New BES grants programme announced for 2024

  • The new funding programme includes distinctive new grants in many areas
  • A feedback process will gather comments to aid the final design of the grants
  • To create space for the work required, the 2022 autumn grant round will be delayed till 2023
British Ecological Society Ecoogy Grants Portfolio

The British Ecological Society (BES) will launch a new grants programme in 2024 that is distinctive, furthers careers and supports the whole ecological community.

The programme builds on many of our existing grants and introduces new funding schemes in areas of ecology where it is often difficult to find support.

It’s about supporting people in their careers and in their science

Our existing grants will continue in their current form until the end of 2023. Each year we provide around £400,000 in support to ecologists around the world.

“We’re very excited to announce our new grants programme which will open for applications in 2024,” says Mark Emmerson, BES Chair of Grants Committee and Vice President. “It’s the result of a comprehensive exercise to review our current grant portfolio and assess opportunities for providing funding where it can make the most difference. It’s about supporting people in their careers and in their science.”

Getting your feedback

In the autumn of 2022, we will begin a feedback process inviting ecologists to comment on the design of the grants. This will help guide the detail of the application process and make sure it’s clear for everyone.

“We are committed to making sure the new grant programme fulfils its aims and welcome your suggestions to refine and improve the way they will work,” says Mark.

Funding opportunities this year delayed till 2023

To create space for the work required to set up the new grant programme, the BES will not be carrying out a second funding round in 2022. The funding that would have been available will be carried over into 2023.

This will affect the Small Research, Large Research, Outreach and Ecologists in Africa grants. The next opportunity to apply for these grants will be in early 2023.

However, the Training and Travel grants opened for applications as normal on 1 July on a first-come, first-served basis. [Update 15/07/22: All available Training and Travel grants have now been awarded for 2022 and the second round is now closed]. The Inspiring Ecology Fund for small public engagement and science communication projects will open later in Summer 2022.

“We are not removing the opportunity for funding, but delaying it,” Mark explains. “The funding will be carried over into the first grant round next year, due to open in January 2023.

“I understand this may be a disappointment for anyone who had intended to apply this autumn,” he adds. “I would encourage you to still apply in early 2023, when I look forward to a grant round as competitive as ever. We receive many high-quality submissions, which reinforces my view that ecology is a dynamic, truly global field brimming with new ideas, projects and outreach work.”

The 2024 grant programme

New grants

We will be introducing a range of new grants to maximise opportunities for early and mid-career stage researchers and support areas of ecology where it is currently difficult to gain funding.

  • Support for the launch of long-term studies through funding researchers to collect data over a decade.
  • A grant to improve learning, teaching and assessment methods in the field of ecology.
  • Synthesis group grants will bring together diverse teams to generate significant new insights through data analysis.
  • There will be funds available for ecologists to experience other disciplines and sectors, developing their careers and building links outside of ecology.

Existing grants

  • We’re increasing funding of our Small Research grants that are a great way of starting new research or pump-priming projects.
  • Our support for outreach and engagement projects will be combined into one simpler scheme.
  • We are continuing our important support for career development through training and travel grants.

Ecologists in the Global South

  • We are retaining our support for researchers in the Global South by ring-fencing funding across our grant schemes.
  • We will bring our Ecologists in Africa scheme to a close. It has been very successful over a number of years, supporting excellent scientists from low- and lower-middle income countries in Africa.
  • Now we will broaden the availability of this funding to scientists across the Global South. The same proportion of grant funding will be provided to ecologists in low- and lower-middle income countries worldwide as was previously delivered through the Ecologists in Africa Scheme. Awards will be made to successful applications across all our grants, rather than having a separate grant scheme.

Large research grant

  • We are closing our Large Research Grant, which supported a small number of academia-focused ecologists each year, in order to provide awards to more individuals through the rest of the grant programme.

The new 2024 grants programme