Trust Funds

The Department of Biology has a number of trust funds which provide support to undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, research fellows and academic staff from within and outside Oxford University. Listed below are details of the Department-specific funds available and who is eligible to apply for them. 

We also encourage people to look at the A-Z of Scholarships page on the University website, and use their Fees, Funding and Scholarships search tool.

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Bursaries of up to £500 are available from the David Kirby Memorial Fund, and a bursary of up to £600 is available from the Marianne North Exploration Grant.                           

The David Kirby Memorial Fund is restricted to undergraduates studying Biological Sciences or Human Sciences, with a preference for projects in the field of reproduction although all areas of biology will be considered. These bursaries shall be awarded to assist undergraduates undertaking research carried out during a vacation or during their 4th year project (MBiol) in collaboration with, or supervised by, a member of the University.

The Marianne North Exploration Grant is restricted to undergraduates studying Biological Sciences. This bursary will be awarded to assist undergraduates undertaking fieldwork-based research overseas or in the UK carried out during a vacation or during their 4th year project (MBiol). All research must be undertaken in collaboration with, or supervised by, a member of the University.

For further information on how to apply: please contact

This fund is available to students studying biological sciences at Oxford University to enable them to: pursue their studies outside Oxford, attend conferences and broaden their professional experience. Suitable projects might include student-run expeditions or field work that will form part of an assessed research project. Priority will be given to: those whose studies relate to agriculture, forestry or some other use of rural land use; and to undergraduates (although graduate students may also be considered). In the past a low priority has been given to applications from students participating in “volunteer conservation vacations” that charge large fees to participants.

For further information about this fund, please email:

The Eurofins Fund will support research and educational projects and initiatives undertaken by undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Department of Biology. Such projects could include, but not be limited to, fieldwork, support for writing up costs, support for students experiencing financial hardship and other extracurricular activities deemed of academic value by the administration committee. 

Graduate students should (a) indicate if they are funded through a DTP/DTC graduate programme or an external research grant, (b) explain why current funding cannot support the application, and (c) ask their supervisor (or Principal Investigator of a grant) to send an email to to confirm support for the application.  

Undergraduate students should ask their college tutor or supervisor to email to confirm support for the application.  

To apply, please email your application (one A4 page maximum) with a full break down of costs to ​​ All applications will be acknowledged on receipt.  

Awards are unlikely to exceed £1,000. 

This Fellowship is open to graduate students, postdocs and research fellows from within and outside Oxford University. Applications are judged on their practicality and potential to make a contribution to insect ecology. Up to £2500 is available.

For details on how to apply please email the Secretary to the Board of Management at:

Reports by previous Varley Gradwell Fellows.

This Fund supports research on the developmental biology of invertebrates or vertebrates. Applicants must be researchers within the Department of Biology (graduate students, postdocs, research fellows and academic staff). Grants are usually less than £2,000 although some larger applications are occasionally considered.   

The subject of developmental biology is interpreted broadly to include embryology, life history evolution, tissue regeneration and development of behaviour. Examples of recent grants awarded include: 

  • Ageing in fruit flies  
  • Deciphering the planarian stem cell regulome 
  • Regulation of spinal cord stem cell specification in lamprey 
  • Sound-producing muscles in Hemiptera 

Elizabeth Hannah Jenkinson Research Fund - list of publications

For further information please contact:

The Boise Trust Fund was established by Charles Watson Boise to support research on the antiquity and evolutionary origin modern Homo sapiens and other hominins, with particular emphasis on the continued exploration of appropriate sites in Africa, and on the early migration of Palaeolithic communities.  Applications are open to Oxford University-based researchers and graduate students. 

For details on how to apply contact: (Secretary to the Boise Trust Fund).  

End of award report 2014
End of award report 2013