Bursaries and grantsInformation on grants and bursaries available from organisations for horticultural projects, exchanges and travel.
The “Grants for Horticulturists” original website was created, established and managed by Dr Henry Oakeley and Graham Smith and supported by the RHS since 2004. Henry and Graham have kindly agreed to the creation of this new database of information hosted by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) to provide information and links to organisations that provide grant aid to individual horticulturists. The CIH acknowledges, with thanks, Graham Smith of Erythos, the original website designer, and Henry Oakeley who collated the initial information. If you are aware of any additional organisations, trusts or funds that are available to support horticulturists and that are not on this list please email email@example.com.
Click through the options below for information on grants and bursaries available from organisations for horticultural projects, exchanges and travel. The information here is offered free of charge and may be copied for private use, but please note that all resources listed are copyright reserved.
All questions relating to grant-making organisations and their web sites, and to their grants, bursaries and other supports, should always be directed to the individual organisation concerned.
For advice regarding the possible inclusion of new information and corrections on this site, either for listing as a grant-making organisation or for addition to the list of links to other sites of interest, please contact the Chartered Institute of Horticulture at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organisations with horticultural interests are very welcome to include a link to this page on their own web sites.
Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
AHDB offers a Studentship scheme for PhD students. Since its inception in 2000, AHDB Horticulture’s PhD Studentship Scheme has helped to produce high quality research outputs, based on original ideas, leading to benefits to the horticultural industry. Crucially, the scheme has also delivered high-calibre practically-minded individuals to the industry for employment within both the commercial and academic horticultural arenas.
Visit the website.
Alpine Garden Society
Each year the Society gives a limited number of Travel Awards to enthusiasts wishing to gain field experience in the serious study of alpine plants in native habitats. Applications should be for clearly defined projects, though Awards have been made to those wishing to participate in an AGS Tour if it complements a particular area of interest.
The Alpine Garden Society also offers the Hendry Fund Grant. Following her death in 1993, Ms Evelyn F. Hendry left a significant part of her estate to the East Surrey Group of the Society. This is used to fund grants for specific alpine-related projects, which can involve research on any aspect of alpine plants in the wild or in cultivation.
The AgriFood Charities Partnership
The AFCP website provides a searchable list of charities and trusts which provide funding to help with all types of training, education and research in the food and farming sectors.
Visit the website.
American Society for Horticultural Science
The ASHS offers an awards programme for both student and professional horticulturists, which allows them to recognise outstanding member accomplishments in horticultural research, extension, and education. These awards range from Fellowship of the Society and recognition of achievements within the industry, to considerable travel grants for students right at the beginning of their careers.
Visit the website.
British Association of Landscape Industries
The BALI Chalk Fund run a Student of the Year Award for BALI Registered colleges to participate, and nominate a student to receive the award. Winners will receive a cheque of £100 and a certificate. The BALI Chalk Fund have also launched a UK BALI Chalk Fund Student of the Year. Each student that is nominated will be considered for the UK Student of the Year award. The winning student and their college will receive a cheque for £500 and 2 tickets to the BALI National Landscape Awards Ceremony, held in December.
Bentham-Moxon Trust was founded in 1984 by bringing together a number of charitable trusts, all of which had the objective of supporting the work of Kew. It aims to provide financial support for plant and fungal collection, research and education that further the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Grants are given for professional and academic travel, including, but not limited to, field study expeditions and attendance at conferences.
Castlebank Horticulture Centre
Castlebank Horticulture Centre in Lanark are offering one fully-funded place on the RHS Level 2 Principles of Horticulture course through a Young Person’s Bursary, to provide a platform for a young person enthusiastic about horticulture to gain training in the field and kick-start their career.
The application deadline is Thursday 22nd August 2019.
Chartered Institute of Horticulture
At CIH we are able to offer a number of grants and prizes for horticulturists at different stages of their career. These include the:
- The Norah Stucken award: a £500 prize for a project which has made a significant impact within the industry.
- The Aberconway award: £500 prize for the best horticultural dissertation submitted by a student or non-student under the age of 30.
- Young Horticulturist of the Year: the winner of this annual competition is awarded a £2500 travel bursary to help them further their career.
David Colgrave Foundation
The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) supports the development of the ornamental horticultural industry in the UK by offering multiple scholarships to those who are set on a career in horticulture. Opportunities are open to students completing horticultural courses in the UK, as well as former students who are in the early days of their horticultural career.
