Dick Potts Legacy Fund

Dr Dick Potts in fieldThe Dick Potts Legacy Fund was set up to help young ecologists, farmers, gamekeepers and land managers in establishing their own small projects.

Dr Dick Potts, former director-general of the GWCT and a pioneer in conservation research, died in 2017, and the legacy fund in his memory was the idea of his wife, Olga. It aims to support the next generation of ecologists by providing grants to farmland wildlife research projects to cover the costs of research supplies and equipment, travel, software, attendance at conferences and similar expenses.

Dr Potts was an innovator in how he would solve problems, often devising small experiments or ways of analysing data that showed the best way forward for practical conservation management. For this reason, the fund seeks to support these small projects that advance the field of applied wildlife ecology. They should be well thought out and address a recognised problem in conservation.

How to apply

The deadline for those wanting to use the fund for 2021 field season projects is 15 April 2021. All other projects should apply by 30 June. Please email the following details to dickpottsfund@gwct.org.uk:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Your Curriculum Vitae and the names and email addresses of two referees
  • Please provide your information below, including, in no more than 2500 words:
    • a) Project Overview. Tell us why you are applying for an award; what is innovative and practical about the work you propose to do and how it will advance our knowledge of Farmland Ecology.
    • b) Experiment Specifications. Set out details of your proposed experiment design including costings, timescale, sample sizes, site of the work and details of any access permission where appropriate. If you are in receipt of any other funding, please attach details.

Manuel Püttmanns, PhD candidate at the University of Göttingen, received funding from the Dick Potts Legacy Fund for his work with skylark chicksShortlisted candidates will be invited to present their proposals to the committee at the GWCT headquarters in Fordingbridge, via Skype.

While the fund is primarily aimed at younger people, we have not set an upper age limit or been overly strict with criteria. This means we can include those to whom this may be a second career, who are returning to education or who are taking time out to study.

For students, we would mostly expect undergraduate, MSc or PhD level, or their equivalents. For those already working, for example in land management or gamekeeping, we would anticipate them to be in their first three years or so of relevant employment, and this would include those who are in their first post-doctoral position.

However, we are flexible. If you are starting out, enthusiastic and have an innovative project, we would love to hear about it.

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