Following Mark’s death, a group of his friends and former colleagues have been meeting to consider how we might best seek to do something in his memory.
Mark would have wanted to see the work of Byzantinists and historians in related fields supported in the future – particularly younger people, and those with interests in archaeology, landscape and the material world. To continue his life’s work, we have launched a fund in his memory to raise money for various kinds of support aimed at younger scholars. This fund has already begun to attract donations through the colleges linked to Mark – and we warmly thank those who have already given – but it has been decided to hold the money in the History Faculty and to receive further donations here.
The focus of the fund will depend on how much we are able to raise, and – with that in mind – we have agreed the following proposals:
- If we are able to raise a million pounds, we shall use it to endow a three-year junior research fellowship in Byzantine History. This fellowship will exist in perpetuity in his memory, and will either circulate around the colleges associated with Mark (Trinity, Oriel, St Peter’s, Corpus, St John’s and Merton), or be held at one of them, depending on the sums raised and the wishes of donors.
- If we raise between £200,000 and £1,000,000, the fund will operate in perpetuity, as a lasting memorial to Mark, to support students in Byzantine History and related areas (medieval history, whether European, near-Eastern or global; post-classical archaeology) at Oxford. We shall deploy the money to cover some combination of graduate scholarships, writing-up grants (for people in the unfunded fourth year of a doctorate) and travel grants. The exact amount to be spent in each year will be announced annually, and applications invited. The precise terms of any travel or writing-up grants – how much can be applied for, what remit and so on – will be determined later, but our touchstone will be the range of Mark’s own interests.
- If we raise less than £200,000, we shall use the money to support the activities above on a spend-down basis, for as long as the sums last, but according to the same procedure.
To ensure that the fund remains true to Mark’s interests, it will be administered by a steering committee, provisionally composed of Helen Malcolm and one representative from the colleges associated with Mark, together with a representative from the History Faculty and another from the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Committee.
If you would like to discuss our plans in more depth, please contact John Watts at email@example.com.