"Attending the BES symposium was an invaluable experience for me"

Usha Rani Travel Grant Recipient

Outreach Grants

Outreach Grants

The British Ecological Society encourages its members and others to promote ecological science to a wide audience. To this end, we offer Outreach Grants of up to £2,000.


The current funding round has now closed. The next round will open in July 2016. Please keep an eye on the website for updates.

To Apply

We are excited to launch our new online grants system, used to manage all grant applications.

To apply for a grant, please register online or log in if you are already registered, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘Your Applications’

Please ensure you read through the grant guidelines below before beginning an application.

We aim to notify applicants if they have been successful or not within two months of the deadline.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Grants & Events Officer, Amy Everard


The Society defines ecology as the scientific study of the distribution, abundance and dynamics of organisms, their interactions with other organisms and their physical environment. It is therefore essential that applications promote and engage the public with the science of ecology. Grants will not be awarded for purely nature conservation purposes or any activity that does not promote the science of ecology.


All objectives must be aimed at a non-academic audience and all projects must provide a clear demonstration of direct interaction with the public.

Projects should show evidence of links to the research community at UK, regional and where appropriate international levels.

To support projects that:

  • Increase public understanding of, and engagement with, ecology
  • Stimulate discussion about ecology and its implications for society
  • Inspire and enthuse people of all ages about the science of ecology, especially those not previously interested
  • Develop skills in communicating the science of ecology.

Eligibility and Conditions

Awards are open to individuals and organisations to organise public engagement events in ecology. This includes, but is not limited to, members of the BES, researchers, schools, museums, libraries and community groups.

Applications will NOT be considered for:

  • Staff salaries (one off costs that are relevant to completing the event e.g. sub-contracting for logo design, will be considered as long as these are justified in your application)
  • Purchase of apparatus, including computers, cameras etc., unless these are integral to the application.
  • Training courses that are not associated with developing skills in communicating the science of ecology for a public facing audience e.g. specific skills training courses for academics are not eligible for funding.
  • Academic meetings
  • Closed meetings

Applications from museums and schools are welcome but projects must involve significant outreach beyond schools. Projects aimed solely at delivering curriculum to school children will not be considered.

BES will not award more than one grant to any one applicant in any one year, and no more than three grants in any five year period. Failure to submit a satisfactory report at the end of a grant will mean the grantee is ineligible to apply for further grants.


The maximum award is £2,000. However, the award may be used as part-funding for larger projects involving other sponsors.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be judged by a panel of reviewers against the following criteria and therefore need to demonstrate:

  • Consistency with at least 2 of the grant’s objectives
  • Awareness of public interest and concerns including the relevance of the project to the target audience(s)
  • Exploration of ecological concepts and issues, rather than simply providing information: specific information should be provided regarding the aspects of ecological science that the project aims to communicate. Projects should be based on sound scientific research
  • Clear objectives for the project and its potential impact
  • Evidence of appropriate means of publicity to reach the target audience
  • The target audience/size of the audience that the event/initiative will reach, and the expected levels of engagement
  • Clear plans and resources to assess the impact and legacy of the project
  • Realistic costing and evidence that any shortfall in funding not covered by the Society’s award, or by other organizations, can be covered by the applicant
  • Realistic assessment of practical issues such as copyright, insurance and health and safety
  • Whether the activity depends on Society funding or that Society funding will add a significant element.

All costs must be clearly justified within the budget section. Any costs that are not justified will not be considered. Please ensure all costs are clearly calculated in GBP (British Sterling).

Scoring Criteria

Find out more about how your application will be assessed by viewing the scoring criteria.

Repeat Events

Repeat, annual events that request funding more than once will only be considered again if the project shows new novel ideas and development on the previous application.

Re-submission Policy

Please note we do not accept re-submissions of the same project. Applications will be rejected without being sent out for review if they are re-submissions of a proposal rejected in a previous round, or if they represent only a minor revision of such a proposal (for example, with a modified experimental design). As a guide, in order to be significantly different, at least 80% of objectives & activities should be different to the original proposal.

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