This grant provides support for Ecologists in Africa to carry out innovative ecological research. We recognise that ecologists in Africa face unique challenges in carrying out research; our grant is designed to support you to develop your skills, experience and knowledge base as well as making connections with ecologists internationally. We support excellent ecological science in Africa by funding services and equipment.
Applications will open on Friday 7 January 2022, with a deadline of 17:00 GMT, Friday 18 March.
Applicants are only able to submit one grant application per round, across all grant schemes.
When applications open, register/log in to our online grants system, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘Your Applications’.
As part of the application process two referees will be required to submit statements of support. If you are applying for travel funds, one of these must be from your host institution.
These statements should include why the project is important, what support will be given to you and a statement that any equipment bought for the project will be made available for anyone in the host institution to conduct ecological research. Ecologists in Africa Grant will automatically contact the referees using the email addresses provided in the application; both reference statements must be completed online before the application deadline. We cannot accept referee statements sent independently via email or by letter.
Eligibility and Conditions
- be a scientist and a citizen of a country in Africa or its associated islands, that is a ‘low-income economy’ or ‘lower-middle-income economy’ according to the World Bank categorisation **
- have at least an MSc or equivalent degree
- be working for a university or research institution in Africa (including field centres, NGOs, museums etc.) that provides basic research facilities
- carry out the research in a country in Africa or its associated islands
** This currently excludes – Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Namibia and South Africa.
From January 2018 our Ecologists in Africa Grant will open twice per year, in line with all other BES grants.
The proposed work must be completed within 18 months.
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.
The grant can be used to pay for basic tools needed to conduct the research project, travel and in some cases part of the applicant’s salary. It cannot be used for tuition fees.
This grant cannot be used to support research degrees; however, researchers who have already been registered at a research institute or university for at least six months by the application deadline for the grant, can apply for funding for research that goes towards a degree. Applicants in these circumstances need to indicate that they have already gone some way to starting their research and that the money will not go towards course fees or personal salary.
Some funding may be provided to cover your expenses during research where it is shown that you will not be able to afford the time off from other paid employment. In these cases, you must state if the research work will be possible without our funding to cover this lost income.
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).
We encourage applicants to discuss their applications with a respected colleague and to view our example applications on our website.
It is a condition of all grants that our contribution is acknowledged in any publications or publicity that may arise from this study. Please notify us of any publications supported by this funding.
We will not award more than one grant to any one applicant. Failure to submit a satisfactory report at the end of a grant will mean you are ineligible to apply for further grants.
The maximum value of a grant is £8,000 for research. An additional sum up to £2,000 may be requested to fund travel to help you develop connections with other ecologists outside your usual peer group. This must be requested at the application stage.
Travel funds are available to spend time working with ecologists in the Global North where facilities and experience will help you on return to your own institution.
Successful applicants also receive two years of free BES membership and free online access to our journals.
The application will be judged by a panel of reviewers on the basis of your personal qualifications, the scientific excellence, novelty and feasibility of the proposal, and the academic and non-academic impact of the planned research.
You should demonstrate that you have made connections with ecologists in the Global North who can provide advice during the proposed project. If international travel is part of the application, you should demonstrate close links with those you propose to visit.
Funding is available for any area of ecological science excluding research focused solely on agriculture, forestry and bioprospecting. Please note that neither purely descriptive work nor studies that might be considered incremental will be funded.
The proposed project could be part of an existing programme but the application should be for a clearly defined piece of research. Researchers must also show how their research will have a wider impact beyond academia.
View the scoring criteria to find out how your application will be assessed.
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.