Each year the APG presents two travel awards

* Ros Davies Memorial Research Travel Award

* Alan Grant Memorial Research Travel Award

to postgraduates undertaking research in an area involving US politics (current or historic).

Each prize is for £750 to be used with travel costs for research. Winners will receive their award at the Annual Colloquium on December 2nd at the Eccles Centre - and are encouraged to present a paper at the APG Annual Conference in January. They are asked to prepare a report after any trip briefly outlining the research that was undertaken and asked to acknowledge the Group's input in any future publication that occurs as a result of the research undertaken.

The generosity of Professor Philip Davies (Eccles Centre, British Library) in funding the Ros Davies Memorial Award, and the generosity of APG members in collectively contributing to the Alan Grant Memorial Award is greatly appreciated.


The PSA American Politics Group’s

2019 Rosamund Davies Memorial Research Travel Fellowship

The American Politics Group invites applications for a grant of £750 to help support a research trip to the USA for work on projects related to American politics.

Applications are invited from persons normally resident in the UK, and from scholars currently working at, or registered as postgraduates at, UK universities and institutions of higher education. Preference will be given to young scholars, primarily postgraduate students. Unsuccessful applicants for previous rounds of the awards are eligible to apply.

While the project may be part of a larger and long-term programme of work, the proposed research visit should have well-defined, achievable and discrete aims, with results that will be reported and disseminated widely. The award is not intended to complement a long-stay visit to the USA.

The closing date for applications is 1 OCTOBER 2019. The research trip must be completed by 31 December 2020. Awards for travel will not be made retrospectively.

The winner of the APG Rosamund Davies Fellowship will be announced at the APG/BAAS Annual Colloquium, hosted by the Eccles Centre at the British Library, London, on Friday 8 November 2019.

The APG Rosamund Davies Fellow:

· is required to provide a brief report of their research trip for publication on the APG website

· should acknowledge the assistance of the American Politics Group in any publication that results from research carried out as a result of the award

· is invited to present a research paper to the APG conference which draws on the work undertaken during the Fellowship period

Applications should be sent by email to Dr Andrew Wroe, co-chair of the APG, at a.j.wroe@kent.ac.uk and include the following information:


Contact Address:


Institutional affiliation:

Highest academic qualification and awarding institution:

Position held (if any):

Proposed dates of visit:

Purpose of visit (Provide a summary of your research agenda and explain how the proposed research trip enhances it. What research will you undertake and where? Do not exceed 1,000 words):

Estimate of full cost (Be specific and realistic):

Name, address and email of one referee (Your referee should be familiar with your work and your research proposal. The prize committee will solicit references only of short-listed candidates. There is no need to provide a reference letter with your initial application):

Have you received, applied for or are going to apply for any other funds to support your research trip?





APG Ros Davies 2017 Memorial Research Travel Award Fieldwork Report

by Emma Day

With the generous support of Professor Phillip Davies and the Ros Davies Memorial Travel Award, I visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, for two weeks in April 2018 where I completed primary research for my PhD.

I am a PhD candidate in American History at the University of Oxford. My dissertation examines the relationship between the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the women's healthcare movement in the United States from the 1980s to the present day. In particular, my project focuses on women's activism in response to HIV/AIDS and explores how the emergence of epidemic in the United States intersected with ongoing political debates over abortion, women's sexuality, and reproductive health.

The research I completed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was crucial to the development of my dissertation. Examining the papers of various members of the Reagan administration enabled me to trace the contests that took place within the administration over the federal government's treatment of women at risk or infected with HIV during the uncertain first decade of the epidemic. This research is essential to the first chapter of my dissertation, which examines the interplay between women's health advocates, the Surgeon General, and pro-life members of the Reagan administration over the issue of HIV/AIDS among women.

During my time at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, I researched the papers of senior members of the administration, such as William Bennett, the Secretary of Education, and Gary Bauer, a senior White House aide, as well as Cabinet Secretary Nancy Risque, Kathleen Koch, Kenneth T. Cribb, Kate K. Rairden, Richard A. Davis, Robert W. Sweet, John Klenk, Beryl W. Sprinkel, James Warner, Dee Jepsen, Judi Buckalew, Diana Lozano, Mary Elizabeth Quint, and the Surgeon General Dr Charles Everett Koop. I have now been able to place the internal conflicts that took place within the administration over how best to respond to the AIDS crisis in the context of the activism of various feminist organisations, whose organising on behalf of women living with HIV I have researched at a number of LGBT and women-focused archives, including the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in American at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.

I am extremely grateful to the APG and donors for the opportunity to complete research that is vital to the successful completion of my PhD.



APG Alan Grant 2017 Memorial Research Travel Award Fieldwork Report by Daniel Watson

The Alan Grant Memorial Research Travel Award allowed me to travel to Boston, Massachusetts and New York from 1 April to 22 April 2018 to visit several archives to conduct research essential to my PhD thesis.

