Criteria for SoBRA Bursaries

The following gives details of how the SoBRA Executive Committee will assess and prioritise applications for bursaries from its funds. The total fund available for bursaries each year will vary according to the Society’s circumstances but is expected to be about 5% of currently held funds. SoBRA does not undertake to spend all of the allocation each year (funds will be awarded on merit and application), nor to fund entire research or meeting expenses. It is expected that the maximum bursary per application will be in the region of £500.

The bursaries are available to either: 1) help fund research that will improve land contamination risk assessment (applicants should consider if the SoBRA scholarship is more applicable); or 2) contribute towards registration, travel and accommodation costs for attending a scientific meeting/conference related to land contamination risk assessment. The research can focus on any aspect of the risk assessment process (e.g., data collection, exposure assessment, toxicology, etc.) and it might have previously been identified by SoBRA members (e.g., via a Workshop). The meeting/conference attendance does not have to be SoBRA-organised or UK-based, but it should be noted that there is no guarantee to fund total costs. Applications can be made at any time throughout the year.

Bursaries are awarded on the condition that a written deliverable (see below) will be submitted to SoBRA after the event/research work has been conducted.


  • Research or meeting/conference attendance must have a substantial element relating to land contamination risk assessment and, more specifically, its scientific aspects.
  • The applicant must be a member of SoBRA.
  • The bursary beneficiary must be the presenting author.
  • Research findings must be publishable by SoBRA (jointly, if appropriate). For research relating to a BSc, MSc, MRes or PhD, SoBRA would expect the bursary applicant to be the person publishing this work. Publication would need to include (but is not limited to) a report for SoBRA members. A bursary for the publication of research findings is intended to support the publication of work over and beyond that covered by any existing funding secured for the work.  
  • For presenting at a conference / workshop, applicants would normally be required to be presenting a poster or giving an oral presentation, and to acknowledge SoBRA in any presentation materials. The poster or oral presentation should not have previously been presented elsewhere. For applicants presenting at a conference or workshop the applicant would be expected to provide a copy of the poster presented that could be hosted on the SoBRA website at the discretion of the Executive Committee, and for oral presentations the applicant would be expected to deliver the oral presentation at a SoBRA-hosted webinar or a SoBRA conference at the discretion of the Executive Committee.  
  • In exceptional circumstances, consideration of general attendance at a scientific meeting will be given, and eligibility for a bursary would be at the discretion of the Executive Committee. In such circumstances, presentation at an Executive Committee meeting, SoBRA event or SoBRA-hosted webinar, or production of a short report (~ 500 words) for publication by SoBRA on their website, in an email to Members, or LinkedIn post, would be required of the applicant within 1 month of the date of the meeting.
  • For all publications relating to the bursary award, the format for the dissemination of the above would need to be agreed with the Executive Committee prior to award of the bursary. 
  • If relating to research, applications cannot be retrospective. Applications must be submitted in advance of any submission for publication of any material (e.g., in a scientific journal or similar), with details regarding existing funding and why that does not currently support publication of the research findings.
  • If relating to a meeting / conference / workshop, applications must be received within 4 weeks of the meeting happening and preferably in advance.


The bursary application should detail the relevance of the work to contaminated land risk assessment and include details relating to what would be proposed to be published, where and by what date.

  • Applications should be submitted to the SoBRA Secretary by email to [email protected], to include: A brief outline of the research or conference/workshop/meeting (with references to publicly available information, as appropriate).
  • A justification for undertaking the research, or for attending the conference/workshop/meeting and why the applicant believes it will be beneficial to them and their development, as well as the Society as a whole.
  • In the case of conference/workshop/meeting attendance, the date of the event and an abstract of the submitted presentation with evidence of its acceptance by the meeting/conference organisers (for non-SoBRA meetings only).
  • Curriculum vitae of applicant.
  • Details of what would be proposed to be published, where and by what date (noting the requirement to publish within 1 month of the date of the meeting for conference / workshop / meeting attendance).
  • Confirmation of conference/workshop/meeting attendance by line management or HR.
  • Confirmation of student status or early career scientist by supervisor or line manager (where relevant).


  • Originality and scientific merit of work to be presented.
  • Relevance of the subject to SoBRA members’ areas of interest and benefit to brownfield risk assessment.


If awarded the bursary, SoBRA reserves the right to include the name of the applicant, and details of the award and agreed deliverables, on the SoBRA website, in an email to members and/or in a LinkedIn post.

In most circumstances, the bursary payment would be made 50% upon award and 50% on submission of the agreed deliverable by the agreed deadline, to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.

Failure to comply with the agreed deliverables will render the applicant ineligible to apply for any further SoBRA funding options (i.e., bursaries, research grant or scholarship) for a period of 3 years.


Details of previously awarded SoBRA bursaries are here