Derrick Riley Fund Grants

The Derrick Riley Fund was established in 1994 to foster and support the study of aerial archaeology by young scholars. It provides grants to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the UK and overseas to fund research and further training in aerial archaeology.

About Derrick Riley

Derrick Riley (1915-1993) was a one of the outstanding pioneers of aerial archaeology. He began his flying career during the second world war as a bomber pilot and applied his skills in aerial reconnaissance to archaeology in Britain and overseas.

His campaigns of flying in the 1970s and 80s resulted in the discovery of a vast number of new sites and transformed the understanding of some previously undervalued landscapes, notably the lowlands of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

He was an enthusiastic teacher and advocate for aerial archaeology, writing books such as Early Landscapes from the Air (University of Sheffield, 1980), Aerial Archaeology in Britain (Shire, 1982), and Air Photography and Archaeology (Duckworth, 1987). The University of Sheffield awarded Derrick Riley an honorary doctorate in 1981 and now curates his archive of photographs in the Sheffield Library of Aerial Photographs.

Scope of the grant

A maximum of £500 will be available each year to be split between one or more awards. The grants will support students currently following a degree-level course to undertake either independent research involving aerial archaeology (including undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations) or training in aerial archaeology (for instance, attending a workshop, work placement or a conference).

Eligible expenses include travel, accommodation, consumables and conference/workshop fees. Activities funded by the grant must be completed within the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

How to apply

You should complete the application form and email it to or post it to:

Bob Johnston
Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Northgate House
West Street
S1 4ET

An academic reference is also required in support of the application. This should be written by someone who can comment on the quality of your academic work and the value of the project.

The deadline for applications and references is 1 July 2013.

At the completion of the project, successful applicants will be required to provide proof of expenditure together with a report of about 500 words.