Pedagogical research and development grants

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

British Ecological Society Ecology Research Grants Pedagogical Learning and Teaching

The grant will facilitate research informing teaching and learning practices which improve the experience of learners while promoting excellence in teaching.

We aim to support members and the wider community who are involved in education to ensure that ecological education continues to be inspiring, innovative and relevant to learners

By funding research on education methods within ecology, we would like to develop evidence to inform teaching and learning practices that improve the student experience. Recognising and supporting educational research will also promote excellence in teaching and encourage those not currently involved in educational research to engage.

The projects awarded should aim to do one or more of the following:

  • Provide evidence-based examples of innovative and effective practice in learning and teaching
  • Systematically review existing practice to produce evidence-informed recommendations
  • Explore emerging areas of education research to identify future needs/practise
  • Disseminate best practise in teaching and learning to other practitioners

This grant Does Not support outreach and engagement to the general public. Please refer to our outreach and engagement grants if that is your intended project.

To Apply

There will be two rounds of funding in 2024. 

  • The first round of funding will open in early January 2024 (Deadline March)
  • The second round of funding will open in early July 2024 (Deadline September)


When applications open, register/log into 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.

Projects should run for a maximum of 12 months. Any projects running for longer than this should be clearly outlined and justified in the submitted application.

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


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

  • Must have BES membership
  • These grants have no geographical restrictions and are open to anyone involved in teaching ecology at any level (i.e. from early years to life-long learning within formal or informal educational settings.
  • These grants are awarded to individuals, not organisations
  • Funding is not available for work that will form part of a degree/masters/PhD/fellowship.
  • 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 two 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.


Projects can be awarded up to £5,000. Examples of what the funding can cover include:

  • Casual and short-term assistance (e.g., student interns, researchers)
  • Small pieces of equipment specific to the research
  • Costs associated with data collection (e.g., transcription, incentives for participants)
  • Travel and subsistence for visits to educational locations

Funding can not be used for

  • The lead applicants’ salary
  • Supply cover/payment to buy the main applicant out of teaching
  • Institutional overheads
  • General equipment such as laptops and cameras
  • Tuition fees

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

Statement of Support

Each application requires two reference statements.

One statement should be from the organisation they are working with/for, which should justify the need for the project.

One statement should be a personal statement from an employer/supervisor etc who can state how they know the lead applicant, including why they think the lead applicant is suitable to lead this project. They should also state why they support this project.

We will automatically contact the referees using the emails provided in the application; both reference statements must be completed online before the application deadline. You will not be able to submit your application until these have been provided. We cannot accept referee statements sent independently via email or by letter.

Scoring Criteria and assessment

The research question, evaluation and outcomes of the project must be clearly described and have reach beyond the specific organisation in which the project is held.

Proposals will be reviewed by three members of our review college who have relative expertise.

The funded projects will be required to demonstrate clear pathways to impact on specific target groups. The lead applicant can choose who the target groups are, but this must be justified.

As part of our commitment to support the recommendations and principles set out by the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA;, 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.