Launching our new grants programme

The British Ecological Society’s new grant portfolio from 2024 will be distinctive, further careers and support the entire ecological community.

British Ecological Society Ecoogy Grants Portfolio

We are launching a new grants programme in 2024. It will:

  • Support areas of ecology where it is currently difficult to gain funding.
  • Promote collaboration between disciplines, sectors and career stages.
  • Broaden our support for ecologists in low- and lower-middle-income countries in the Global South.

This follows a review of our existing grants which were set up almost 10 years ago. The landscape and focus on ecology has changed during this time, and we wanted to ensure our grants meet the needs of the global community of ecologists and align with the Society’s values and strategy.

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.

At a glance

The major changes we will be implementing for 2024 are:

  • Introducing four new grants to bolster innovative research in underfunded areas. 
  • Combining our existing outreach and science communication funding options into one ‘Outreach and Engagement’ grant. 
  • Retaining our support for researchers in the Global South by ring-fencing funding across our grant schemes. We will bring our ‘Ecologists in Africa’ grant to a close, and instead award the same proportion of funding to applicants from across the Global South. See below for more details.
  • Retiring our ‘Large Research’ grants to provide a broader range of awards to more individuals through the rest of our grant programme. 
  • Our ‘Small Research’ and ‘Training and Travel’ grants will remain the same. 
  • In Autumn 2022, we will run a feedback process inviting ecologists to comment on the design of the grants and ensure they are set up well. 

Broadening our Ecologists in Africa grant

Our Ecologists in Africa grant will be extended from 2024 to encompass the Global South as a whole.

The support offered will no longer be through a separate grant scheme. Instead, ecologists in low and lower-middle income countries will be able to apply to any of our grant schemes, knowing that the same proportion of our funds has been ring-fenced as was previously available through the Ecologists in Africa grant.

Ecologists in the Global South

Retiring our Large Research grant

Our Large Research grant previously provided early-career researchers with grants to help establish an independent research career in ecology. These awards contributed a tremendous impact to those who received them, but the benefits were only felt by a few individuals per year.

In order to diversify our grants portfolio and provide funding to more people, the Large Research grant is being retired after 2023.

In its place we are introducing four new grants. These will provide a broader range of awards to more individuals through the rest of the grant programme. Many of the grants are particularly suitable for early-career stages and for those taking their careers in various directions.

The new BES grants programme from 2024

Our new set of grants will fund research and education projects, career development and outreach opportunities.

British Ecological Society Ecological Research Grants

Synthesis grants

Fast-tracking innovative and impactful research by contributing £30k towards the formation of new two-year synthesis groups.

Long-term research grants

Supporting the launch of new long-term studies by funding up to £500 per year for a decade of data collection.

Pedagogical research and development grants

Improving the education of future generations of ecologists by providing up to £5k towards evidence-based learning.

Connecting ecologists with other disciplines grants

Promoting interdisciplinary skills by funding up to £20k towards placements in different disciplines and sectors.

Small research grants

Our Small Research grants provide up to £5,000 for new and innovative ecological research or pump-priming projects. Our recent review identified this as an important funding option. We have therefore increased the allocated budget for our Small Research grants accordingly.

Outreach and engagement grants

Providing funding of up to £2,000 for individuals, teams and organisations to engage public audiences with the excitement of ecological science. This grant merges our previous Outreach grant and Inspiring Ecology Fund.

Training and travel grants

We will continue to offer our Training and Travel grants that help PhD students and postgraduate research assistants meet the costs of specialist field training courses, or the travel costs associated with presenting their work at workshops and conferences.

For any grant related enquires, please contact: