Friday, 15 March 2013


Free money for botanical research (BSBI members only) and free resources for all beginner botanists. 


Chair of T&E (at head of table) wishing she could
 allocate those last few grants...
Photo: Ian Denholm
The fifth and final spring Committee Meeting was held last week and I definitely heard the Chair say the words “free money”. Yup, Training & Education Committee (aka T&E) has ££ to give away to BSBI botanists in the form of Plant Study Grants. These grants, of up to £1,000, are available to self-funded MSc & PhD students whose research is centred on vascular plants or charophytes, and are intended to cover tuition or bench fees. 

Sarah Whild, Chair of T&E, encourages applications from BSBI members who think they meet the criteria for a PSG.
If this sounds like you, then quick: get over to the Training page here – go down column 2 to Study Grants and check out the link to further info and an application form. Opportunities like this are yet another advantage of BSBI membership and show how the society supports young botanists keen to carry out research which benefits British or Irish botany. 

Conifer ID workshop in VC55
Photo: Russell Parry
If you are a beginner botanist, there are resources for you on the Training page too – although no free money just now, sorry! But there is a really helpful sheet by Clare O’Reilly here that tells you what you need to know when you first start out IDing and recording wild plants. And there are details of courses you can take, as you improve – in fact anyone, from beginner to PhD student, who is serious about developing their botanical skills should have a look at the Training page, which is full of useful links. 
My favourite is the Skills Pyramid here, which gives you an idea of what botanists at different skill levels actually do, and how you might develop your own botanical skills. And don't forget to check the VC map here and the list here to find out if you have a local botany group near you that holds training meetings - like this Conifer ID workshop held in VC55 in January.