The SBFT Katherine Whitaker Bequest

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Postgraduate Grants for Sinological Studies

The trustees of the Sino-British Fellowship Trust have decided that the Katherine Whitaker Bequest should be used to fund an annual grant or grants for scholars pursuing studies in the fields relevant to the expertise of Dr Whitaker.

The relevant fields of research are:

  • Chinese Medicine
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Chinese Language (Philology, Drama & Poetry, History & Literature)

Dr Katherine Lai Po Kan Whitaker (1912-2003) taught Classical Chinese and Cantonese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and was for many years the only Chinese woman to hold senior rank in British academic sinology. Educated at Oxford University, she was the first Chinese to obtain a teaching appointment in the University of Hong Kong’s English Department, a post which she left shortly before the Japanese invasion of 1941, making her way back to Britain, where she subsequently became a special lecturer in Chinese at SOAS. She gained the PhD degree for her work on the modified tones of Cantonese, and published a considerable body of teaching material at a time when Chinese language textbooks were few, later turning her scholarly attention to Classical studies and to Tibetan Buddhism. She died in April 2003, leaving a bequest to the Sino-British Fellowship Trust (SBFT).

The total grant each year will not exceed £7,000, to be awarded in varying amounts, depending on applications received.

Applicants should be from China or the United Kingdom, over 27 years of age and postgraduate.

Information for Applicants

For further information please contact, in writing:

The Sino-British Fellowship Trust Office
23 Bede House Manor Fields
London SW15 3LT

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