From tomorrow, Thursday, May 16, grants for overseas research will be launched for the purpose of "strengthening all aspects of rural life in the UK".

The grants, which are funded by the Churchill Fellowships in Rural Living, will be available to anyone living or working in the countryside, and others, for non-academic studies of the "best ideas and practices to be found anywhere in the world".

It is hoped that the grants will "explore new thinking" on topics related to improving rural life, whether it be in the economy, infrastructure, public services, health or wellbeing.

The grants are supported through a partnership between the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and The Prince's Countryside Fund.

The grants will be available in 12 areas of study, covering areas such as education, emergency response services, enterprise, environment, healthcare, rural living and suicide prevention.

"Rural communities are facing both challenges and opportunities, and these Fellowships aim to strengthen them in a changing world," said Julia Weston, chief executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Meanwhile Claire Sunders, director of The Prince's Countryside Fund, said: "We hope that people will be inspired by the opportunities offered by the Churchill Fellowships in Rural Living.

Our partnership will allow people to undertake research at a practical level that can make a real difference to those living and working in rural communities across the UK. From collaborative ways of working, to solving infrastructure issues in the countryside, this category offers a breath of fresh air and opportunity.

The grants are open to UK citizens aged 18 and over. To learn more and to apply for a grant click here. The deadline for applications is September 17, 2019, for travel in 2020.