Outreach Grants

British Ecological Society image of a fish and diver


We define ecology as the scientific study of the distribution, abundance and dynamics of organisms, their interactions with other organisms and their physical environment. Applications should 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.

We 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


To Apply

Applications are now closed. Applications for 2024 will open in early January. 

If you applied during the second round of 2023, you will be notified regarding the outcome of your application in the last week of October.


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

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

It is a condition of all of our grant schemes that applicants submit a report within three months of the end date of your award. Reports will be submitted via our online grants system.

Timelines 2024

Round 1
Applications open in early January (date TBC) The deadline to apply during Round 1 is March (date TBC) 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 and be completed within 12 months of the start date

Round 2
Applications open in early July (date TBC). The deadline to apply during Round 2 is September (date TBC). You will be notified in early November regarding the outcome of your application.

If you apply during round 2, projects should start from early December 2024 to early June 2025 and be completed within 12 months of the start date

Eligibility and Conditions

Awards are open to individuals and organisations to organise ecological public engagement events. This includes, but is not limited to, our members, researchers, schools, museums, libraries and community groups.

Your proposal must be aimed at a non-academic audience and all projects must provide a clear demonstration of direct interaction with them. They should also show evidence of links to the research community at UK, regional and international levels, where appropriate.

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, e.g. computers, cameras, unless integral to your application
  • Training courses 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
  • Projects aimed solely at delivering curriculum to school children

Applications from museums and schools are welcome, but projects must involve significant outreach beyond schools.

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 you are ineligible to apply for further grants.

For repeat, annual events that request funding more than once – Grants Committee would only consider this if the project showed new novel ideas and development on the previous application.


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, so therefore need to demonstrate:

  • Consistency with at least two of this grant’s objectives
  • Awareness of public interest and concerns, including the relevance 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 you can cover any shortfall in funding not covered by this grant or by other organisations
  • 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

View the scoring criteria to find out how your application will be assessed.

Re-submission Policy

We do not accept re-submissions for 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 (e.g., 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.

Past Awards

You can view past awarded applications via the link below.

Previously awarded outreach projects

For any grant related enquires, please contact: grants@britishecologicalsociety.org