The Geographical Fieldwork Grants offer up to £3,000 to UK led research teams carrying out geographical field research overseas.
The Geographical Fieldwork Grant is the Society's longest running grant scheme. Every year, these grants enable upwards of 20 teams of students and researchers to get into the field.
The Geographical Fieldwork Grants are generously supported by a number of 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 Charitable Trust, the Alexander Awards, the Neil Thomas Proto Award, and the Frederick Soddy Awards.
Deadline: 15 February
Please read the grant guidelines and submit your application by email to email@example.com.
Download application guidelines
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James English (Newcastle University): Reconstructing past environmental conditions in the Sayan Mountains, Siberia
In collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Geochemistry, Irkutsk, this team of four Physical Geography undergraduate students aims to extract a series of lake sediment cores from four lakes in the Sayan Mountains of southern Siberia. Cores will be processed and preserved invertebrate remains will be analysed to reconstruct palaeotemperatures and past ecosystem structure. Spheroidal carbonaceous particles will be used to assess the extent of anthropogenic pollution in the region. These analyses will form the basis of third year dissertation projects.
Anna Gleizer (University of Oxford): Wandering in other worlds, talking with the spirits
This expedition to the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia will be a centennial retracing of the famed 1914 expedition route of one of Oxford’s first female anthropologists, Maria Czaplicka. The team will be approaching the project from the viewpoints of their three disciplines: art, anthropology and cognitive science. The result will be an immersive virtual-reality film about contemporary Evenki (Siberian native) lives and landscape, the immense change this region has undergone since Czaplicka travelled there (the rise of the USSR and perestroika), and about changes in the study of anthropology itself. This film will be exhibited in the Ruskin School of Art and the Pitt Rivers Museum.
Arzucan Askin (London School of Economics and Political Science): Mujeres Tarea Vida: gendered experiences of climate change in Cuba
This research project aims to understand why and how women are at the forefront of climate action in Cuba, and examines the socio-political factors that determine Cuban women’s climate change resilience and their contribution to the country’s plan for climate action, known as 'Tarea Vida' (Spanish: 'Life Task'). A mixed-method approach will be taken, consisting of questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and analysis of data provided in reports of Cuban climate change groups and government ministries.
Natalie Lewis (University of Exeter): Project Madagascar, Iaroka Forest
Iaroka lies in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor, home to some of the largest areas of remaining rainforest in Madagascar, which, if compromised, could endanger the continuity of vital ecosystems of flora and fauna. This student-led project will carry out biodiversity surveys in a new research area in collaboration with Development and Biodiversity Conservation Action for Madagascar (DBCAM) and local scientists from the University of Antananarivo. The project aims to gain a deeper understanding of the endemic species and the ecosystem services Iaroka provides to the local communities in order to raise awareness of their intrinsic value.
Aimee Edwards (Newcastle University): Investigation into the key drivers of ablation on Miage Glacier
This research programme involves seven separate investigative projects to further understand the factors driving ablation rates at the Miage Glacier in northwestern Italy. To achieve this aim, two groups will be working simultaneously during June and July 2019, one on the glacier and the other in the pro-glacial area. The pro-glacial team will look at differing aspects of stream characteristics, while the supraglacial team aims to understand the extent and effect of debris coverage, investigating its differing outcomes on different parts of the glacier.
Anna Kalish (Newcastle University): Russell Glacier expedition 2019
This project aims to assess the dynamics of Russell Glacier in west Greenland, in relation to melt, sediment supply and lake properties. Glacier melt will be determined from repeat surveys of an ablation stake interwork, and will be compared to lake and air temperature data. The team will quantify the impact of debris cover, microclimate and surface roughness on melt rates and reconstruct past fluctuations in Russell Glacier from proglacial landforms. Each of these research objectives will inform a dissertation project that will be produced from the results of fieldwork and data analysis.
Matthew Jones (University of Oxford): Usun Apau Plateau expedition
This expedition aims to estimate the diversity and abundance of gibbon species, and also collect data on plant diversity, on the Usun Apau Plateau in Malaysian Borneo, using triangulation and camera trap surveys. The expedition follows a previous RGS/Oxford expedition of 1955, allowing for retracing and photo re-creation to observe changes to the rainforest, which has been greatly altered by logging and palm oil plantations. The expedition will be in collaboration with the University of Sarawak.
Jennifer McFarlane (Newcastle University): Investigating the flora and fauna of Manu National Park
This project aims to deepen knowledge of key ecological processes and interactions to aid conservation challenges at Cocha Cashu biological station in southeastern Peru. Its objectives are to gain a better understanding of how birds aid in the dispersal of seeds across habitats; to better understand fig trees as a keystone species looking specifically at the interaction with the local ecosystem; identify jaguar habitat preferences and behaviour; and to investigate the effects of leaf litter on the microflora of bromeliads, a keystone genus of neotropical forests.
Geographical Fieldwork Grant recipients 2010-2018
Grants for fieldwork, expeditions and research with a regional focus.
Grants of up to £3,000 to help teams of students and researchers undertake overseas fieldwork.
Run in partnership with BBC Radio 4, this award offers £5,000 to make a 'journey of a lifetime' and the chance to tell the world about it in a radio documentary.
An annual award of £12,500 to an expedition working in an aquatic environment.
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