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Reporting and digital assets

All individuals and teams who receive an RGS-IBG grant are required to submit both a preliminary and a full report (unless stated otherwise in your terms and conditions). Failure to submit a report will jeopardise future grant applications and may also impact future support by key donors.


Preliminary report

A short preliminary report must be submitted within one month of returning from the field. Please do this by completing an online survey. This requires brief information on the purpose of the project, experiences in the field and key findings to date. At least three high resolution JPEG images which capture the essence of the project must be also submitted. Images can be emailed to or sent via WeTransfer (more details below).


Final report

A full final report must be submitted within 12 months of returning from the field. The final report must include a 250 word abstract, a description of the project and its key findings (1,000 words minimum), digital images that capture the spirit of the project and its results (follow guidance below), a final budget, and details of presentations, publications and any other outputs.

The name of the grant you received and funding from specific donors must be included.

Your final report will be kept by us for public reference. Unless you indicate to the contrary in writing on the report, we will allow the entire report to be copied for private and personal use.

The Society would also like to be kept informed of other outputs of your project, whether they be academic papers, lectures, educational resources, websites, films or further funding.

Examples of final reports

Balancing people’s uses of nature with biodiversity (Victoria Griffiths, 2016 Slawson Awards)

Water rights and water markets in Heihe, Shiyang and Yellow Rivers (Jesper Svensson, 2017 Hong Kong Research Grant)


Submitting photographs

Each image should have a brief caption and details on who the image copyright should be attributed to. Landscape orientation (horizontal) images are preferred to portrait orientation (vertical) images. Below are some examples of images submitted by previous grants recipients. The images capture the research being carried out by the grant recipient and give a sense of the field site. Images showing team members working together and researchers interacting with in-country organisations or participants are also welcome. You must ensure you have the permission of those included in the images.



Guidance for supplementary digital content

As well as providing support to projects, the Society also wants to help tell the stories of the projects it supports in order to inform and inspire others. In order to do this, you might like to consider supplementing the required digital assets with extra images, video and audio material and use hashtags and handles to tag us and let us know what you’re doing and where. In this section you will also find advice on producing video and tips on how to share and amplify your posts. If you are creating this extra content, particularly video, then we may feature it on our website on the page of the grant that you received (see example) or on our social channels.


If you are posting on your social channels, please use the hashtags below and let us know you’re talking about us by tagging our handles in your posts. We will repost/retweet/share when we can.



  • #RGSgrants


Facebook @RGS.IBG

Twitter @RGS_IBG

RGS-IBG Higher Ed Twitter @RGS_IBGhe

Instagram @rgs_ibg


Video footage

At the end of each year, we put together a short video compilation of highlights from our grant-supported projects and share it on our social channels. This will be a compilation of all the highlights that our grants projects supported in 2020/2021.

Here’s our top tips for recording more professional-looking footage:

  • Use a tripod

  • If audio is important to your video, use an external mic and think about capturing the ambience of a place (e.g. is there music playing or natural sounds). If you will you be talking to the camera, think about answering the questions: Who are you and what are you doing right now? E.g. "I’m Amy and I’m in Iceland undertaking a study of glacial melt..."

  • Don’t use digital zoom, it can make for a blurry video

  • Choose a brightly lit setting for your video where possible. Make sure light is falling on the subject e.g. no backlighting as faces become unclear. Please remember, you could be in a really bright sunny location, but if you have your back to the sun, your whole face is going to be in shadow

  • Most videos are presented horizontally on social media (except IGTV/Stories) so landscape mode is best

  • Use an editing app (such as iMovie or YouTube video editor) to trim unnecessary context out

  • If using footage for your own platforms, consider using subtitles or on-screen text (most people watch videos without sound) so this way viewers can appreciate the story you’re trying to tell. NB. The Society requires the raw footage with no subtitles

  • Keep it short, so between 30 seconds – 2 minutes max. depending on content (e.g. if talking to camera, up to 30 seconds or just 10 seconds of fieldwork in action)

  • Plan ahead so that you can tell the story of your project

Liaise with the Grants Officer in terms of how best to share imagery when you are in the field.


What makes a successful social media post?

  • Always include an image

  • Provide a link to your project website if possible

  • Use a link shortening tool e.g. (this gives you more character space)

  • Ask questions or state interesting facts and figures to engage your audience

  • Like and reply to comments on your posts to increase organic reach

  • Tag your university and other connected organisations involved with your project so they can share or retweet, including the Society

  • Use hashtags to increase the number of views


What makes a successful social video post?

  • Upload original content directly rather than linking to YouTube or Vimeo (this means videos play ‘in stream’)

  • Follow this general rule for length of video:

    • Instagram: 30 seconds

    • Twitter: 45 seconds

    • Facebook: 1-3 minutes

    • YouTube: 2 minutes

  • The average attention span of an adult in 2013 was 8 seconds, so make the first 10 seconds of your video really count: consider what story you are going to tell

  • Try pinning a video that you have made and edited to the top of your social feeds to increase the opportunity to view

  • Consider using video for an Instagram ‘story’ which is ephemeral image/video content held for 24 hours before it disappears

Each channel has its own video specifications (view extra information). If you plan to share details of your project on your own purpose-made websites and social feeds, this information might come in handy (please note this information correct as of March 2020).



Orientation: Horizontal and vertical

Dimensions: Landscape: 1280 x 720px | Portrait: 720 x 1280px

Length: 3min (ideal) - 120min max.

Format: .MP4 and .MOV



Orientation: Horizontal and vertical

Dimensions: Landscape: 1280 x 720px | Portrait: 640 x 640px

Length: 140sec

Format: .MP4 for web | .MOV for mobile



Orientation: Horizontal, vertical and square

Dimensions: Landscape: 600 x 315px | Square: 600 x 600px | Vertical: 600 x 750px | IGTV only: 1080 x 1920px

Length: Instagram: 60sec | IGTV: 60min (max)

Format: Instagram: .MP4 and .MOV | IGTV: .MP4 only


We wish you the best of luck in the field and look forward to seeing and hearing more about your project!