INJ Grant Scheme
The objective of the INJ Grant is to encourage and support activities that will increase our knowledge of the biology and geology of the island of Ireland. The scheme will support and encourage the current network of natural historians and the development of the next generation of naturalists. There will be one call per year. This will normally be in autumn with the expectation that the activity supported by the grant would be completed by autumn in the following calendar year.
The 2023 Grant Call was open from 1 September to 13 October. The INJ Grant 2023 was awarded to the following:
- Anthony Murphy, Phylogeography of the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) in Ireland: Insights using mitochondrial DNA of museum samples. This study aims to construct a phylogeography of Irish Brown Rats by sequencing the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b and D-loop regions of museum samples. This will enable inferences to be made on the historical invasion pathways. A comparative analysis of the historical museum samples and current rat samples in Ireland will also be performed, helping us understand how the population has changed over time.
Terms and Conditions – INJ Grant Scheme
The scheme is open to anyone working on or studying any aspect of natural history or geology on the island of Ireland. The proposed work/project/event/publication must be additional to any work for which they currently have funding or receive a salary. However, partial funding may be considered where the applicants explicitly make a case for such. Projects carried out as additional components of undergraduate, Masters and PhD programmes may be eligible, and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Note that large elements of already-funded work will not be eligible – e.g. core parts of PhD work. An example of PhD-related work which would be eligible might be where something extra could be achieved with small additional funding – e.g. additional fieldwork, additional analyses, etc.
Applications can be made to support:
- Costs of fieldwork and laboratory work associated with research (e.g. DNA analysis, identification and description of specimens, curation of collections, etc).
- Purchase of specialist equipment – e.g. books, microscopes, nets, tubes, moth traps, camera traps, binoculars, etc. for research and training
- Attendance at field trips, courses, training, seminars or conferences.
- Publication costs for field guides/keys, atlases, websites/online databases, etc.
- Delivery costs of field courses, training, seminars or conferences (travel, accommodation, consumables, etc.). These should not overlap or conflict with courses offered by groups such as NBDC, CEDaR etc., but may be organised in conjunction with these and other organisations. We are particularly keen to support knowledge transfer via activities such as small-group training, be it in the field/lab/classroom/online, and particularly where the trainer is one of only a small number of specialists in a particular area of study.
The following are not provided for under the Grant:
- The purchase of computer equipment
- The purchase of normal field clothing or protective clothing such as boots, waterproof jackets etc.
- Day rates, employment costs, or professional fees for any aspect of the work proposed
- Journal publication fees (i.e. article processing charges, page fees)
- Work that is covered by other funding (i.e. no duplicate funding)
Scale of funding available (these are just examples):
a) Up to €1,000 – €2,000 for fieldwork, research, laboratory work
b) Up to €250 for conference/training course attendance
c) Up to €500 as a contribution towards putting on a training or knowledge sharing event
d) Up to €2,500 for publication costs for field guides/keys, atlases, websites/online databases, etc.
An individual can only hold one grant at any one time.
Grant payments can be made in either £ sterling or Euro, but applications must be within the funding scales outlined in Euro. The £ sterling amount will be calculated at the exchange rate on the day payment is made.
Applications will be assessed by a working group of the Board of The Irish Naturalists’ Journal Ltd. Decisions on funding will require INJ Board approval. The details of the criteria for the assessment of applications will vary depending on the purpose of the grant (e.g. publication, event organisation, research, etc.), but will always be focused on the value of the proposal in furthering the aims of the grant (i.e. supporting the current network of natural historians and developing the next generation). Value for money, e.g. multiple uses of equipment in research and training, is another consideration and there will be emphasis on deliverables such as publications and public outreach/education.
Grants will be awarded, subject to funding, on a prioritised basis in accordance with score. INJ reserves the right to award as many or as few grants as are deemed suitable. The timing for the drawdown of funding will vary depending on the purpose and size of the grant.
A short interim report outlining the project progress should be submitted six months after the grant is awarded. The final grant claim should be supported by a written report, which sets out the results of the project, and evidence of other agreed deliverables. The form of the report may vary depending on the purpose of the grant. However, for research projects, successful applicants will be requested to present the results of their work at either an INJ event or another event in Ireland, and will be required to acknowledge the INJ using a slide template prepared by the INJ. The event at which the results are presented should be notified to the INJ at [email protected] using the subject line “INJ Grant Presentation”. Any other project material (e.g. leaflets, websites, etc.) must also include acknowledgement of INJ funding and display of the INJ logo.
The report must also contain proof of expenditure. A grant may only be used for the specific costs and timeframe agreed and outlined in the grant offer. If funds are not used for the purposes described, the INJ reserves the right to have all grant funds immediately returned.
