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RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Awards

2010 Postgraduate Research Award recipient Anna Muir collecting amphibian data in order to predict impacts of climate change on distributions, genomic composition and adaptationThe Society offers awards of up to £2,000 for PhD students undertaking fieldwork/data collection. These awards, offered to individuals, aim to help students establish themselves in their particular field.

Awards can be offered in each of the following areas: physical environment; conservation and sustainability; society and economy.


23 November (each year)


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


2015 RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Award recipients

Physical environment

  Ian Stevens (University of Aberystwyth). 'Hydraulic controls on supraglacial microbiological transport'

By combining glaciological, microbiological and geochemical techniques, the aim of this research, to be carried out in Svalbard, is to ascertain the three-dimensional spatial distribution of microbes in the supraglacial habitat and explore links with hydraulic fluxes and nutrient delivery.

 Tom Mockford (University of Loughborough). 'The relationship between glacial outwash channels and aeolian dust emissions: A field study from Markarfljot, Iceland'

Mineral aerosols (termed dust) play a critical role in the earth’s climate system, impact the biosphere and create severe public health issues globally.This study will be the first to consider the relationship between glacial outwash channel morphological/sedimentological evolution and aeolian dust emissions. Based on preliminary field measurements, a new mechanism for dust entrainment by Wind Driven Rain Splash is proposed. 

Conservation and sustainability

  Anthony Turner (University of Kent). 'Biodiversity monitoring using a soundscape approach: Monitoring the sounds of a landscape along a gradient of human-caused disturbance, a study in the Paraguayan Dry Chaco'

Unsustainable forestry and agriculture are major threats to biodiversity worldwide. Over the next 50 years, agricultural land cover is expected to increase dramatically. Certification schemes and other conservation initiatives offer an opportunity to minimise impacts on biodiversity loss. Such schemes require land-owners to encourage and maintain biodiversity within their estates, which calls for an efficient monitoring system to be in place. Recent studies demonstrate the potential for using soundscape data as a surrogate for measuring biodiversity. This research tests the suitability of using these methods as a means of measuring biodiversity and monitoring a landscape along gradient of human-caused disturbance. (Project Cancelled)

Society and economy

  Clara Rivas Alonso (University of Leicester). 'Geographies of resistance to gentrification in Istanbul: the cases of Gezi Park and those evicted from Sulukule and Tarlabasi'

This research project seeks to decolonize the gentrification literature away from Euro-American perspectives by investigating gentrification, displacement and practices of resistance in Istanbul, a city that sits between Europe and Asia.

Postgraduate Research Award recipients 2008-2014 (PDF)

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 RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Awards were established in 2008, to support PhD students undertaking research and fieldwork. From 2008-2013 these were supported by a private donor. 

From 2014, the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Awards annually will include two Albert Reckitt Awards. These are to be supported in perpetuity with residual funds of The Albert Reckitt Charitable Trust.

The Albert Reckitt Charitable Trust was established in 1946 with the purpose of making grants to a wide variety of registered charities, including non-political charities connected with the Society of Friends.   

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