What is the SPAB Lethaby Scholarship?

“The Scholarship far exceeded all my expectations. A rare opportunity to meet so many people who have the skills to match their passion for conservative repair” 2013 Scholar Ross Perkin

Since 1930 the SPAB has offered the Scholarship to support architects, surveyors and engineers. The nine-month full time programme is intensive but rewarding. Each year the Scholars travel the length of the country together, making site visits and meeting expert craftspeople and architects working in building conservation. SPAB Scholars are now among the leading conservation experts in the UK, looking after some of the foremost buildings in Britain. Some are cathedral architects, others look after palaces, National Trust houses or English Heritage scheduled monuments. Some Scholars have devoted their careers to more humble buildings such as abandoned medieval churches or vernacular agricultural buildings, producing work of the highest quality. Take a look at the Scholars' and Fellows' blog for an insight into the Scholarship experience. Please download our Scholarship flyer.

Scholarship programme - contact us to find out more

Download the application form and information pack. Return the application form to Catharine Bull, The closing date for applications is 1 December, interviews will be held at SPAB HQ mid January and the programme start date is mid March.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from architects, surveyors and engineers who have completed their college-based training (e.g. RIBA Parts I & II for architects), ideally with a few years experience in their field. Applicants must be enthusiastic about old buildings and their conservation. Good social skills are necessary as the first six months are spent living and working in close proximity with the other Scholars and Fellows and meeting new hosts on-site each day. Potential Scholars must be practically minded, able to work as part of a team and be willing to spend long periods of time away from home. Similarly qualified overseas candidates are eligible provided they have excellent English language skills and a UK base for the duration of the programme. If shortlisted, all candidates must be willing to attend an interview in London at their own expense. Three or four Scholarships will be awarded, depending on funding.

Please note that the offer of a SPAB Scholarship is subject to the applicant providing evidence of their right to live and work in the UK. SPAB cannot guarantee that it will be able to sponsor any applicants with their visa applications. Applicants should first consider their eligibility for a UK visa by consulting the UKVI website, which can be found at:

The Scholarship Programme

The majority of the nine-month full-time training programme is undertaken on site, guided by experts, with no formal lectures or essay submissions. The first six months of the Scholarship follows a programme arranged by the SPAB. The final three months give the Scholars the opportunity to develop their personal interests in the crafts and allied arts associated with the UK’s great country houses. Scholars observe and experience traditional techniques and sympathetic repair in situ and will visit structures of every age, size and style. The site visits can range from brickworks to cathedrals to garden grottoes. We favour a hands-on approach and timber framing, masonry, lime pointing and blacksmithing are just some of the crafts the Scholars may try. Through these experiences we hope that each Scholar will develop their own appreciation of our philosophy of conservative repair.

The 2017 Scholars are:
Kristian Foster, architect
Aoife Murphy, engineer
Lilian Tuohy Main, architect

Get in touch

If you have taken part in the Scholarship in previous years and haven’t received an email from us in a while or if you have recently changed your details, please get in touch so we can update your contact details (

The SPAB is grateful to the following supporters of the 2017 Scholarship:

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
Dance Scholarship Trust
Drake Trust
Manley Trust
Norman and Underwood