Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Bentham-Moxon Trust

The mission of Bentham-Moxon Trust is to provide financial support for plant and fungal collection, research and education that further the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Turks & Caicos Islands: Fieldwork image from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle using infra-red light to assess the health of vegetation
Turks & Caicos Islands: Fieldwork image from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle using infra-red light to assess the health of vegetation

About the Trust

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 £4.5 million, and makes grants out of its annual income.

For full financial details on the Trust download the BMT report and financial statement 2015.

Signed accounts for Bentham Moxon 2015

The majority of Bentham-Moxon Trust’s funds are restricted by the wish of the donor, the largest being 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 thirty to forty small grants.

Details on the Bentham-Moxon Trustees are available in the following document.

Trustees of the Bentham Moxon Trust October 2016

Olwen Grace tracking down rare endemic succulents in the Richterseld desert
South Africa: Fieldwork tracking down rare endemic succulents in the Richtersveld desert

Grants

Grants are made in four main areas:

1. Plant collection and field research expeditions

The Trust is keen to support plant and fungal 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 and mycologists visiting, training or working at Kew

Visiting botanists and mycologists have been able to significantly increase the value of their time at Kew by undergoing training or visiting neighbouring botanical or mycological 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 or mycologist. The Trust expects that the overseas botanist or mycologist will have their salaries covered by their home institution.

3. Travel to botanical and mycological institutions

This type of award enables research to proceed when botanical or mycological specimens are not available for study at RBG, Kew.

4. Travel to and presenting at 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. Funding is provided to enable a presentation (oral or poster) to be made at the Conference, and funds are not normally provided for attendance only.

The Trust’s scheme is a small grants programme. Applicants can view previous successful applications to understand the range of grants made.

BMT summary of grants awarded in 2014

BMT summary of grants awarded in 2015

The Trust’s discretionary funds are quite small and often can only make a contribution to part of the costs of the project involved. Part awards are common and matched funding is encouraged.

Christopher Ryan of Kew's Tropical Nursery collecting orchids in Cambodia
Cambodia: Fieldwork collecting orchids

Checklist for applicants

When reviewing applications the Trustees will assess against the following criteria:

Communication

  1. This should clearly describe the proposed activity using clear and concise language throughout and include a summary of the proposal (maximum of 200 words). This summary should be clearly understandable for a non-specialist audience and, if awarded a grant, will be shown on this website.
  2. It should clearly explain how the proposed outcomes will be communicated eg. publications planned, talks given, blogs or newsletter articles written.

Content

  1. This should provide full details of the purpose of the project/activity using clear and concise language throughout
  2. The proposal should demonstrate a clear contribution to the delivery of Kew's Science Strategy and/or Corporate Plan.
  3. It should provide any technical detail needed to explain the proposal.

Impact and benefits

This section should demonstrate the impact and benefits of the proposal. The following list is not exhaustive but provides examples of the types of information required to demonstrate the impact and benefits of your project:

  • Enhances our knowledge of plants and fungi
  • Planned publications and dissemination of outcomes
  • Has training outputs eg. a training course or training for individuals (not core training that is required for Kew staff)
  • Builds up good long-term relationships between Kew and other botanical/fungal organisations and conservation groups
  • Is this a scoping activity that might lead to a bigger project?
  • Projects that demonstrate innovation
  • Projects that demonstrate benefits to society

Applicants are asked to check their project proposal against these criteria. 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.

Furthermore the application must be signed-off with comments by your Kew Line Manager (for Kew staff) or Kew Sponsor (for non-Kew staff). Their comments will include, amongst other things, their opinion on the ability of the project proposal to deliver its outcomes and what level of priority the project has in terms of the department’s strategy. Please allow sufficient time for this process.

aria Alvarez pressing Chlorophytum a possible new species, Ebo proposed National Park - Cameroon
Cameroon: Fieldwork in the proposed Ebo National Park

How to apply

Staff of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew staff will have discussed their application with their line manager and have their written support.

Other applicants

Other botanists, mycologists and horticulturists will have discussed their application with staff at Kew and secured their support. A supporting statement must be provided by their Kew sponsor.

Application form

BMT application form 2016

Timetable

The project year for applications is 1 January to 31 December. Grants are made annually in November for the following year’s activity. 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 (see below).

Successful applicants

All successful grant applicants are required to write a short report after the completion of their project using the Trust’s project report form and encouraged to offer a talk at the Trust's Symposium.

BMT project report form 2016

Contact us

Jennifer Alsop
Secretary/Treasurer
Bentham-Moxon Trust
The Herbarium
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Kew, Richmond
TW9 3AE

Email: j.alsop@kew.org

The images used on this website are from research projects funded fully or in part by Bentham-Moxon Trust and are used with permission.