The mission of the Bentham-Moxon Trust is to provide financial support for botanical collections and research that further the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
About the trust
The 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. The first of these trusts was set up in 1884 with a bequest of George Bentham. Further gifts were made over the years. Since 1989, and the establishment of the Foundation and Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Bentham-Moxon Trust no longer actively seeks new funds. The Trust retains its investments, currently in excess of £5 million, and makes grants out of its annual income. For full financial details on the Trust download the Bentham-Moxon Report and Financial Statement.
The majority of the Bentham-Moxon Trust’s funds are restricted by the wish of the donor. The largest is The Sainsbury Orchid Fund, which supports the Sainsbury Orchid Fellow, and the Krukoff Fund, which supports the Curator of African Botany. However, there are funds that generate an annual income in the region of £70,000 from which the Trustees make 30 to 40 small grants.
Grants are made in three main areas:
1. Plant collection and field research expeditions
The Trust is keen to support plant collecting and field research expeditions although it is seldom able to provide the entire cost. Where it has been able to assist expeditions, it has generally been by supporting an individual member of the expedition or helping with equipment cost or funding an extension to the expedition. The Trust is keen to support expeditions with a conservation impact.
2. Overseas botanists visiting or working at Kew
Visiting botanists have been able to significantly increase the value of their time at Kew by undergoing training or visiting neighbouring botanical institutions. The Trust has made grants to cover the cost of the extra training or travel as part of a capacity building programme. The application has to be made by a Kew staff member on behalf of the overseas botanist. The Trust expects that the overseas botanist will have their salaries covered by their home institution.
3. Travel to botanical institutions and attending conferences
The Trust provides assistance when special circumstances make it difficult for a departmental budget to cover the costs. It would usually be expected that there is a good case for Kew to be represented and that a person’s attendance would be valuable to the work of Kew. The application is more likely to be successful if the person is presenting a paper.
For further information on the types of projects awarded grants by Bentham-Moxon Trust, please download:
The Trust can also help by funding small capital items (other than computers) for use at Kew, Wakehurst or on expeditions. The Trust’s discretionary funds are quite small and often can only make a contribution to part of the costs of the project involved. Applicants are expected to secure additional funding from other sources.
Checklist for applicants
When reviewing applications the Trustees have the following criteria in mind:
- clear executive summary and clear concise language
- projects that are innovative and will have impact
- there is specific benefit to Kew, augmenting work that Kew is or will be undertaking
- builds up good long-term relationships between Kew and other botanical organisations and conservation groups
- involves cross-departmental activity
- helps the training of the grant recipients or those they are working with
- will or is likely to lead to a bigger project in the same field
- will be well managed, budgeted and controlled
- the track record of the applicant in delivering outcome
When completing the Trust’s two-page application form, applicants are asked to check their application against these factors. Applicants are also asked to obtain up-to-date costs for travel and car hire if these are involved. Where other sources for funding have been or will be approached these should be listed.
How to apply
Staff of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Kew staff will have discussed their application with their line manager and their Head of Department and have their support.
Other botanists and horticulturists will have discussed their application with staff at Kew and secured their support.
Download the Bentham-Moxon Trust grant application form (2014-15).
Grants are made annually in November. The Trustees’ decisions are final. Applications have to be with the Secretary/Treasurer of the Trust by 30 September. All applications will be acknowledged by email. If an acknowledgement has not been received within five working days, the Secretary/Treasurer should be contacted.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew