One of the aims of the Solent Forum is to further the research knowledge and evidence base of the Solent. To assist this aim, the Forum has a bursary Scheme where funding of up to £200 is available to help support dissertation projects undertaken by both undergraduate and graduate students. The Award is named in honour of Professor Mike Clark, the second chairman of the Forum. As part of the Award the winners also have an opportunity to give a short presentation at a Solent Forum meeting and have their research publicised to to the Solent's coastal community.
The 2021 funding round has been postponed due to the ongoing difficulties in carrying out fieldwork. For the 2022 round we would particularly welcome submissions on the topics of water quality, identifying sites for habitat restoration, research on impacts of plastics on marine and coastal environments, building biodiversity into coastal infrastructure and bird disturbance from the use of paddlesports. We are aware of the current difficulties for students completing fieldwork and we will make allowances for this in the timescales for the Award.
Please contact the Forum Office if you wish to discuss a potential submission. We also publicise the Award application via the Forum's twitter account: @solent_forum.
All students, irrespective of institution attended, may apply for a bursary as long as they meet the application form criteria. The geographical area covered by the dissertation must coincide, either totally or partially, with the Solent Forum study boundary, including the Isle of Wight. The project must also be on a coastal topic or theme that furthers the knowledge base in the Solent.
The fund will help meet essential travel and research expenses, such as labarotory costs, that have been incurred by the applicant. The award is not intended to pay for printing or binding costs, nor for hardware such as laptops. There will be a limit of £200 per project, payable on receipt of the final dissertation. Evidence will need to be provided before payment including scanned receipts, and mileage for any travel expenses.
A group of academics and Solent Forum members meet in April to discuss the proposals and decide which ones should be granted funding. We look favourably on those where we have identified a need for additional evidence - water quality, habitat restoration, research on coastal and marine plastics, building biodiversity into coastal infrastructure and bird disturbance from the use of paddlesports.
For those who are successful in their application, a condition of the funding will be that the Solent Forum is to receive copy of the finished dissertation; it will be uploaded to the Solent Forum's website. Upon receipt of the finished dissertation and notification of expenses the Award will be paid. Award recipients will be invited to present their findings at a Solent Forum members' meeting and we will publicise the research to the Solent's coastal community.
The call for submissions takes place in January/February to the Solent's academic institutions. The deadline for student submissions is the 31 March. A decision will be made shortly after that with regards to which projects have been successful and students will be informed in May before their summer break.