Successful applicants will be required to, at a minimum, submit a short note in the INJ, but submission of a paper for consideration for publication would be the preferred outcome, particularly for research work. All submissions fall under normal review and editing procedures for INJ. Submissions to another peer-reviewed journal should acknowledge INJ funding. If a paper is submitted elsewhere, at a minimum, a note detailing the project aims and results should be submitted to the INJ for inclusion in our annual Grants summary.
Records collected during the project should be sent to national data aggregators (CEDaR, NBDC) and any voucher specimens be sent to the relevant institution e.g. Herbarium of the National Botanic Gardens, National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, National Museums Northern Ireland, etc. Similarly, any genetic sequencing data should be submitted to the relevant open access databases such as GenBank.
The timing of the required drawdown of funds should be specified in the grant application and will be agreed at the time of the award. However, the final drawdown will generally only be possible when a satisfactory report and other deliverables, e.g. delivery of a seminar or paper, have been signed off by INJ. The project must be completed, and the funding claimed within the time agreed when the grant is sanctioned. This will generally be within one calendar year.
Permissions and licences
It is the full and total responsibility of applicants to ensure that they have all necessary licences, permits or permissions, etc. in place to do the work proposed under this grant. This includes permissions and authorisation from any project affiliates to ensure that they are aware, committed and capable of taking on the project work if funding is forthcoming.
The Irish Naturalists’ Journal Ltd. reserves the right to ask for proof of these before publication of any results in the Journal and accepts no liability for work done without necessary licences, permits or permissions, or other necessary precautions.
Details of the grant award and project details may be used in INJ promotional material, including on social media platforms. Grant recipients will be encouraged to send photos, notes and/or short videos for use in social media, but it will not be a requirement.
Personal Data: The Irish Naturalists’ Journal Ltd. is fully committed to transparency and ensuring the privacy and security of your data. Personal data are collected and processed as legislated in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679. INJ is registered in Northern Ireland and while the UK has left the EU, there is a transition period during which the GDPR will continue to apply in the UK. We only use your data for INJ business and do not pass it on to third parties.
The INJ Grant 2022 was awarded to the following:
- Dr Jan-Robert Baars, Aquatic Environmental Science AQUENS Ltd, for the project to sequence the 19 stonefly species known to occur in Ireland. This will confirm the identity of the Irish fauna and clarify their associations with the UK and mainland fauna. Where possible cryptic species are suspected further samples across geographic and environmental conditions will be sequenced.
- Joshua Clarke, Buglife, Belfast, for the project to provide workshops to encourage the recording of harvestmen across Ireland, and building up skills for continued recording after the funding period. There is further a greater need to improve their public image and distinguish them from spiders, and the all-encompassing
name of ‘Daddy longlegs’ (which include craneflies, cellar spiders and harvestmen).
The INJ Grant 2021 was awarded to the following:
- Declan Morrissey, NUI Galway for the project Using MinION long-read sequencing as a tool to ID octocorals from Ireland’s deep sea – which aims to use MinION long-read sequencing technology to extract the full mitogenomes and nuclear ribosomal DNA from deep-sea bamboo corals and to use the extracted mitogenomes and ribosomal DNA to identify the bamboo coral gardens observed off Fangorn Bank.
- Pascal Sweeney, Co. Cork for the project Activity in relation to temperature of the Yabby, Cherax destructor, in an Irish lake fed by a warm spring – carrying out trapping and temperature recording to determine the temperature requirements of an established population of the Yabby (Cherax destructor) in Ballyhass Lake to help determine whether the species could survive in other waterbodies and the level of threat that it poses to the native White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes). See: Sweeney, P.G., Reynolds, J., Nelson, B. and O’Flynn, C. (2022) First recorded population of the Common Yabby (Cherax destructor Clark) (Decapoda, Parastacidae) in the wild in Ireland. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 39: 14-19.
- Simon Hodge, UCD for the project Factors influencing the use of commercial “bee hotels” by Irish stem-nesting bees and wasps – to obtain information to help optimize the use of ‘bee hotels’ for scientific research, home use, and pollinator conservation initiatives and provide valuable data on which species of solitary bees and wasps occur in different habitats, and reveal any preferences for particular bee hotel characteristics.
The INJ Grant 2020 was awarded to the following:
- Inishtrahull Bird Observatory (IBO) Co. Donegal – to undertake a baseline survey of biodiversity on the island in 2021 including botanical and entomological audits. This will lead to the establishment of a longer-term monitoring framework which will inform part of the annual Observatory work programme (inishtrahullbirdobs.ie).
- Michael Quirke, Co. Limerick – Dragonfly identification for beginners. A project to equip more members of the public to identify dragonflies and to join the DragonflyIreland recording scheme.
- Rosemarie McDonald, Co. Cork – Biodiversity Action Plan for Milford Tidy Towns, Co. Cork, focused on moths, nocturnal mammals, and birds.