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 learners’ experience while promoting excellence in teaching.

We aim to support members and the wider community 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 practices to produce evidence-informed recommendations.
  • Explore emerging areas of education research to identify future needs/practices.
  • Disseminate best practices 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.

Our Pedagogical grants are used to develop teaching ideas. They are not about engaging with the public but are designed to explore better teaching methods, learning and assessments.

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’.

Applicants can only submit one grant application per round across all grant schemes.

Projects should run for a maximum of 12 months. Any projects running 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 on January 11th. The deadline to apply during Round 1 is March 8th. You will be notified in late 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 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 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.
  • Applications can also be from those in an industry that would like to explore the impact of new teaching ideas.
  • These grants are awarded to individuals, not organisations.
  • Funding is unavailable 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 applicant in any year and no more than two grants in any five years.
  • 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 cannot 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 should be more than a case study.

The proposals should be set in the literature in the same way a discipline based proposal would be.

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

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

More information can 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;, 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.

Examples of published papers

Pedagogical Research and Development grants are new to the BES, and therefore, we have no current examples of projects that we have funded.

Below are some examples of relevant work that has been published in open-access BES journals

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.