This issue of the Review includes events and activities that took place during the first half of 2003 (January to July).
The normal programme of Academy business has continued with lectures, conferences, publications, international co-operation, and the awarding of grants to support individual scholars. The diversity of intellectual activity sponsored by the Academy is illustrated by reports and articles in this issue.
Over the last 10 years, the Academy has contributed towards the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, an immense collaborative project to replace and extend the original Victorian endeavour. The collection of articles has been completed, and in the Spring the Academy hosted an event to introduce the on-line version which will be published with the print edition in 2004. On pages 13–15 the editor of the Dictionary, Professor Brian Harrison, compares and contrasts the modern experience with that of his predecessors.
Besides contributing to such major works of fundamental scholarship, the Academy is proud of the part it plays in fostering the careers of outstanding young researchers. Through its flagship Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme, it offers 30 or more scholars annually the opportunity to spend three years pursuing independent research projects, and developing skills and experience in teaching and administration in the university environment. This year's competition was completed in July and the successful candidates are announced in this issue, together with a short description of the research they will be undertaking. A scholar who has recently completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr Sriya Iyer, describes her research in South India on pages 33–35. As with the great majority of those who are awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Academy, Dr Iyer has now progressed to a further academic appointment.