The DFC offers numerous scholarships and bursaries, including;
- Student scholarships: generic scholarships open to any students studying horticulture.
- Ball Colgrave scholarship: open to an employee in the early stages of their career at a commercial bedding plant nursery, or a student studying horticulture with an interest in commercial bedding plants, to fund travel to Europe to explore bedding plant production and marketing.
- British Protected Ornamentals Association – Peter Seabrook Bursary: open to students studying commercial horticulture. The scholarship is also available to schools and horticultural colleges to finance trips for students over 16 years of age to leading commercial horticultural establishments.
- South West Growers Show Scholarship: open to any student studying any aspect of commercial or production horticulture
- Horticultural Research Scholarship: open to students who are keen to pursue a research career in the horticultural industry should apply. This includes undergraduates, postgraduates and those studying for doctoral degrees.
- John Gibson Environmental Scholarship: open to a student with a keen interest in environmental solutions and sustainable applications as applied to commercial horticulture.
- Majestic Trees Sponsored Travel Scholarship: open to a student passionate about tree production, to fund a placement abroad at a tree nursery. This also includes the opportunity for a work placement at Majestic Trees, which could become a permanent position.
Derbyshire Historic Gardens Trust
The trust awards a bursary of between £500 – £1000 annually to students of horticulture or related disciplines. Students must either be Derbyshire- based, or from elsewhere working on a Derbyshire project. Broadly, any aspect of coursework or career development, or research or writing may be considered.
Visit the website.
Devon Gardens Trust
Diana Aitchison Fund
The Diana Aitchison Fund is intended to help young gardeners further their knowledge of rock and alpine plants and their cultivation. Priority for grants will be given to students following horticultural courses lasting one or more years and might go towards fees, living costs or travel expenses, either on a full-time course or at another location, such as summer work experience at a botanic garden or nursery. The fund was established thanks to a generous donation from the estate of the late Diana Aitchison, and is managed by the Scottish Rock Garden Club.
The Finnis Scott Foundation
The Foundation can provide grants for any charitable purpose, however their present policy is to focus grant-making in the areas of horticulture and plant sciences, as well as fine art and art history, reflecting the primary interests of the Foundation’s instigators – Sir David Montagu Douglas Scott KCMG OBE and his wife, Valerie Finnis VMH. In general the Trustees will only usually consider grants of between £500 and £10,000, although, exceptionally, larger grants may be considered at the Trustees’ discretion. Preference is given to making grants to smaller charities where the grant would have a significant impact.
Garden Centre Association Trust
The Trust was formed 1986 under the original name of the Williams Dykes Memorial Fund, and offers bursaries to anyone studying a relevant course in horticulture to help with the costs of their courses and research, whether full or part-time. The Trust has encouraged applications particularly relevant to the Garden Centre Industry and the furtherance of the therapeutic benefits of gardening.
The Trust also offers the Dick Allen Scholarship, open to young staff within GCA garden centres, to help further their career. The recipient will attend the International GCA Congress and participate within the ‘Interactive Tour’ group.
Garden Club of America
This programme is an exchange, sponsored jointly by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK and by The Garden Club of America (GCA) in the USA, in association with Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. The programme offers financial aid to British graduates and student horticulturists to undertake a 12-month stimulating internship at the world renowned Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USA with exposure to American horticultural techniques and regional plant species.
Graduates also have the option of undertaking the first year of a Master’s course – an opportunity for post graduate study in the USA in fields related to horticulture, botany, landscape architecture and environmental studies.
The Great Dixter Charitable Trust
The Trust offers the Christopher Lloyd Bursary, the purpose of which is to create opportunities for trainee and young gardeners to travel and work in interesting places, widen their experience and gain inspiration from experts in the UK and abroad. Applications are invited for bursaries of up to £1,500 and are accepted at any time of the year.
Hardy Plant Society
The Society offers a number of small bursaries as part of the Kenneth Black Bursary Scheme, for students and for people who are employed in horticulture, with the aim to stimulate interest in growing hardy herbaceous plants and to develop a deeper understanding of them. The bursaries have been designed specifically for students at colleges and universities studying subjects related to horticulture and for horticulturists in employment, including those in apprenticeships.
