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Geographical Club Award

The Geographical Club Award is offered through the Society's Postgraduate Research Awards scheme. Each year, two awards of £1,000 are given to support PhD students undertaking geographical fieldwork or other forms of data collection in the UK or overseas to advance geographical knowledge or understanding. One award is given for Physical and one for Human Geography.

2009 Geographical Club Award recipient Ed Garrett - Investigating the distribution of benthic foraminifera in the Pearl River estuary, southeast China useing microfossils to reconstruct estuarine salinity over the last 6000 years. Recovering sediment from the grab samplerNo restrictions are placed on research topic or location. Project expenses covered by the award can include, but are not limited to, travel, subsistence, equipment and field assistants.


23 November (each year)


  Postgraduate Research Awards application guidelines (PDF)
  Code of Practice for the Grants Programme (PDF)




Geographical Club Award recipients

 2017: Catherine Craven (SOAS). ‘Locating Politics in the Global: A Practice-based Analysis of Global Diaspora Governance’

The politics of global diaspora governance are becoming increasingly complex. This project examines how the politics of global diaspora governance are always informed by local and global power struggles. Using the Tamil diaspora as an empirical lens, a multi-sited and mixed qualitative methodology is employed to study the practices of diaspora governance in London, Toronto and Geneva.

 2017: Marie Arnaud (University of Leeds). ‘Belowground carbon cycling in mangrove forests’

The study will examine the dynamics of the belowground carbon store in undisturbed and restored mangrove forests in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Sequestration and loss of carbon belowground will be quantified and the environmental controls on these processes assessed.

 2016: Ali Monteath (University of Southampton). 'Testing the terrestrial response to thermohaline circulation (THC)-driven Holocene climate events around Atlantic Canada'              

This project will develop and test land-climate-ocean hypotheses using multiproxy palaeoclimate reconstructions, derived from bog and lake sediments and linked using tephrochronology.

 2016: Tina Andersson (University of Cambridge). 'Conservation Collaborations in Fiji: the case of marine managed areas'                   

This project will use a political ecological approach to examine conservation collaborations in Fiji and how these are articulated, negotiated and executed, and their consequences on different scales of socio-political processes.

 2015: Mario Toubes Rodrigo (Manchester Metropolitan University). 'Geomicrobiology of basal ice facies, Svínafellsjökull, Iceland'

Recently, the subglacial environment has become recognised as an ecosystem in its own right, hosting a variety of microorganisms including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, archaea and fungi. Microbial activities play a central role in global carbon cycling and greenhouse gas exchange. This study will elucidate the composition and functionality of the subglacial ecosystem at Svínafellsjökull, Iceland, where the geography of basal ice and sediment types is well known, but subglacial geomicrobiology is unknown.

 2015: Johanne Bruun (Durham University). 'Techno-politics and the production of territory in post-war Greenland'

As an exploration into political geography and the relationship between territory, power and knowledge, this projects seeks to engage with three cases from US and Danish scientific exploration of 1950's Greenland. The study aims to yield new insight into the varied bonds between science, legibility and the production of territory. (PhD)

 2014: Daniel Beech (Aberystwyth University). 'The networked volcanic hazard: a spatiality of actors, assemblages and information technology'

Volcanic hazard networks have developed through interrelationships between science, society and technology. This project aims to investigate this disciplinary overlap, formed of inseparable human and nonhuman actors, as a mean of facilitating hazard management and enhancing resilience to volcanic activity. (PhD)

 2014: Penny Jones (University of Cambridge). 'Abrupt climate change, water stress and agro-ecological resilience in the greater Indus basin: an isotopic calibration study'

Through the collection of barley and Indian jujube seeds along a climatic gradient in north-western India, this project will carry out a novel isotopic study of crop water stress in the region before, during and after the Indian Summer Monsoon. (PhD)

 2013: Joanne Egan (University of Manchester). 'The impacts of volcanic eruptions: Mt. Mazama and the lakes and bogs of north-west North America'

Through the investigation of the Plinian eruption of Mt. Mazama approximately 7,700 years before present, this project carried out a multi-proxy assessment of the environmental impacts of this eruption on peatland and lake systems. (PhD)

  2013: Gunvor Jónsson (SOAS University of London). 'Women on the move in the Mali/Senegal borderlands'

The project focused on the migration experiences of Malian women in Senegal. The core objectives were to produce thick descriptions of mobility, translocalism and belonging, while addressing how these processes and experiences are embedded in wider social transformations in the Mali/Senegal borderlands. (PhD)

  2012: Ralph Brayne (Exeter University). 'Investigating the interrelationship between boulder beach dynamics and storm events', USA.

This project aimed to develop a quantitative relationship between the dynamics of cobble/boulder beaches and nearshore wave conditions. The project focused specifically on defining the threshold of entrainment, depth to which clasts are mobilised within the beach matrix, and longshore transport rate. The data will improve conceptual understanding of the dynamics of coarse clastic beaches and inform the development of predictive equations, which are of direct practical use to coastal engineers.(PhD)

  2012: Duncan Taylor (Queen's University, Belfast). 'Circulating Tropical Nature: an historical geography of the botanical gardens of Jamaica'.

This project focused on the historical geographies of the botanical gardens of Jamaica between 1774 and 1907. Drawing on insights from science studies this research is anchored around three themes. Together these strands of research will further our understanding of how these botanical spaces translated the tropics to audiences in Britain and beyond. (PhD)

  2011: Danielle Gent (Loughborough University). 'Exploring the household adoption of photovoltaic technologies: the case of rural Nicaragua'.

The project explored the notion of household “energy poverty” in rural Nicaragua, and the extent to which photovoltaic technologies are appropriate for achieving the basic needs of energy poor households. (PhD)

  2010: Siobhan Whadcoat (Durham University). ‘Understanding large-scale post-earthquake dynamics, Sichuan, China.’

The project followed the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China, which resulted in loosening of rock and landslides. The research assessed sediment mobilisation in Sichuan, to understand the controls on sediment remobilisation and secondary hazards. (Masters)

  2009: Edmund Garrett (Durham University). ‘Reconstruction of Holocene east Asian monsoon intensity using benthic foraminifera and oxygen isotopes for the Pearl River estuary, Southeast China'. (Masters)

For further information on the projects listed above, including a summary of the research reports, please browse the Society's Expeditions Database.

About the Award

The Geographical Club is a members dining club which has its origins in the Raleigh Club, a dining club for explorers and travellers established in 1826. At a meeting of that Club in 1830 a new Society, The Geographical Society of London, was formed and this subsequently became the Royal Geographical Society. In 1854 the Raleigh Club was dissolved and the Geographical Club created. The Club has kept close links with the RGS-IBG. It has a wide ranging membership of Fellows of the RGS-IBG with geographical interests whose backgrounds span academia, exploration, travel, authorship, commerce and the wider world. The Club supports the Society through funding conservation work in the RGS-IBG archives and the Geographical Club Award.

The Geographical Club Award was established in 2009 as an annual award of £1,000, funded by The Geographical Club. In 2011 the decision was made to award two grants annually.

A member of the Geographical Club is a member of the panel that reviews applications. Interviews are not held for this Award. Recipients are announced in February of the following year and they are invited to attend a Geographical Club dinner.

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