On Friday 23 September 2016, the Society held a celebration event to mark the 60th anniversary of our Expeditions and Geographical Fieldwork Grants. This wonderful evening brought together grant recipients from across six decades, allowing experiences of completing scientific expeditions to be shared across generations.
First awarded in 1956, the Expeditions and Geographical Fieldwork Grants are the Society’s longest running annual grants scheme. Over the past 60 years, these grants have supported over 2,000 fieldwork projects in some 150 countries, directly involving more than 11,500 individuals. Today, they continue to support overseas field research and expeditions that advance geographical knowledge, helping upwards of 20 teams of students and researchers get into the field every year.
During the celebration, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, recipient of three Expedition grants, hosted three other past grant recipients: Alun Hubbard, Rosie Trevelyan and Andy Eavis. Each speaker provided the audience with a glimpse of their experiences from their expeditions. Other recipients shared their thoughts, captured in video above, throughout the event.
As demonstrated during the celebration, the grants, and the expeditions and fieldwork they support, advance geographical knowledge and help develop careers. The Society’s grant-giving enables often young recipients to conduct new research, often in challenging environments. For many, it is their first direct exposure to field research and expeditions, and provides life-changing experiences and skills.
Recognising the importance of supporting the next generation of field researchers, the Society is combining the anniversary of the Expeditions and Geographical Fieldwork Grants with our current fundraising appeal to grow our grant-giving into the future. All of the grants are small awards of £2,500 or less, but each makes a big difference. If you are in a position to help with a donation, whether modest or larger, we would be very grateful indeed. Further details can be found on our appeal webpage. All donations – large or small – really do help. Thank you.
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Chandan Mahal is a Learning and Partnership Manager at The British Library.
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