Warham Studentship

For postgraduate studies of Sphenisciform and Procellariiform seabirds

The aim of these studentships is to support postgraduate studies of Sphenisciform and Procellariiform seabirds, by citizens of Commonwealth countries.

These studentships are fully funded by the John and Pat Warham Scholarship Fund, a legacy left to the BOU by the late John and Pat Warham.

Three scholarships have been awarded to date:

2018 | Kirsty Franklin
Round Island petrels
University of East Anglia, UK, Zoology Society of London (ZSL), UK and British Antarctic Survey, UK

2019 | Paige Green
Crested penguin ecology
University of Tasmania, Australia

2020 | Émile Brisson-Curadeau
King Penguin foraging ecology
McGill University,Canada and CNRS (France)

2023 studentship

Applications are now open for projects commencing in 2023. Successful proposals will combine the development of skills useful for a future career in ornithology with a sound scientific research proposal.

Deadline for applications: 29 May 2022

Download an application here.

The current specifics of our Studentships are currently:

  1. The BOU John and Pat Warham Studentship (‘the Studentship’) is to provide training to PhD level in research on any aspect of the biology or ecology of Sphenisciformes and Procellariiformes*.
  2. Awards are made to the PhD supervisor only (‘the Applicant’) and must be based within a degree-awarding research organisation.
  3. The Applicant must be a BOU member (at the time of application and for the duration of the Studentship) and have an academic position during, and beyond, the duration of the Studentship in the research institution that will administer the grant.
  4. The research institution administering the grant must be based in a Commonwealth country*.
  5. The student undertaking the Studentship must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country*, although not necessarily from the same country as the institution awarding the degree.
  6. All adverts for the Studentship should clearly state that applications are welcome from Commonwealth nationals* only.
  7. Applications have to be for a specific project, which will then be advertised and awarded in open competition. The research institution is responsible for advertising the Studentship and for the selection and recruitment of students.
  8. Collaborative applications from NGOs and academic institutions are welcome, subject to points 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 above.
  9. The Studentship will commence between January 2019 and March 2020 and should cover three years of academic study, an additional 6 months of bench fees for writing up and a student stipend for 3.5 years, the total not to exceed £85,000 over the 3.5 years’ duration of the Studentship. It is understood that fees and stipends vary between institutions and countries and it is expected that fees and stipends would be at the institution’s current standard levels.
  10. Any costs exceeding the £85,000 (for example, if higher fees are payable due to an international student being selected) must be borne by the Applicant’s institution. All costs must be described in detail in the application.
  11. Any additional costs (e.g. Disabled Student Allowance) or shortfall are to be met by the applying institution, and in no circumstances should the student be asked to meet any fee shortfall from their stipend, or receive less than the specified stipend.
  12. No more than one application should be submitted per individual per annum.
  13. Proposals must be submitted by 30 June 2019. Applications will be considered by BOU Council and the BOU Grants Committee, with decisions communicated to applicants by 31 July 2019, so they can be advertised in the autumn of 2019, with the studentship being awarded in January 2020.
  14. Proposals that fit the remit will be judged on their research and training excellence, and likely impact (both academic and non-academic), including student recruitment, management and monitoring.
  15. The Studentship must commence between January 2020 and March 2021. The exact start date is at the discretion of the Applicant.
  16. Awards will be paid in advance annually, on submission of satisfactory progress reports.
  17. Progress reports should be submitted to the BOU annually, one month before the anniversary of the grant.
  18. Awards are offered to the institution, not the Applicant, and the institution must signify its willingness to administer the award without making administrative charges. The Applicant and head of the institution must agree to the conditions of the award.
  19. Awards are given on the understanding that the research project complies with the safety and ethical regulations of the institution, and that the institution will ensure that the requirements of the relevant regulatory authorities will be met before the project begins.

* These are conditions of the bequest left by John and Pat Warham to the BOU for the purpose of these Studentships.