Helen Kennedy Foundation
The Foundation provides support of up to £2,250 to students whose personal and financial circumstances make progression to higher education difficult. They have two awards for a higher level apprenticeship in agriculture, and three awards for students wanting to progress to a land based degree. Those eligible to apply must be at a FE college or sixth form college, and must not have already undertaken a further education course.
Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme
The Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme (HBGTP) enables enthusiastic and committed horticulturists to increase their horticultural and other technical skills through garden placements in a range of historic and botanic gardens throughout the UK. The programme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
HBGTP offers trainees a structured learning programme and an assigned Supervisor and Mentor to guide and support their practical training.
International Society for Horticultural Science
The Society offers two student awards during each Symposium, one award for the best oral presentation given by a student who is in the same time the presenter and first author of the submitted manuscript, and one award for the best poster presented by a student who is first author of the work. Winners will be recognised in the quarterly journal, and will receive a one-year complimentary membership of the ISHS and a certificate.
Visit the website.
Japanese Garden Society
The Society offers a limited number of educational bursaries designed to assist successful applicants in acquiring or enhancing their Japanese garden related skills. It is aimed at UK landscapers / gardeners and those on a gardening-related course of study. The bursaries may be used, for example, to contribute to travel or course fee costs and must assist applicants in acquiring new or additional skills in Japanese garden design, and/or construction, and/or maintenance.
Application forms can be found here: http://www.jgs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Bursary-Application-.doc
The MacRobert Trust
Up to four new entrants to horticulture are awarded a place on the Trust’s Horticultural Training Scheme, which pays a salary and provides accommodation within the estate if it is needed. Trainees take a hands-on role under the supervision of experienced gardeners principally at the flagship gardens at Douneside House and also at Alastrean House.
The MacRobert Trust gardens have been accredited by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as a ‘Qualifications Approved Learning Centre’. Practical training and assessment to RHS Level 1 and 2 can now be provided in-house.
Mediterranean Plants and Gardens
MPG members have access to a sponsorship fund to provide bursaries, financed by donations and one bequest from members. The bursary is intended to support an educational, conservation, or research objective of the individual applying and is normally, although not exclusively, given in the form of a reduced rate for attendance at an MPG event. Consideration will also be given to applications to research new Mediterranean plant areas which might be of interest for future events.
Visit the website.
The Merlin Trust
The Merlin Trust offers grants to British or Irish Citizens who are between the ages of 18 and 35 years or in their first five years of a career in horticulture, for studying plants in the wild and in gardens, abroad and in the UK. Funding is also available if you are a foreign national studying in a British or Irish horticulturally recognised institution. Applications are invited throughout the year for long or short term projects, grants up to £1,500 may be available.
The Trust was founded by Valerie Finnis VMH in memory of Merlin Scott to encourage young horticulturists.
National Garden Scheme
The NGS offers the Elspeth Thompson Bursary which is intended to support community gardening projects. These projects must be open to everyone and should be aimed at bringing the community together by the sharing and acquiring of horticultural knowledge, and by inspiring a love of gardening skills across all age groups.
Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust
The Trust awards approximately 20 individuals each year with the opportunity to research topics of interest in either farming, food, horticulture or rural industries. Recipients are able to travel anywhere in the world for a period of time no less than 8 weeks, and on return a written report will need to be submitted and published, and any findings or recommendations presented at the Annual Nuffield Farming Conference.
A bursary of approximately £7000 will be given towards travel and subsistence expenses. In addition, the Trust and the individual award sponsor will meet any travel and expenses in relation to the Pre Study Briefing and Contemporary Scholars Conference. The total value of an award is in excess of £12,000.
Nuffield Farming ScholarshipsTrust Ireland
A Nuffield Farming Scholarship is a travel and study bursary awarded by the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Ireland Ltd. The objective of the award scheme is to encourage the advancement of agriculture and rural development through the promotion of awareness, education and leadership in the Irish agriculture and rural sectors. The overall scholarship award is €14,000. This bursary is a contribution towards the cost of travel and accommodation which will be incurred by scholars for their international travel. It will not cover the full cost of registration & travel for the Contemporary Scholars Conference, Global Focus Programme and travel in pursuit of the study topic.
Find more details @ https://nuffield.ie/
Online Turf are offering a privately funded scholarship for Agriculture & Horticulture students in college & university.
