Conference Exchange Grant

The campus of the National University of Ireland, Galway.

National University of Ireland, Galway

The Western Michigan University-NUI, Galway Conference Exchange Grant in Medieval Studies provides support for a student enrolled in the master's program in medieval studies at the Medieval Institute to present a 20-minute paper at Imbas. To be eligible, the student must have completed at least 12 graduate-level credits of coursework in the master's program.

Imbas is an interdisciplinary conference for graduate student scholars hosted annually by the National University of Ireland, Galway. The three-day conference gives students the opportunity to present ongoing work and discuss their research with peers in an informal, interdisciplinary setting. The conference also features a senior scholar as keynote speaker. Participation in the Imbas conference affords the WMU student the opportunity to submit the paper for consideration for publication in the peer-reviewed "Imbas Journal."


The deadline for applications for the conference exchange grant is September 15 for the coming Imbas conference. Applicants must submit the following to the director of the Medieval Institute:

  • Complete copy of the paper proposed to be presented, which may not exceed 12 pages double-spaced.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • One-page abstract of the paper proposed to be delivered at the conference.

Students should keep in mind that the Imbas conference customarily takes place in November, a time of intense activity if one is enrolled in graduate coursework at WMU, and may coincide with the American Thanksgiving weekend.

Past winners of the conference exchange grant

  • 2020 no award given
  • 2019: Josh Parks, "Speculative Mythology: Tolkien's Adaptation of Winter and the Devil in Old English Poetry"
  • 2018: Daniel Palthe, "Dagr Dauða: The True Meaning of Winter Nights"
  • 2017: Guthrie Beyer, "Building Bridges and the Ideologies of Kingship in Medieval Ireland, 900-1200"
  • 2016: no award given
  • 2015: Charles G. Lein, "Severed Head as Signpost: The Journey to Grendel's Mere in 'Beowulf' as Overland Travel Experience"
  • 2014: Vajra Regan, "'Hic Scribit et Dictat': Intertextuality and the Rhetoric of Authority in Select Miniatures in the Cambridge Alexander Apocalypse (MS Mm. 5.31)"
  • 2013: Jillian M. Bjerke, "Naming the Nobles: A Comparison of Chronicle Sources of the Barons' War and the Revolt of the Castilian Nobles"
  • 2012: Christa Mannen, "Journey to the Center of the Ark: Noah as a Bridge through Space and Time in the Holkham Bible Picture Book"
  • 2011: Benjamin Wright, "How Long Did the Cistercians 'Live by the Work of Their Hands'? Negotiating the Cistercian Ideal of Manual Labour at Cambron Abbey 1148-1331"
  • 2010: Benjamin Ambler, "Reading the Writing on the Walls: Gaze and Ekphrastic Prescription towards a Spiritual Household"