Photo: © Neil Rolph, Poppies, Papaver rhoeas

Suffolk Naturalists Society Bursaries

SNS / SBIS Recording Bursary Programme
For those wanting to start recording wildlife more seriously the SNS and the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service in conjunction with the Field Studies Centre at Flatford Mill also offer Recording Bursaries to assist people with the cost of attending identification courses. Read the full details here.

SNS Bursary Programme for Research Projects
Suffolk Naturalists’ Society has always encouraged members of the public to become actively involved in studying the flora, fauna and geology of the county. Amateur naturalists have always undertaken the majority of studies into the natural history of Suffolk, adding to our knowledge and providing valuable species records. These records provide an invaluable source of biological information used by local authority planning departments, ecological consultancies, land developers, researchers, conservation agencies and others through Suffolk Biological Records Centre, based at Ipswich Museum.

However, as the costs of travel and of specialist equipment increase, naturalists may feel that there are just too many barriers to undertaking their own project. In order to help overcome this, Suffolk Naturalists’ Society offers five bursaries as shown below. The Society’s Council took the decision to increase the amount of funding available in 2010, resulting in more substantial support for studies of Suffolk’s natural history. The most recent of these awards has been made possible by a generous endowment from the estate of Mr Francis Simpson.
Previous projects supported by Suffolk Naturalists’ Society include studies of Knopper gall wasp, Antlion and Stag beetle, with funding for equipment, such as specimen tubes, and other scientific equipment. We are keen to expand the range of projects supported and welcome applications to support study of all taxonomic groups and geology

The Bursaries
The bursaries are not tied to the topics listed below, but wherever possible Suffolk Naturalists’ Society Council aims to match the application to the interests of the naturalist in whose name the bursary is awarded. The maximum amount available for each bursary is £500 annually.

Larger projects may be eligible for grants of over £500 – please contact SNS for further information. When an application is successful, half of the grant will be awarded at the start of the study and the remainder on completion of the study. Discretionary interim payments may be made if appropriate.

Activities eligible for funding include: travel and subsistence for field work, visits to scientific institutions, scientific equipment, identification guide books or other items relevant to the study.

Activities not eligible for funding include: attendance at conferences, direct contribution to salaries. Applications should be set in the context of a research question i.e. a clear statement of what the problem is and how the applicant plans to tackle it.

Tim Pankhurst surveying fen orchids in Canada
Tim Pankhurst surveying fen orchids in Canada

The five bursaries are:

Morley Bursary
– Studies involving insects (or other invertebrates) other than butterflies and moths.

Chipperfield Bursary
– Studies involving butterflies or moths.

Cranbrook Bursary
– Studies involving mammals or birds.

Rivis Bursary
– Studies of the county’s flora.

Simpson Bursary
– This bursary was awarded for the first time in 2005 in memory of Francis Simpson. As Francis was our botanical recorder the bursary will be awarded for a botanical study where possible.


1. Projects should include a large element of original work and further knowledge of Suffolk’s flora, fauna or geology. 2. A written account of the project is required within 12 months of receipt of a bursary. This should be in a form suitable for publication in one of the Society’s journals: Suffolk Natural History, Suffolk Birds or White Admiral. 3. Suffolk Naturalists’ Society should be acknowledged in all publicity associated with the project and in any publications emanating from the project.

How to Apply
There are two ways to apply for a Bursary
You can fill in an online application form by clicking the button below

If you prefer to fill in a paper copy, please contact us for a form.