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.

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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 (now Kew Foundation), Bentham-Moxon Trust no longer actively seeks new funds. The Trust retains its investments and makes grants out of its annual income.

Over half of Bentham-Moxon Trust’s funds are restricted by the wish of the donor, the largest being the Krukoff Fund which supports African Botany in two ways. Firstly by funding the Curator of African Botany at RBG Kew and secondly by providing a bursary for a postgraduate student to study an MSc at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), when funds allow.

The MSc course Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation was developed in collaboration with QMUL. Additionally around £70,000 of annual income generated from the other restricted funds and unrestricted funds is used to support 30-40 grants

Board of Trustees

Report and Financial Statement 2019


Grants are made in five main areas:

1. Plant and fungal 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. Applications for conference attendance are only accepted from individuals who are presenting. Group applications are no longer accepted.

5. Preserving and maintaining Wildflowers at Kew and Wakehurst

The Trust provides awards to preserve and maintain Wildflowers at Kew and Wakehurst. The Trust has made awards for mapping and collecting seed of rare native wildflowers and establishing bee hives to support pollination. These awards are made possible through the Marjorie Hurley Fund.

The Trust's discretionary funds are relatively small and individual grant awards are fairly modest. Matched funding is encouraged. For more detail on recent awards see below for the summary of grants awarded.

Checklist for applicants

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


a. 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.

b. It should clearly explain how the proposed outcomes will be communicated e.g. publications planned, talks given, blogs or newsletter articles written.


a. This should provide full details of the purpose of the project/activity using clear and concise language throughout

b. The proposal should demonstrate a clear contribution to the delivery of Kew's Science Strategy and/or Corporate Plan.

c. It should provide any technical detail needed to explain the proposal.

d. Applicants must set out the full names of organisations before adopting acronyms. 

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 e.g. 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.

The application must be signed-off with comments by your Kew line manager (for Kew staff) or Kew sponsor (for non-Kew staff). For non-Kew staff applications the Kew sponsor will be required to confirm their willingness to host the applicant. Please allow sufficient time for this sign-off process.

Applications for conferences should be solely on behalf of the individual presenting. Group applications are no longer accepted.

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.


Recognising the huge impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all aspects of life and the uncertainties this will have on grant-related activities the Bentham-Moxon Trust has suspended new applications for grants this calendar year. The next grant application round will be delayed until January 2021, at the earliest. Information will be communicated later in the year once the situation is clearer, we would kindly ask that you monitor the website for further updates.

Successful applicants

Project Report Form: 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.


Successful applicants may be approached to offer an illustrated talk (20 minutes maximum including questions from the audience) at the Trust's Symposium held annually. This is an opportunity to explain your research project and your results to the Trustees and the wider Kew community.  The Symposium, part of the KABaM! seminar series, is held in the Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre with a live link to staff at Wakehurst.

We know that you care about your personal data and how it is used, and we want you to trust that the Bentham-Moxon Trust uses your personal data carefully. The Bentham-Moxon Trust Grants Privacy Notice will help you understand what personal data we collect, why we collect it and what we do with it. 

Get in touch

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