Fellowship of the Burgon Society

Fellowship of the Burgon Society (FBS) is the Society’s way of recognising those who make a contribution to the field of academic dress. The main route to fellowship is the submission of a piece of original research on academic dress approved by the Executive Committee. The Society can also award fellowship to those who make some other significant contribution to the objectives of the Society.

Benefits of Fellowship

Many fellows enjoy the opportunity of researching some original aspect of academic dress. However, fellowship of the Society also come with additional benefits:

  • Awarded the post-nominals FBS.
  • Being able to vote in meetings of the Society and stand for the Executive Committee.
  • Being able to wear the fellow’s hood.


  1. There is a Registration fee of £25.00, which includes the Examination fee. This is payable once a topic has been approved and entered on the Research Register (Payable only once in the case of those submitting several shorter pieces).
  2. Fees are quoted in £ sterling. Payment in currencies other than £ sterling should include an additional amount equivalent to £5.00 to cover exchange costs.
  3. The level of fees will be reviewed by the Executive Committee from time to time.

Application Process

  1. Make sure that your subscription is up-to-date (or, if necessary, apply for Membership).
  2. Refer to the Guidelines for Research for information on the requirements of a fellowship submission
  3. Fill in the Research Application Form (opposite) with an outline of your proposed topic and send it to the Dean of Studies.
  4. The proposal will be considered by the Executive Committee, who will make one of three decisions:
    1. to accept the proposal as it stands;
    2. to accept the proposal with some specific alterations;
    3. to reject the proposal as not fulfilling the requirements.
  5. The Dean will communicate the Executive Committee’s decision to you. Assuming you are successful, you may proceed with the work upon payment of the appropriate Registration Fee.
  6. The Executive Committee will again consider the work, and the Dean will inform you of one of the following results:
    1. outright pass;
    2. pass subject to corrections;
    3. referral for a substantive re-write;
    4. outright fail.
  7. Successful candidates who wish to ‘read in’ will be notified of the time and place of the next meeting being held for this purpose.

Guidelines for Research

  1. Fellowship of the Society may be obtained by the candidate submitting their own research for examination. This submission may take the form of:
    1. a single piece of approximately 5,000 words (excluding footnotes); or
    2. a series of shorter pieces on related themes.
  2. The submission may include work previously published by the candidate. Work published on the internet will be accepted if it fulfills the criteria. Joint work cannot form part of a fellowship submission.
  3. A successful submission must demonstrate sound scholarship and the ability to use information in a critical manner. Work submitted should be fully referenced and should include a bibliography of sources and a description of the methodology used.
  4. The standard required is equivalent to about one quarter of the final year of a bachelor’s degree. While original research of outstanding significance is welcome, it is not a necessary part of a successful submission.
  5. The areas of study are deliberately wide, and include ‘design, history or practice’. These areas are not mutually exclusive, and a good topic will encompass more than one of them. Candidates are reminded that, in all cases, the main topic must centre upon academical dress. Each submission will be considered on its own merits, but the following guidelines are offered:
    1. History covers the development of robes, either generally, or with reference to a specific institution or institutions. Acceptable topics under this heading would include: the history and development of robes in a particular institution; the historical development of a particular article of dress (e.g. the square cap); or the development of dress in a particular region.
    2. Design covers the way the shape of robes have changed; or how and why different schemes have been drawn up. Merely designing or revising a scheme will not normally be acceptable projects, although it may provide the context and motivation for one.
    3. Practice covers such things as an examination of how and why an institution’s practice has changed; or the comparative analysis of the practices of different institutions.
  6. Members wishing to undertake a submission should contact the Dean of Studies in the first instance, to discuss their proposals. The Dean can usually assist those who have no readily identifiable topic of their own. The proposal will then be formally registered. It is expected that the registration of a specific topic will normally lapse after two calendar years. The Dean will keep in touch with candidates from time to time.
  7. Successful candidates will be encouraged to read themselves in at one of the Society’s meetings, and to prepare any previously unpublished work into a form suitable for one of the Society’s publications, or for publication in another journal of equivalent standing.