The list of eligibility requirements are as follows;
- Applicants must be enrolled in full time education studying an agricultural or horticultural course in university or college
- Applicants must study & reside in the UK
- The applicant is 18 years or above or has parent/ guardian permission
The application form & terms of conditions can be found on our site here: https://www.onlineturf.co.uk/scholarship
Percy Picton Memorial Fund
PERCY PICTON was a well known plantsman, gardener, nurseryman, lecturer and broadcaster. The Charity was established by The Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society in 1987, as a lasting memorial to their late president, who had a special interest in encouraging people to learn more about the world of plants.
The charity is small and qualification for a grant was originally restricted to people who were resident in the Malvern Hills area, and those resident in the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. However, this restriction has now been lifted and applications are welcome from the whole of the UK.
Grants can be available to people following horticultural studies at Pershore College or similar establishments. Help is also given to apprentices and trainees in private and public gardens and nurseries. This offers the rare opportunity to gain work experience at Great Dixters, John Massey’s Garden and John Richards’ Nursery. Research studies related to plants are eligible for consideration. Training should lead to a career within Horticulture, Gardening or Botany
For more information and to apply, please follow the link: https://paulpictonswebpatch.blog/2018/02/08/the-percy-picton-memorial-fund
The Professional Gardeners' Trust
Professional Gardeners' Trust and Birkbeck Garden History Group
The Professional Gardener’s Trust is pleased to announce a new bursary to support students of garden history.
The Birkbeck Garden History Group will be providing the fund, which will be administered by the PGT, and allow students of garden history to expand their knowledge or undertake specific research.
Jeremy Garnett, Chairman of Professional Gardeners’ Trust is delighted that Birkbeck Garden History Group (BGHG) will be donating £1,000 per annum over the next three years. This fund will to provide grants to enable professional gardeners to broaden their knowledge of garden history by attending lectures, conferences, courses and study days. He says, “Obtaining a deeper understanding of the history of the garden in which the applicant might work and how to conduct research into previous generations of design and planting can be of vital importance to the future of our gardens”.
Professional Gardeners’ Trust is a charity set up in 2004 to help fund gardeners wanting to improve their gardening skills and gain experience in the profession. For more information visit www.pgtrust.org.
Birkbeck Garden History Group is interested in studying garden history through lectures, garden visits and exhibitions and in encouraging others to become interested in the subject of garden history: https://birkbeckgardenhistorygroup.wordpress.com
For more information contact:
Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
We offer scholarships and apprenticeships. You can find more information on www.qest.org.uk.
The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust exists to sustain Britain’s cultural heritage, by funding the training and education of talented and aspiring craftspeople. This can be through traditional college courses, vocational training, one-on-one training with a master craftsperson or craft apprenticeships.
Since 1990, QEST has awarded £4.2 million to more than 460 craftspeople of all ages and backgrounds in at least 130 skills, from rural to cutting-edge craft and conservation – including embroidery, stonemasonry, wood work, saddlery, stained glass painting and many more.
QEST Scholarships are grants between £5,000-18,000, available to individuals to pursue training opportunities in their chosen craft, in the UK or abroad.
- Scholarships cover the cost of practical experience, training or study at a recognised institution or with a master craftsperson – recipients can use this as a lump sum or in instalments, as required
- Scholars must be aged over 17, with no upper age limit
- If training takes place outside the UK, recipients must demonstrate how they will bring those skills back to the UK to enrich British craft
- Scholarships do not cover costs for materials, renting a workshop or other business start-up costs
QEST Apprenticeships are grants generally up to £18,000 (£6,000 a year up to three years), available to small businesses and sole traders to hire an apprentice. The funding can go towards training (in-house or external), tools and materials and/or the apprentice’s wage.
- Employer and apprentice must apply together as a partnership
- Apprentices must demonstrate a dedication/commitment to the craft, but previous experience is not required
- Apprenticeships must be for a specific craft skill, with clear training plans and milestones
Closing date for the July round is 24.8.2018. A further round of funding opens in January each year
The Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group
The object of this fund is to give small bursaries to support research and education projects specifically relating to Rhododendrons, Camellias or Magnolias, which further our knowledge of and/or promote these three genera. This could also be a grant towards travel expenses involved in carrying out the research.
The successful applicant would undertake to produce a paper outlining the results of the project, within three months of completion of the project, for publication (but not exclusively) in an RCMG publication and/or Group web site.
Applicants can apply for a bursary towards research anywhere in the world.
