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The Bequest Fund


This fund is run by the British Bryological Society following a major bequest from the late Trudy Side and further recent donations. Its objective is to promote bryological activities at home or abroad, including field work, attending meetings and publishing the results of research. With interest rates at their current low level, available funds are limited and it may not be possible to award more than one research or publication grant in any one year.

BBS Grants – Instructions for Applicants
The BBS awards a small number of grants from its Bequest Fund on a competitive basis each year. These grants are not available to non-members.

Meetings & Courses Grants
The aim of these is to encourage beginners who have joined the BBS to attend the Society’s indoor and field meetings, or to attend a course in bryophyte identification such as those run by the Field Studies Council. Applicants should give a brief resumé of their progress in bryology and state their reasons for wishing to attend the meeting or course, with a statement of expected costs. Successful applicants will receive a flat payment of £250 towards the cost of attendance (or the actual cost if that is lower). If successful, a full year must elapse after completion of the meeting or course before another Meetings & Courses Grant application may be made.

Examples of financial support awarded in recent years for attendance at courses and workshops include:

  • Sphagnum course at Kindrogan Field Centre
  • Bryophyte identification course at Preston Montford Field Centre
  • Mosses and Liverworts course at Rhyd-y-crenan Field Centre
  • BBS Orthotrichum workshop in Dorset
  • Grimmia workshop at Blencathra Field Centre
  • Bryophytes for Conservation and recording course at Preston Montford Field Centre

Research Grants
Grants up to a maximum of £750 will be made to enable bryological research to be undertaken with the expectation that the results are published in Field Bryology, Journal of Bryology or given as a talk at one of the Society’s forthcoming paper-reading meetings. The grant may cover:  travel and accommodation for fieldwork, including overseas; visits to herbaria, laboratories and other institutions; purchase of specialist scientific equipment and consumables, costs of analytical and other laboratory services. The costs of microscopes and other equipment used routinely in bryology will not be supported.  Speakers’ attendances at conferences and salaries for third parties are also not eligible, but travel expenses of unpaid assistants may be considered. A detailed costing and one-page curriculum vitae must be submitted as part of the application. It should be noted that during the selection process applications from younger bryologists will be especially favoured.

Research projects for which recent awards contributing to costs include:

  • Bryophyte surveys of the Atiwa Forest, Ghana (threatened by bauxite mining)
  • Identification of bryophyte collections from Ascension Island at the Natural History Museum, London (to assist with regular travel expenses)
  • Characterisation of the evolutionary history of moss branching forms
  • A study of epiphytes and their hosts in ancient woodland in relation to potential impact of Ash Dieback diease
  • Research on nitogen fixation by microbes associated with Sphagnum in some Swedish peat bogs, in relation to the role of peat bogs as carboon sinks
  • Effects of dust deposition in relation to climate change in hgh alpine bryophyte communicites in Western Colorado, USA
  • DNA analysis of bryophyte samples collected for research on bryophyte diaspore banks in dune slacks: occurrence, composition and conservation implications

Publication Grants
The Bequest Fund occasionally contributes towards the costs of publishing County Floras and similar works of interest to its members. A sum not exceeding £500 may be awarded. An outline of the costs of publication should be provided as part of the application and mention made of other grants applied for and on which publication may be dependent.

How to Apply
Applications for any of the above must be made on the downloadable grants form available on the website. Closing dates for applications for meetings and courses grants are 1st February and 1st August each year. For research or publication grants the single closing date is 1st February each year. Applicants will normally be informed of the Bequest Committee’s decision within 5 weeks of the closing date. Consideration of late applications will be deferred until the next closing date. The completed and signed application should be posted or scanned and emailed (email preferred), by one of the above dates, to the Committee’s Chairman (Gordon Rothero, 8 Deer Park, Glenmassan, Dunoon, Argyll PA23 8RA; e-mail

Other sources of funding

Other sources include The Botanical research Fund:

The Botanical Research Fund is a small trust fund which makes modest grants to individuals to support botanical investigations of all types and, more generally, to assist their advancement in the botanical field. Grants are available to amateurs, professionals and students of British and Irish nationality who are resident in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Where appropriate, grants may be awarded to applicants in successive years to a maximum of three. Examples of projects recently supported by the Botanical Research Fund include:

  • Development of a vegetative key to the British Flora
  • Herbarium research for a monograph of Strobilanthes (Acanthaceae)
  • Taxonomic studies of the Coralline algae
  • Field surveys of seaweeds, bryophytes and Rubus
  • Laboratory work to investigate the status of Gladiolus illyricus in the UK.

The annual deadline for applications is January 31st. Further details may be obtained from Mark Carine, Hon. Secretary, The Botanical Research Fund, c/o Department of Botany, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD. Email:




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