Grants & Scholarships

The society currently offers five grants and scholarships:

  • Summer Vacation Scholarships - for 2nd or 3rd year undergraduates at a British university, to gain supervised research experience in any branch of lichenology
  • Overseas Members Travel Fund -  for overseas BLS members to travel to the UK for collaborative research
  • Wallace-Burnet-Gilbert Fund - for students and BLS members wishing to attend courses, workshops and field meetings they could otherwise not afford
  • Tom Chester Award - for schools or colleges, to support fieldwork involving lichens by students aged 5-19 years
  • Small Ecological Project Grants - to support fieldwork by BLS members on neglected habitats or species.

Further information is given below. Applicants for grants should normally have been members of the society for at least one year, but there may be exceptions to that and we will also consider applications for grants that do not fit into any of the above categories. Applications should be made using the form below and sent by email or post to the Vice President, Allan Pentecost . He will also try to answer any queries if you need further information before applying.

Summer Vacation Scholarships

The Society offers one vacation scholarship annually to provide an undergraduate student with research experience in any branch of lichenology. Candidates should be higher education/university students in Britain who are about to complete their second or third year of study.

The maximum value of the scholarship is £200 per week for a maximum of 10 weeks, plus a small grant towards the cost of materials, amounting to an overall maximum of £2,200. The project should be complete in itself, although this need not preclude topics related to broader studies, and it should not constitute a required part of degree work, or an expedition or work outside the UK.

Applications should be made by the supervisor who should hold a post in a UK research institution (e.g. university, museum, botanical garden) and be a BLS member. The application should be addressed to the accompanied by:

  • title and brief outline of the research proposal (maximum two sides of A4), with a budget showing how the funds would be allocated, a timetable for the work, and a brief outline of the support that will be available to the student in terms of resources, facilities, supervision and training;
  • name of student and their CV (typically one side of A4);
  • supporting reference from their supervisor.

The supervisor is expected to oversee the work, and to have discussed with the student prior to the application. A brief synopsis of the findings must be submitted for publication in The Bulletin.

Overseas Members’ Travel Fund

This fund is intended to help and encourage overseas members to visit the UK, primarily to collaborate with BLS members here either in laboratory and/or field research. Visits to use facilities such as reference collections will also be considered, but visits to attend conferences are excluded. An award will not exceed £2,000. This is intended to support travel costs in full, and a contribution to accommodation costs, not exceeding £10 per day or £200 in total, may also be made.

Applications should be made by the overseas member, and should be accompanied by details of their professional position, the name of the UK collaborator, the aims and objectives of their project and how it will benefit from the collaboration, approximate dates of visit and an estimate of travel costs. The UK collaborator should submit a letter of support direct to the Vice President, and applications will not be considered until this has been received.

Successful applicants will receive their grant on arrival at their host institution. It is usually simplest to pay it through the collaborator.

Recipients will be expected to submit their findings in a form suitable for publication in The Lichenologist or The Bulletin within one year.

Wallace-Burnet-Gilbert Fund

This fund was set up in memory of Nancy Wallace, Alice Burnet and Oliver Gilbert, one-time members of the Society who wished to foster an interest in lichens among the young. All were active members who, when they started developing their interest in lichens, appreciated the encouragement and support they received from other members.

The purpose of the fund is to enable students and members to attend courses, workshops and field meetings where attending at their own expense would cause financial hardship.

Awards are for travel, accommodation and course fees (not books and equipment), and will normally be of up to £500 although in exceptional circumstances more may be considered. They are payable on production of receipts after the course or meeting. If that presents a problem then the Treasurer may pay in advance or arrange to be invoiced directly.

Applications should be made at least one month before the event. Recipients will be expected to attend the whole course or meeting concerned and to submit a brief report to Council.

Tom Chester Award

Tom Chester had a deep interest in churchyard lichens, developed while he was head-teacher of a Northamptonshire primary school. His bequest enables the Society to offer awards of up to £250, to schools or colleges for fieldwork involving lichens by an individual or group of students between the ages of 5-19 years.

In 2009 the bequest was awarded to Ponsbourne St Mary's Primary School in Hertfordshire, and in 2010 to Baskerville School for autistic students in Birmingham and Nottingham High School for Girls. Information on possible projects.

Applications should be accompanied by a brief proposal (no more than 250 words) on school or college-headed paper, signed by the head-teacher or principal, and outlining the purpose, location and duration of the project. This should describe the observations to be made, how they will be recorded and how the award would be spent. The Society may be able to offer technical guidance such as advice by a local lichenologist.

On completion of the project a hard-copy of the report should be made available, and an edited selection may be featured in The Bulletin.

Responsibility for all work carried out in relation to this award must be taken by the school or college concerned.

Small Ecological Project Grants

The Society sponsors fieldwork focused on neglected habitats or species. Grants are intended to cover fuel and B&B while in the area but will not exceed £500, so rather than claiming for long distance travel it may be more appropriate to apply for funding to extend your stay for a few days if you will already be in the area. Applications should be accompanied by an outline of the project, including its aims and objectives, approach and expected costs.

The grant will only be paid on receipt of a satisfactory report within a year of being awarded the grant. Recipients will be expected to summarize their findings and submit them to The Bulletin Editor Paul Cannon .

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