Geographical Fieldwork Grants
The Geographical Fieldwork Grant is the Society's longest running grant scheme. Every year, we help upwards of 20 teams of students and researchers get into the field, through this grant scheme.
Several grants are available up to £3,000.
31 January (each year)
Geographical Fieldwork Grant guidelines (PDF)
Geographical Fieldwork Grant application form (MSWORD)
Geographical Fieldwork Grant guide to referees (PDF)
Geographical Fieldwork Grant team members form (MSWORD)
Code of Practice for the Grants Programme (PDF)
Advice for Applicants
Geographical Fieldwork Grant Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Expedition Handbook: advice on completing expedition reports and risk assessments
Listen to recipients of the Geographical Fieldwork Grant in 2011 talk of their volcano field project in Chile.
2017 Geographical Fieldwork Grant recipients
‘University of Glasgow Egypt Marine Expedition 2017’ Arabella Borgstein (Glasgow University)
Building on previous Glasgow Egypt Marine Expedition work, this project aims to contribute to conservation efforts in the Red Sea by completing four research projects on the reefs of El Quseir, looking at coral bleaching, fish territory size and abiotic factors affecting photosynthetic and calcification rates of red coralline algae.
‘Assessing effectiveness of ‘land-sharing’ conservation strategies in Chocoan Rainforest, Ecuador’ Sylvana Urbina (Sussex University)
This project will assess the conservation success of a sustainable livelihood project in an Ecuadorian biodiversity hotspot. Using the Sustainable Cacao Project as a case study, the team will undertake field biodiversity surveys for multiple taxa across different land uses.
‘Cloudforest Conservation Group: Expedition Cloudbridge 2017’ Lucy Wells (Exeter University)
Building on the work of Expedition Cloudbridge 2016, this team aims to discover the most effective method of moth sampling and add to knowledge of the species that are present on the reserve in south-east Costa Rica. Epiphyte and organism interaction will also be studied. Findings will be used to highlight the importance of maintaining the reserve.
‘The glacial geomorphology of Skaftafell National Park glaciers, Iceland’ Sasha Charles (Durham University)
This expedition aims to collect geomorphological data from Skaftafell National Park to produce three undergraduate dissertations. The four person team will undertake studies of glacial deposits, debris entrainment and basal ice characteristics of the Svínafellsjökull glacier. Techniques such as field sketching, cross-profiling, sedimentological logging and analysis and ground truthing will be used.
‘Innovative Processes and Urban Changes in Shanghai’ Jancheng Yang (London School of Economics and Political Science)
This project looks how redevelopment, technological innovation and professional practice are shaping Shanghai’s urban environment. The team will use qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews and surveys, combined with selected quantitative analysis such as socio-economic indexes and transportation usage estimates.
‘Economic Geography of Entrepreneurship in Western Nepal’ Manoj Paudel (London School of Economics and Political Science)
After the earthquake of 2015, the government of Nepal has tried to foster economic growth by encouraging entrepreneurship. This project looks at the effectiveness of government programs in stimulating entrepreneurial activity across different geographies and aims to provide insights on the economic geography of entrepreneurship in low-income and less-urbanized countries.
‘Investigating ecological responses to changing environments, Costa Rica’ Max Henderson (Newcastle University)
The aim of the project is to better understand climate change consequences for global reptile populations by investigating links between drought aestivation and chronic stress in crocodiles, and to study the effects of habitat fragmentation on vulnerable indicator species by comparing pollinator networks in undisturbed areas to those subject to management.
‘Project Loholoka 2017’ Thomas Marceau (Exeter University)
Project Loholoka 2017 will study the same humid coastal forest in south-east Madagascar as Expedition Loholoka 2014. This forest currently has no conservation measures in place, although preliminary studies suggest the area is rich in biodiversity. The Project Loholoka 2017 team will be replicating the surveys conducted three years ago to see how the biodiversity of the forest has changed, whilst testing the amphibians surveyed for chytrid fungus. The findings will inform the work of conservation groups, local people and the Madagascan government on how Loholoka’s ecosystem should be managed.
‘Interpreting Informal Human Geographies’ Larissa Heinisch (London School of Economics and Political Science)
This project will investigate informality in developing cities, with the objective of tracing top-down and bottom-up urban processes at the intersection of housing, livelihood and resilience. Through physical documentation and ethnographic interviews of actors effecting the community, the project aims to understand and analyse the urbanization impacts of people living in Vila Prudente, an urban community in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
‘Geomorphological processes of a glaciated region, Svalbard’ Holly Chubb (Newcastle University)
The over-arching aim of this project is to understand the geomorphological and glaciological processes operating on land-terminating glaciers in Svalbard. Additional goals include assessing glacial retreat rates, the effect of debris on melt, and the efficiency of the glacial hydrological system. The team will collect data on water chemistry, ablation and stream velocity, and analysed in laboratories.
‘Notice The Nomads’ Anoushka Carter (Exeter University)
In Mongolia, rural poverty triggered by a combination of unemployment, low incomes, desertification, climate change and natural disasters have led many people to leave their traditional way of life for urban centres. Using semi-structured interviews, informal discussions and ethnographies, this research expedition aims to investigate the causes, effects and consequences of rural to urban migration of nomadic pastoralists from the Mongolian steppe to the so-called ‘Ger’ district of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar.
‘Annapurna South Glacier Scientific Expedition’ James Linighan (Newcastle University)
A team of three MSc students will conduct research on Annapurna South Glacier to evaluate the controls on ice surface melt rates. The evolution and spatial distribution of ice cliffs and melt ponds on the glacier surface will be studied using high-accuracy dGPS measurements, the Structure from Motion (SfM) technique and radar datasets. The sources of debris onto the glacier surface will be investigated, and the impact of differences in debris thickness and characteristics on glacier melt rates will be assessed. These data will be combined to produce three Masters theses, with the aim of publishing at least one scientific journal article per project.
‘Assessing Vulnerabilities, Hazards and Risks in Dominica’ Caroline Yormesor (Portsmouth University)
The aim of this project is to link knowledge to practice by enhancing risk reduction and management in alignment with key focal areas outlined by the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA), Dominica Red Cross and Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management. Data on landslide hazards will be collected and risk and hazard maps created.
For further information on these projects, including a summary of the research and expedition reports, please browse the Society's Expeditions Database.
About the Award
The Geographical Fieldwork Grants are generously supported by a number of external donors which include:
Macdonald Award, Gumby Award, Rio Tinto Award, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Educational Trust, Penruddocke-Park Lander Fund, Rod Whitney Bequest, Sir Douglas Busk, Ralph Brown Memorial Fund, HR Mill Trust Fund, Marjorie Sweeting Bequest, Violet Cressey-Marcks Fisher Fund, Barling Fisher Bequest, Gough Island Fund, Stephens Bequest, The Jeremy Willson Trust, the Alexander Awards and the Neil Thomas Proto Award.