BOU Small Research Grant

BOU is one of the world’s oldest and most respected ornithological organisations with an international membership stretching across all continents.

We will fund scientific studies with clear aims and objectives (ideally with clearly stated hypotheses) where the methods are clearly explained, robust and appropriate to answering the questions asked within the application.

Applications may be on any aspect of ornithology but the BOU will look especially favourably on areas where there are particular difficulties in funding research from national or local sources.

All applications are expected to fulfil the following requirements:
  • The research must be of high scientific quality
  • The research must be interesting, innovative or a potentially high impact piece of work
  • The project is feasible in terms of resources and time allocated
  • The applicant must be competent to undertake the research
  • The project has a clearly justified budget
  • The project is a stand-alone research project, where the amount being sought is a substantial percentage of the total project budget
Who can apply?

We welcome applications from both amateurs and professionals.

Applications are solely from individuals who are principally responsible for undertaking the work outlined in the application.

Undergraduate and graduate research will be considered, but only if the research meets the following criteria –

a) where the applicant is a PhD candidate the project must be a stand-alone element and not the wider research programme (i.e. forming one chapter or paper, rather than contributing to the entire thesis);

b) the research costs applied for are not fully supported by bench fees or fieldwork elements within a studentship or research council award.

The BOU may also consider applications for funding exceptional requirement(s)/opportunities which were unforeseen at the planning/start of a project, but which arise during the work.

Funding will not be provided to cover course fees.

Students should check the BOU’s other funding scheme, Career Development Bursaries (, which aims to support short-term research positions for young (or early career) ornithologists, during a degree, between a first and higher degree programme, during a PhD project, or immediately after completion of a higher degree. Successful proposals will combine the applicant’s development of skills that will be useful for their future career in ornithology with sound science.

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