Conditions of a John and Pat Warham Studentship Award
  1. Studentships are to be used solely for the purpose of the award, as stated in the application and described in the letter of the award.
  2. The Applicant is responsible for the conduct of the student and the work undertaken, including abiding by the BOU’s ethical policy. The institution administering the award is responsible for the Applicant, the financial management of the grant, and for providing appropriate facilities for the student’s career development programme.
  3. The Applicant must ensure that all facilities, agreements about access and collaborations for the research are obtained before the Studentship commences and can be ensured for the duration of the Studentship period.
  4. The Applicant must also ensure that any ethical approvals, animal licences and other requirements from regulatory authorities are approved ideally before the Studentship begins, but we realise that this may not be possible. All research must be carried out under appropriate licences.
  5. Any financial support for the project obtained from other sources must be declared.
  6. The BOU should be informed immediately if the successful Applicant is unable to take up the Studentship, for example by the student not taking the offered studentship.
  7. The BOU reserves the right to terminate an award if the Applicant or student funded is in breach of any of the conditions of the award, or is unable to pursue the Studentship.
  8. Studentships will be paid in advance annually by cheque or by BACS/bank transfer payable to the host institution subject to receipt of a satisfactory progress report.
  9. The Applicant must ensure that a final report (up to 1,000 words) is submitted to the BOU along with a final copy of the PhD thesis. This report should include: (i) a summary paragraph, for the lay reader, describing the Studentship and its major findings and wider relevance; (ii) an account by the Applicant and an assessment of the outcome; (iii) the student’s comments on their experience of the Studentship; (iv) a list of publications arising from their research; (v) comments on the value of the Studentship to the Applicant’s research group. The BOU reserves the right to publish final reports.
  10. An award cannot be transferred to a third party. If the recipient is unable to complete the project for which the award was made, or is unable to undertake the project in the timescale agreed (i.e. as detailed in their application), then the BOU should be notified immediately.
  11. At the end of the Studentship, any outstanding balance over £50 should be returned to the BOU.
  12. In all formal publications arising wholly or partly from the Studentship, the BOU’s contribution must be acknowledged appropriately and a PDF copy of the publication sent to the BOU. The BOU must also be acknowledged in any presentations or media coverage that draw on the work carried out under the Studentship.
  13. If the BOU is not satisfied that the funds it has awarded have been spent as per the application for which funding was sought, or an adequate report has not been submitted to us, then the BOU reserves the right to request that the award be returned, in part or in full.
  14. The Applicant should ensure that data are archived in an appropriate manner.

BOU John & Pat Warham Studentships are funded by a bequest left to the BOU by the late John and Pat Warham for the study of of Sphenisciform and Procellariiform seabirds.

BOU, discrimination and the law

In response to Black Lives Matter, and the initiatives seen throughout society as a result, we are looking at ways that we can better identify and overcome barriers for all groups within our community.

We are delighted that the recent legacy left by former member John Warham and his wife Pat, is already funding PhD students from Commonwealth nations, as they both wanted. A review of our own practices to encourage diversity highlighted that our first three Warham  studentships were awarded to universities in the UK, Australia and Canada (with New Zealand the only other country from which we received applications) and students from those same countries were appointed (this may simply reflect where qualifying projects and candidates are most likely to come from). In the previous three rounds we did not receive an application from any institute in the other 50 Commonwealth jurisdictions (whose citizens comprise the majority).

UK discrimination legislation prevents us from discriminating against any group on grounds of race, ethnicity or religion. We strongly wish our final studentship to better reflect the diversity of the Commonwealth, by making an award to an institute and student from a Commonwealth country other than the four we have received applications from to date. However, we cannot do so unless suitable projects are put forward and candidates apply!

We ask that if you know of a qualifying institute, that you encourage them to apply to host a studentship, and secondly, encourage seabird researchers who are citizens of these Commonwealth nations to apply for the position when advertised.

Image Credit
Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea © JJ Harrison | via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0