I am an American Studies PhD student at the University of Nottingham, and my research examines how American organized labor intervened in the national debate over industrial automation and domestic modernization between 1948 and 1974. The research I undertook in Boston during the two weeks I spent there focused on specific intellectuals and business figures who made important contributions to the debate. I visited MIT to view Norbert Wiener's personal papers. As one of the foremost authorities on cybernetics and automation in the early twentieth century, his correspondence proved especially useful in understanding how critics of automation discussed issues of unemployment among themselves. My visit to the Harvard University and Harvard Business School archives allowed me to access the papers of modernization theorist Daniel Bell and prominent businessman John Diebold. Diebold's speeches, writings, and correspondence helped me understand how corporate proponents of automation situated themselves in the automation debate, and the extent of their involvement with labor. Bell's writings, correspondence, and research material gave me an insight into how modernization theorists reconciled the grievances of labor in their promotion of automation, how modernization theorists understood technological development, and how they incorporated their interest in technology into their writings.

I also visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library which allowed me to gain a greater understanding of how government policy on automation was developed during Kennedy's administration. By examining the personal papers of notable government officials tasked with investigating the effects of automation and technological progress, such as Kennedy's Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz, I was able to understand how the activities of labor contributed to the creation of policies on automation, how government actors understood labor's grievances regarding automation and their plan of action to reduce unemployment. My time in New York was spent solely at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives investigating the documents and publications of the AFL-CIO and various trade unions, all of which were embroiled in the debate over automation. These, alongside labor magazines and journals helped me understand how these unions worked to ameliorate the negative consequences of automation and critique the arguments of its proponents.

I am very grateful to the APG for their generosity in supporting me on what has been an extremely fruitful research trip, the findings of which will undoubtedly prove essential to the successful completion of my PhD thesis.

2016 Ros Davies Memorial Research Travel Award - fieldwork report by Dominic Barker (University of Oxford)


2015 Ros Davies Memorial Research Travel Award - Fieldwork Report by Ilaria Di Gioia (Birmingham City University)

Thanks to the generosity of Prof. Philip Davies -who funded the Ros Davies Memorial Travel Award- I had the opportunity to travel to a snowy Denver, CO between 5-11 February 2016 and visit the headquarters of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL). The main purpose of my trip was to complete the data collection for my PhD dissertation in American Constitutional Law.

My PhD research investigates the aversion of some American state legislatures to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In particular, my dissertation consists of an analysis of the constitutional arguments used by the state legislators upon the introduction of bills that oppose the implementation of specific provisions of the ACA within the territory of the state. This type of legislative research requires the use of legal databases such as West Law and Nexis Lexis. However, these databases are limited to statute search and do not allow the user to track the history of a certain bill, the introduced version and the debate before the enactment. A more appropriate database for this purpose is State Net, an American legal database unavailable in any UK institution.

I had the opportunity to use State Net during my research trip to Denver, thanks to the kindness of Richard Cauchi, Health Program Director at NCSL, who dedicated two full working days to my project. With the help of Director Cauchi, I identified the most appropriate search strategies and conducted a targeted search that allowed me to examine a good amount of new data and refine my old database. It was particularly useful to collect state sovereignty bills filed in January 2016 that will need to be tracked over the rest of the legislative year.

The visit to NCSL allowed me to make exceptional progress with my research and I have been lucky to meet talented researchers that provided valuable insights into legislative search strategies. I am still in contact with the researchers at NCSL and we constantly share information and updates on the status of states' legislation in healthcare.

Overall, the research trip to Denver, CO has enormously contributed to the depth of my legislative research and to the credibility of my PhD dissertation. I shall update this report once my PhD dissertation has been examined.

2014 Ros Davies Memorial Research Travel Award fieldwork report

Lilia Giugni (University of Cambridge) 

The Ros Davies Memorial Research Travel Award allowed me to spend six weeks in Washington DC between April and May 2015. I am a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, POLIS Department, where I study the transformations of the European left and the impact of the American model on its changing ideology. The exchanges of ideas and practices between the American Democrats and several European organizations, especially after the mid-1990s, play a key role in my research. Transnational cooperation and policy transfer between parties from the two sides of the Atlantic are a fascinating and rather understudied topic, very pertinent to current political developments.

During my time in DC, I had the chance to work on a daily basis at the Library of Congress. Its wide collections and precious online resources helped me to reconstruct the contacts between Democratic officers and representatives of Western European parties, most particularly the British Labour. The publications and documents of the Democratic Leadership Council, the main organization behind Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaigns and the development of the Third Way platform, were especially helpful. Copies of Blueprint, the DLC's in-house magazine, and reports of the Third Way meetings hosted in Europe and the US, supplied very useful information.

