The British Herpetological Society

BHS Student Grant Scheme

Apply for small grants for supporting herpetological fieldwork and other research costs.

The Society welcomes applications on a biannual basis (closing dates 1st June and 1st December) for the Student Grant Scheme (SGS). The SGS offers small grants, normally not exceeding £300 (300 GBP), to current students, and is principally aimed at supporting fieldwork and other research costs. Undergraduate and masters-level postgraduate students are the intended focus of the Scheme, but PhD students will be eligible if the research is completed within one year. Applicants and projects can be based anywhere in the world.

The Scheme is intended to promote a scientific interest in herpetology through short, well-defined research projects with clear aims and demonstrable applications to our understanding of herpetology, and/or to herpetofauna conservation. Projects which benefit species of conservation concern are likely to be favoured.

The scheme is open to students and research projects in any country, but applications from countries where funds are relatively easy to obtain (e.g. the USA) will be at a competitive disadvantage. SGS funds are limited, and we apply weightings to favour developing countries and research into threatened species.

Applicants do not have to be BHS members, though membership is encouraged, and one year's free online membership is given to all winners. Decisions are made on the merit of each application.

The objectives, methodologies and ethical standards of projects should be consistent with the aims of the Society. For example, work involving euthanasia must present a strong case, such as a clear conservation benefit.

Closing dates for applications are 1st June and 1st December each year. Decisions will normally be made within two weeks.

Applications should be submitted by email to the BHS Research Committee Chair (details below), setting out in no more than 2000 words the following:

1. Applicant's name, address, telephone, email

2. Course, stage, institution

3. Project title

4. Project proposal:

  • Aims
  • Background / previous research
  • Methodology, planned analyses
  • Timescale
  • Planned expenditure
  • Other funding sources (if any)

5. Personal skills / experience

All applications must be accompanied by an email or scanned letter of support, on institution letterhead, from your project supervisor. If this does not arrive before the closing date, or the letter does not clearly endorse your proposal, your application will not be eligible. Applicants and/or their supervisors might be contacted to clarify aspects of the project before final decisions are made.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that any necessary licences and permissions have been granted for working on protected species, access to land, loan of equipment etc. Insurance, health and safety are the responsibility of the student and/or their educational establishment.

Proposals where the BHS contribution is relatively small and unlikely to be significant (e.g. Operation Wallacea expeditions) are not likely to receive support. Generic requests for funding will not be supported. We have limited capacity to respond to queries, so please ensure you read this page carefully.

An electronic or hard copy of resulting dissertations must be shared with the Society, and the Society must be permitted to publish a summary or abstract in one of its publications. The Society publishes details of its student grantees, and keeps a register detailing whether or not a dissertation has been lodged with us.

The financial support of the BHS must be acknowledged in resulting dissertations, papers and posters. Any intellectual property will remain with the student.

We acknowledge that the SGS cannot offer significant funds in comparison to overal project costs, and we are examining ways in which we might increase our award size in future.