Ralph Brown Expedition Award

Royal Geographical Society

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Grant amount: £12,500

Anticipated deadline: Nov 23, 2020

Applicant type: Unaffiliated Researcher Faculty Postdoctoral Researcher Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Membership: Applicants must be a member of this organization to apply. Become a member.

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United Kingdom

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The Ralph Brown Expedition Award is a single annual award, offered to the leader of an expedition working in an aquatic environment. This includes the study of coral reefs,  inland or coastal wetlands, rivers, lakes and shallow seas. The project should be of value to the host country and, where possible, to the local community. 

The award has supported projects since 1998, ranging from the wetlands of Ukraine to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, from coral reef studies to mountain river hazard surveys, and studies of human's interaction with waterways. It is intended that this fund is seen as contributory and not the entire funding of the project and other sources of funding should be sought.

The award has been created in memory of the late Ralph Brown, a former world jet boat champion, who was a passionate participant in many expeditions in aquatic and marine environments around the world. This included the Society’s rainforest research programme to the Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak in 1977- 1978.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants do not need to be qualified scientists, but the award recipient must compile a full written report to describe and quantify the results of their work
  • Teams should include host country nationals. 
  • The project should be of value to the host country and, where possible, to the local community.
  • The project’s objectives should involve the study of inland or coastal wetlands, rivers or shallow (less than 200m) marine environments, including coral reefs.
  • The proposed research is expected to be original, valid, and contribute to existing scientific knowledge.
  • Equipment costs should not comprise more than 10% of the total budget.
  • Replacement costs for teaching assistance to free up research time of the principal investigator may be considered for funding.

You must be a member of this organization to apply for this award - become a member. The applicant must be a fellow or member of the RGS-IBG and may be from any nation.


  • Undergraduate and school-level expeditions are not eligible.
  • Postgraduate study is not normally eligible. 
  • Conference attendance will not be funded.
  • Institutional overheads will not be funded. 
  • The Society will not fund projects that take place in countries or within an area where the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel before the project goes into the field.
  • Salaries for research staff are not eligible for funding.