the Bursary.

The bursary is offered to cover travel, conference registration fees or other related expenses up to £500. This sum can be offered to one applicant or distributed at the discretion of the Selection Board. All bursaries are paid to the applicant in pounds Stirling; the recipient(s) will be expected to provide evidence of the bursary being spent as intended through production of receipts. Successful recipients will be expected to write an article for the VSG web site, give a presentation on their bursary-funded experience at the next VSG AGM, as well as sit on the Selection Board for the following year’s bursary.

Bursary Application Form 2019


To be eligible for a bursary, applicants must have be a student on a course relevant to visitor studies and/or working in audience research for two years or less.

Note: You do not have to be a VSG Member to be eligible for the bursary. Current VSG Committee members are not eligible for this bursary.

The closing date for applications this year is Thursday 11th January 2019.

Applicants will be expected to produce a letter of reference from an academic/course leader or senior professional in their sector in support of their application.

Selection Criteria are detailed on the application form.

If you would like to apply for the bursary, please download the application form above and return it along with a reference to admin@visitors.org.uk or post to the address given on the form.

Reports from previous bursary winners are included below where available:

2017 – Lucy Armitage
2016 – Pippa Gardner
2014 – Gina Koutsika
2013 – David Francis

2012 – not awarded

2011 – Elee Kirk
2010 – Emily Dawson
2010 – Caroline Thalund
2009 – Madeline Eagles
2008 – Sofie Davis
2006 – J Fuchs & J Fritsh
2005 – G Koutsika
2005 – N Boyd & T Moussouri