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Ian Gass Bursary Application Form

The Ian Gass Bursary Award arises from monies subscribed by friends and colleagues of the late Professor Ian Gass FRS, founding professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University, to mark his retirement in 1991. Applications are welcomed from OU undergraduates or graduates who wish to carry out geological work towards some definite goal. OU graduates who are pursuing research for a postgraduate degree without the benefit of other grants are also welcome to apply provided the application is for a specific purpose that falls within the guidelines below. Exceptionally, for urgent work, extra funds may be available and applications may be considered more frequently than the January deadline.


1. The Award is open to OU undergraduates and to OU graduates who have taken, or are taking, modules within an Earth Sciences qualification (including: R53 Geology, B25 Geosciences, Q64 Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences), F53 Geology).
2. The Award is intended to encourage/facilitate independent geological work that involves collecting and/or interpreting raw data in addition to or beyond OU studies. It cannot be used to fund module fees or practical activities required for OU modules, such as an independent field project. However, it could be used to support further exploration of the initial findings of a module project after completion of the module.
3.The Award can be used for all normal expenses associated with geological work, such as travel and accommodation to support fieldwork. It is not intended to cover the costs of field equipment, textbooks, or other materials, though maps, remote sensing data/imagery, laboratory analyses, production of thin sections and data acquisition would be considered.
4. The total Award for any one year will normally be a maximum of £2000.
5. In certain circumstances the Award may be shared between two or more applications.
6. As well as applications from individuals, joint applications involving two or more applicants will be considered.
7. The Award will normally be given to applicant(s) who have shown a high level of performance (Pass 2 or above) in at least 60 credits of OU Earth Sciences modules at Stage 2 or above. However, strong applications from students earlier in Stage 2 who have excellent results for their assessment to date will also be considered.
8. The Award will only be considered for funding organised field excursions where you will be collecting your own data that do NOT form part of your OU studies.
9. The Award is not open to research students who are receiving a postgraduate award from another body, such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
10. Applicants will not normally be eligible to receive the Award more than once.
11. The Award Committee may decide not to make an award in any one year if they consider there are no suitable applications.
12. Successful applicants will be required to complete an appropriate Risk Assessment prior to commencing work on their project.
13. We would expect any work to be completed within 12 months. A short report must be submitted on the main results of the applicant(s) work within 18 months of receiving the Award. This report should be in a format relevant for the project – for some projects this might involve a formal scientific report; for others, where there is a particular focus on public engagement for example, a blog with an account summarising the process and impact of the project would be more suitable. The Chair of the Panel will suggest the most appropriate format where this is unclear. In most cases we would also encourage wider dissemination of reports through appropriate websites and/or publications.
14. At the same time as the report mentioned in 13 above, the successful applicant(s) should submit a brief financial statement detailing how the monies were spent. Both the scientific report and financial statement should be sent to the Senior Manager, School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA (e-mail: ).

Please complete all sections of the form below, attaching additional information if required and submit. This is an open call and applications will be considered at the next panel meeting following submission.