Long-term Research Grants

This grant provides funding over 10 years for long-term ecological studies taking place anywhere in the world.

This grant will provide a small amount of funding each year for 10 years to enable existing short-term projects with at least 1-2 years of data to be funded into the long term, where there is likely to be great benefit from growing and developing this dataset over the longer term.

The aim is to establish a new portfolio of long-term experiments/datasets with real relevance to issues of today.

These grants can fund projects such as ecological restoration, habitat creation, control of alien species and climate change anywhere in the world.

It will fund the annual cost of a few days of data gathering over a long period of time.

To Apply

There will be two rounds of funding in 2024. 

  • The first round of funding will open on January 11th 2024
  • The second round of funding will open on July 11th 2024


When applications open, register/log into our online grants system, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘Your Applications’.

We aim to notify all applicants within two months of the grant deadline.

Applicants are only able to submit one grant application per round, across all grant schemes.

Projects should start within 6 months of the grant award date. Long-term research grants should run over a period of 10 years, with a mid-project report due after 5 years.

All funded projects will be required to provide a comprehensive final report, including both the scientific data collected and evidence of the established or future potential impact of the work undertaken.


Round 1
Applications open on January 11th. The deadline to apply during Round 1 is March 8th. You will be notified during the last week of May regarding the outcome of your application.

If you apply during round 1, projects should start from early June 2024 to early December 2024.

Round 2
Applications open on July 11th. The deadline to apply during Round 2 is September 11th. You will be notified in late November regarding the outcome of your application.

If you apply during round 2, projects should start from early December 2024 to early June 2025.

Eligibility and Conditions

  • Must have BES membership.
  • These grants are open to all types of ecologists including conservation practitioners, e.g., Reserve Managers and consultants, as well as university academics.
  • Long-term research grants are awarded to individuals, not organisations.
  • Applicants are responsible for obtaining all relevant permits and permissions required to undertake the proposed work.
  • We 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.

Project succession and location criteria

If you can no longer continue your project, you will need to arrange the project handover to an eligible ecologist. This will need to be discussed with the BES grants officer.

A succession plan for changes in circumstances will be part of the application process.

We strongly encourage that you pick a site that is local to you or, if further afield, can be reached by sustainable transport options. If the latter is not feasible, hiring someone to carry out the research in the location you are interested in will be an acceptable cost.


You will be able to claim the first five years’ worth of funding in year 1, which is £3,500.

You will need to show in your application how this money will be used each year.

It is intended that you will carry out one to two days’ worth of data collection each year with the funding provided, which averages £500 a year, with the additional £1000 reserved for year 1.

For example, year one may have higher expenses due to purchasing equipment, while subsequent years will have lower costs.

Upon providing a satisfactory report after the initial five years, in the sixth year, you can claim an additional £3,500 to cover new or replacement equipment costs and data collection for the remainder of the grant period.

It is a condition of all grants that the BES  contribution is acknowledged in any publication or publicity that may arise from this study. Please notify us of any publications supported by this funding.

Examples of what the funding can cover include:

  • Equipment.
  • Software for analysis of results.
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence.
  • Hiring a person for 1-2 days each year to facilitate data collection if the location is not local to the project investigator. Evidence must be provided to show that a fair wage is being paid if hiring a person to carry out research in an area not local to you.

Ideally, projects will become self-sufficient in the long term following initial BES funding.

The grant can not be used to cover your own time.

Scoring Criteria and Assessment

  • The excellence of the ecological research being proposed.
  • Feasibility of the proposal.
  • Promise and productivity of the applicant and ability to work independently.
  • Value for money and justification of the resources requested.
  • Handover procedure.

Applications for projects which include collaboration between career stages are encouraged.

More information on how BES grant applications are scored can be found here.

As part of our commitment to support the recommendations and principles set out by the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA; https://sfdora.org/read/), applicants should not use journal-based metrics, such as journal impact factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles. Our Review College are also asked not to consider such journal metrics when reviewing applications.

Supporting Ecologists in the Global South

Our commitment to supporting Ecologists in the Global South can be found here.

We recognise the challenges ecologists across the Global South face in their science and research. We have set a target that at least 51% of our available grant funding will be allocated to Ecologists in the Global South.

Awards will be made to successful applications across all our grant schemes rather than having a separate grant scheme.

To be eligible for Global South funding, you must be a citizen of and working/studying in a Global South country. This question will be asked during the application process.

Resubmission Policy

We do not accept re-submissions of the same project. Applications will be rejected without 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, to be significantly different, at least 80% of objectives and activities should be different to the original proposal.