Coronavirus: information on BES activities in 2021

This page is updated regularly with the latest on our 2021 events and activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus

The Society continues to be guided by the latest UK government advice in forming its responses to coronavirus. Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our staff, members and all those involved in our activities.

Our office

The British Ecological Society (BES) office in London is closed with all staff working remotely. The simplest way to get hold of members of our staff team is by email.

Mail is being redirected but may be substantially delayed.

Events

The BES is not planning any in-person events for the first six months of 2021, given the need to reduce the spread of the virus.

However, there are plenty of opportunities to join online events. Our event listings have details of all the events that are currently open and how to book your place.

In particular our 19 Special Interest Groups are organising some incredible online events throughout 2021, with discounted tickets available for BES members.

Ecology Live, our exciting series of free online talks on the latest ecological research, is back for a new season in 2021. Registration is open for 12 talks taking place weekly on Thursdays from 4 March.

For our applied ecologist and practitioner audience, find out about the latest in our AER live series of free, interactive, online workshops covering a range of useful topics for applied ecologists and practitioners.

Grants

Current grant holders

If you’re a grant holder who has recently been awarded funding but have yet to claim your award, we have extended the grant conditions to allow for funding to be claimed up to 12 months after the award date. This has been increased from the standard six months. We strongly advise you do not claim your award until the project start date is certain.

If you have already received your award and there are delays in the project due to COVID-19, we will continue to take a pragmatic approach to requests for extensions as long as the project itself is not changed. Contact: grants@britishecologicalsociety.org

Travel grants

Applicants can now use our travel grants to attend a virtual conference/course and cover registration fees up to £250. In these circumstances, the applicant must provide proof of registration on acceptance, and meet the standard eligibility criteria. If you are unsure whether your event meets the criteria, or for any other grant-related queries, please contact: grants@britishecologicalsociety.org

Existing travel grant holders will have received an email with instructions from the BES, given that scientific conferences and events around the world have been cancelled or postponed. We will do our level best to make sure you’re able to use your grant wherever possible to benefit your science and your career.

As part of the conditions of the award, you must inform us immediately if the event you are planning on attending is moved to online only or cancelled.

Journals

We continue to focus on the high-quality service and short turnaround times expected of the BES journals.

We recognise that many authors, reviewers and members of our editorial boards will be facing challenging circumstances and will need more time to return revisions, reviews and recommendations. Therefore, we’re continuing as normal but encourage you to contact your journal’s editorial office if you need any additional time or assistance.

Editorial office contacts

Helpful resources

Careers

The Student Futures and Research Conference takes place on 4–5 March.

Organised by the BES and the Linnean Society, the event focuses on the skills and knowledge that undergraduates, recent graduates and PhD students may have lost in the disruption of the last year and provides an overview of careers they can work towards. Tickets available shortly.

Online teaching

Staff at universities have been asked an extraordinary amount throughout the pandemic in revising lectures and courses for online teaching.

A set of 15 top tips on online teaching from lecturers at the Open University produced during the first wave of the pandemic is still useful. Julia Cooke, Phil Wheeler and Sarah Davies have a wealth of experience in online distance education, and their advice is worth its weight in gold right now.

Science communication and engagement training

If you’re a BES member, visit our Training Hub to develop your science communication and public engagement skills at home. From website building to podcast production, there is something for everyone in our diverse range of new webinars and resources.

Home schooling resources

We’ve drawn up a list of free resources that can support parents and teachers in teaching ecological sciences during the pandemic.

The resources provide students at different key stages the opportunity to continue their learning during home-schooling.