The other essential source of my analysis are qualitative interviews of party officers and policy advisors. While in DC, I was lucky enough to meet and interview key actors of the Clinton's administration, including Al From (the DLC's founder), Simon Rosenberg, leader of the New Democratic Network, the New Democrat and former CEO of the DLC Bruce Reed, and Elaine Kamarck, Al Gore's influential policy advisor. These interviews provided me with essential material for the PhD thesis I am currently drafting. Moreover, this material will be the basis of a journal article that I soon intend to author.

Overall, I am incredibly grateful to the APG for having supported me through such an enriching and fruitful experience. My time in the US has not only been crucial to the completion of my PhD research, but also taught me a lot on the peculiarities of academic work in the US. Above all, it has provided me with the unique opportunity to immerse myself in the political buzz of the very world I am studying.


A Report From Joe Ryan-Hume (University of Glasgow): The APG Alan Grant Memorial Research Travel Award PG Recipient 2015

The APG Travel Award enabled me to spend five weeks in Washington DC, based at the Library of Congress (LOC) on a daily basis. My research findings at the LOC were fundamental to the development of a thesis chapter, which could only be completed with access to specific manuscript collections and digitized databases; the only institution to house comprehensive access to them both.

I am a current third-year Ph.D. student based in the Department of History at the University of Glasgow. My thesis questions the notion of conservative ascendancy and the so-called 'Reagan revolution' in 1980s America by reinterpreting the impact of liberalism at the time. By thoroughly examining how liberals functioned both within and distinct from the Democratic Party in opposition, I intend to dispel the argument that the history of 1980s liberalism is one of incompetence and ineffectiveness. Instead, I will highlight how the networks that formed and developed whilst in opposition helped liberals attain success at state and congressional level, as well as facilitate Bill Clinton's subsequent presidential triumph in 1992. Furthermore, as this is the era in which Barack Obama - at the time an organiser for Ralph Nader's Public Interest Group - and many of the President's allies became politically active, it would be impossible to understand the present administration's historic ascension without an examination of the political environment that first nurtured Obama and his cohort.

In order to effectively survey liberalism during this tumultuous decade, a section of my thesis focuses on Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY.), a liberal champion and vocal critic of the Reagan administration. From an examination of my initial research, completed whilst a 2014 John W. Kluge fellow at the LOC, it became clear that Moynihan played a crucial role in protecting liberalism's brightest jewel, Social Security, from conservative dissection. With a case study titled 'Social Security and the 1982 Midterms', I sought to use the collections at the LOC to show how and why a strong liberal defence of Social Security in 1982, driven by Moynihan in the Senate and supplemented by the activism of liberal interest groups, dissuaded the Reagan administration from attempting major revisions and had a dramatic impact on the 1982 midterms.

Indeed, Senator Moynihan's personal papers are housed at the LOC and excavating through these during my research visit, from his correspondence, speeches, and legislative files to his various press releases and personally penned notes, allowed me to effectively pinpoint the exact moment a successful liberal backlash to a key facet of Reagan's conservative agenda started to take hold. By determining the various strategies that were implemented in order to do so, my research findings highlighted that by exploiting the Social Security issue, liberals effectively regained ideological control of the House of Representatives following the 1982 midterms.

Moynihan, alongside Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, literally took the Social Security issue and ran with it, slowly gaining much needed ground on the political terrain of domestic issues. Using online resources, particularly the Congressional Record and CQ Press, allowed me to discover how the Social Security issue reshaped the contours of Reagan's America and slowed the pace of the 'Reagan Revolution' steam train. Alongside this, I was able to use contemporary newspaper and magazine clippings to reinforce the findings from the Moynihan papers and Congressional collections. Gathering this information has helped me to map out how and why liberals were able to gain such political traction on an issue seen by conservatives to epitomise the supposedly elephantine, bloated nature of the federal government. By discovering some of the varied strategies implemented in order to save Social Security from the conservative chopping board, this research has greatly improved the range and depth of my thesis.

The lack of access to such varied materials at The University of Glasgow hindered the progression of this research beforehand - not only through an inability to consult the primary sources stored at the LOC, but my university library does not have access or subscriptions to most digitized American newspaper databases for example. Thus, the APG Award allowed me to carry out all of the research required for this chapter over a five-week period. I sub-rented a room on Capitol Hill, walked by Thomas Walter's famous dome every morning, and immersed myself in the politics of Washington in the balmy summer of 2015.

The majority of my findings regarding Moynihan and the Social Security battle of the early 1980s will be published in my thesis, which has the working title 'Standing in Reagan's Shadow: Liberal Strategies in a Conservative Age.' The overall range and depth of this thesis has benefited greatly from the APG Award and the consequential research period in Washington, both allowing me to precisely determine the role liberals played in influencing policy, as on Social Security, as well as enabling me to initially uncover some of the networks and organisational strategies that developed to ensure success whilst in opposition. Finally, alongside supporting me to further develop a key analytical aspect of my PhD, my time at the LOC enabled me to begin work on a paper based on my research for consideration in a number of high-impact journals.