Applications will be subject to scrutiny on a first come first serve basis, by a small panel appointed by the RCMG, and must show clear objectives and the methods for achieving these. If desired, a preliminary outline of a proposal can be discussed with John Marston to assess its suitability before applying formally.
Applications may be made at any time in the year, but in any case, a minimum of twelve weeks must be allowed before the start of the proposed project. Bursaries cannot be given retrospectively.
Anyone interested in applying for a Bursary should download the application form. You may make your entries direct onto the form on your computer and either email or alternatively print out and post.
To find out more about Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia group please visit their website
Royal Horticultural Society
Through its bursaries scheme, the RHS provides financial support for a wide range of horticultural projects both abroad and in the UK. Bursaries generally range between £100 and £3,000. Projects with a very clear relevance to horticulture are eligible to be considered for a bursary, and monies can be used to contribute towards costs like travel, accommodation, supporting publications, amongst others.
SCI Horticulture Group
SCI administers the David Miller Travel Bursary Award, which aims to give young plant scientists or horticulturists the opportunity of overseas travel in connection with their horticultural careers. The Award was set up in honour of David Miller MBE. At £500, the Award is intended to supplement, rather than fully finance, a trip, and recipients will also receive a year’s Student Membership of SCI, and a year’s Eden Project Membership.
Shropshire Parks and Gardens Trust
The Trust offers a limited number of bursaries of up to £500 each to students enrolled on a course involving an element of study connected with parks, gardens or designed landscapes. The bursary is to assist with the purchase of items such as cameras, memory cards, books and other resources and equipment to support your studies. Financial assistance towards travelling expenses and short courses to enhance a student’s study are also valid reasons for consideration by the Trust.
Applications are welcome from both full and part-time students who are normally resident in Shropshire no matter where they may be studying.
The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust
Funds available in support of horticultural education; for the advancement of research in any branch of horticulture and the publication of the results of such research; to assist the creation, development, preservation and maintenance of gardens accessible to the public; the promotion of the cultivation and wide distribution of plants which have value to mankind; promotion and cultivation of new plants; assisting the publication of books or other works relating to science or horticulture.
Information and the application form can be found by clicking here: Information and application form-Stanley Smith UK Hort Trust
The Studley College Trust
The Trust provides financial support in the form of student bursaries for study and training activities in the land-based industries. Bursaries can be accessed through a number of routes, including college bursaries, sponsored scholarships, travelling scholarships, and other college programmes. If you are already studying on a college course and struggling with insufficient funds, or if you plan to go to College in the coming academic year and are worried about coping on limited resources you may well be eligible for a Studley College bursary.
Suffolk Gardens Trust
The Trust offers bursaries to horticulture students of all ages, up to the value of £500. Since they started in 2005 numerous bursaries have been given out to students at many colleges, studying various horticultural disciplines.
Visit the website.
Three Counties Agricultural Society Bursary
In Memory of Joe Henson MBE
The bursary is an award of £1,000 per year, for up to 3 years, to support students studying a land based subject, who are normally resident in either of the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire or Gloucestershire. Applicants can be studying at either further, higher or post-graduate level, provided it is full-time and that they are 18-23 years old at the start of their course. The course can be at any recognised college or university anywhere in the world. Applications are open annually from late Mach/Early April, and close on 1st July every year.
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Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust awards Travelling Fellowships to British citizens from all walks of life to travel overseas for up to two months, to bring back knowledge and best practice for the benefit of others in their UK professions and communities. It would not be for academic study exactly, but a practical exploration of how things work in other countries. The Trust is then able to support you on your return with advice and further funding to spread your findings locally or nationally.
There are 10 varied categories each year such as Science, Engineering and Technology, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as an Open category.
The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
The Company offers the Prince of Wales Perpetual Challenge Trophy as part of the its charitable activities. It is a competition run annually by the Company and it is open to all present and future professional gardeners able to demonstrate particular expertise and knowledge in the field of sustainable horticulture.
The winner will receive a cheque for £500 and a certificate, signed by HRH The Prince of Wales, and will also be invited to dine with their tutor as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners in the City of London.
The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
The Company offers financial support to:
- Fruit Industry employees who are participating in the Fruit Supervisory and Management Course at Hadlow College.
- Fruit growers who wish to attend a recognised Cider Making course.
The Company awards prizes annually to outstanding undergraduate and Master’s students who have evidenced an interest in fruit (as defined botanically) and expressed a wish to develop a career in the fresh produce industry.