Training & Travel Grants

This grant supports the training and development of PhD students and postgraduate research assistants. Grants of up to £500 are available.


These grants help PhD students and postgraduate research assistants to meet the costs of specialist field training courses and to network and publicise their research by presenting their work at workshops and conferences.

To Apply

Applications for round 1 are closed. Applications for the second round will open July 11th.


When applications open, register/login to 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.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide information regarding your training/conference. All training/conferences must have an ecological focus. If you are unsure if your training/conference would be eligible, please get in touch with the grants officer.

You will also need a statement of support from one referee which shows their support for you to attend the training/conference.

Your statement of support should be a short statement (300 words max) supporting your attendance at the meeting/course outlined in your application and how this will be of benefit to your studies. Please ensure that within this statement the referee specifies how they know they applicant. This should be written on your institutions’ headed paper and include a signature from the referee.

If you are attending a conference, you will need to upload an invitation letter to your Flexigrant application as part of the application process.

Virtual Events and Courses

Applicants can use these grants to attend a virtual conference/course, to cover registration fees up to £250. In these circumstances, the applicant must provide proof of registration on acceptance, and meet the standard eligibility and criteria as outlined below. If you are unsure that your event meets the BES criteria, please contact:


Round 1
Applications will open on January 11th and will close on January 25th. Once applications close, a lottery system will be used to award at least 32 grants to all eligible applicants.

You will be notified regarding the outcome of your application by the end of January.

If you apply during round 1, the training/event should take place from early February 2024 to the end of July 2024

Round 2

Applications will open on July 11th and will close on July 25th. Once applications close, a lottery system will be used to award at least 32 grants to all eligible applicants.

You will be notified regarding the outcome of your application by the end of July.

If you apply during round 2, the training/event should take place from early August 2024 to the end of January 2025

Eligibility and Conditions

All applicants are required to:

  • Be a BES member.
  • Be a PhD student, postgraduate research assistant (within 3 years of completing relevant degree) or equivalent (Postdoc researchers, undergraduates and masters students are therefore not eligible to apply).
  • If you were previously awarded a BES training and travel grant, it must be at least three years before you can apply for another BES training and travel grant
  • Work or study at a university or research institution (including field centres, NGOs, museums, etc.) that provide research facilities.
  • Work in scientific areas within our remit (the science of ecology) and of relevance to the training course or meeting they are applying to attend.
  • Give a presentation if attending a meeting. For example, poster presentations, delivering workshops, delivering a plenary talk, etc.
  • No retrospective claims for funding will be considered.

Clarification on eligibility criteria for training courses

  • Applications for travel to informal training or masters/degrees/fellowships etc. will not be considered.
  • Applications to attend mandatory training in order to complete their degree will not be considered; examples include health and safety courses.
  • Applications for skills-based training courses that do not have a strong ecological focus will not be considered, e.g. diving courses, mountaineering courses, hunting courses
  • Applications for specialist training/identification courses that have an ecological focus that will help improve your current research will be considered
  • Applications for building analytic skills for analysing results will be considered, for example, statistical courses
  • Training courses must not be longer than a month
  • No applicant may receive more than two Training & Travel Grants in any five year period. There must be at least three years between grants.

Applications should demonstrate what ecological skills they will learn on the training course.

Our Training and Travel grants are awarded on a lottery-based system once the two week deadline has passed; submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

A maximum of two places per training course may be funded. No more than two applicants from the same institution may attend the same meeting/conference.

The applicant is responsible for booking to attend the course/event/workshop and as the grants are paid in retrospect, must pay the relevant institution/organiser the required fee at the time of booking as well as all monies additional to the award amount i.e. single supplements.

Successful applicants are bound by the booking conditions of the organisation running the event, course or workshop and non-attendance on a booked course or event will result in the applicant being personally liable for the cancellation fee.

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.

BES SIG Events

Grants will be considered for Global South applicants to attend BES SIG events if the meeting occurs outside the country where the applicant resides.


Unless the applicant is self-funded, their organisation is expected to provide at least £150 of support towards the event’s costs.

  • A maximum of £250 is available to cover the registration fees for virtual conferences/courses.
  • A maximum of £500 is available for events in person
  • the grant will be paid after the event has taken place, on receipt of a brief report, certificate of attendance and any appropriate receipts.
  • All costs must be justified within the budget section. Costs that are not justified will not be considered. Please ensure all costs are calculated in GBP (British Sterling).

If you have been awarded a £500 grant to attend a conference in person but attended the conference virtually, you can claim up to £250 to cover registration fees.

For any grant related enquires, please contact

Carbon Policy

The BES is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 30% by 2025. As a society that supports the global ecological community, travel is a significant proportion of our total annual emissions.

We recognise the importance for students to attend international conferences and training but also the large carbon footprint this can have

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide your mode of transport and the expected distance you expect to travel by your main mode of transport. If you are flying, you must justify why you need to fly for the event and state why other, more sustainable options are not possible. (e.g. train, bus, ferry)

Applicants will need to state what part of their training/conference that the grant is covering. For example, the registration fees, travel or accommodation.

If there is a high demand for this funding in any given round:

  • 51% of the funding will be allocated to the Global South without restrictions on where they can travel or how they get there.
  • 49% of the funding will be allocated to all other applicants (including Global South) with the lowest Carbon Footprint. For example, those travelling by more sustainable options such as ferry/train will receive higher priority.

Based on the UK government Green House Gas conversion factors, the BES will convert all travel to a kgCO2 emission value. We value our carbon emissions at £252 per tCO2e. We are committed to ensuring where travel cannot be reduced; we will purchase offsets in the highest integrity schemes based on the best available evidence.

We offset our emissions through UK peatland code accredited and verified schemes and additionally allocate funding to longer-term investments in avoiding carbon emissions through peatland restoration projects.

Grant applicants do not need to budget for this cost. We ask all grant applicants to consider their carbon footprint and ensure they have taken the best steps to reduce their carbon footprint where possible.

Annual Meeting

Grants of up to £1000 are available to attend our annual meeting.

Please note that grants to attend our annual meeting are part of a separate grant scheme.

These grants are open to anyone from a global south country who has been invited to present at our annual meeting.

If you are awarded a standard training and travel grant, it must be at least three years before you can apply for another training and travel grant. This means that if you are awarded a standard training and travel grant, you would not be eligble for an annual conference grant unless at least three years have passed.

Deadline: Applications for these grants will open on the same day as abstract submissions are announced. For more information, click here

To apply for a grant, you will need to register/log in to our online grants system, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘Your Applications’.