The Birds of Scotland Fund
The Birds of Bute Launch © Iain Gibson
Funding ornithological publications and special projects in Scotland
The book, The Birds of Scotland was published by the SOC in December 2007. The publication proved a financial success for the Club and The Birds of Scotland Fund was established to build on its success and assist related publications and projects.
The third in a line of Scottish avifaunas, this two-volume publication received widespread acclaim, being presented the Royal Zoological Society of London’s Silver Medal, the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Neill Medal and the Birdwatch magazine Birdbook of the Year 2007 – find out more about the publication, here.
In May 2012, a digital version of The Birds of Scotland was launched to continue the reach of this epic (now sold out) book, the profits from which are going towards The Birds of Scotland Fund. Find out more about The Birds of Scotland Digital here.
During its first five years around 40% of the Fund has been committed. It has helped finance the re-vamp of Scottish Birds, the provision of the electronic Scottish Birds, hide interpretation at St John’s Loch (Caithness), digitisation of Fair Isle Bird Observatories historical archive of records and a series of celebratory events for the bicentenary of the birth of Alexander Wilson. Publications which the fund has/will support include local atlases/avifaunas for Bute, Arran, Eigg, North Rona, Clackmannanshire and the Manor Valley.
What is the Fund for?
The Council of the SOC and the editors of The Birds of Scotland have agreed that:
The purpose of the fund will be to support ornithological publications and special projects in Scotland; this may include extending current publications (e.g. increasing the number of editions of Scottish Birds per annum), and the provision of grants and/or loans to aid the publication of local/regional atlases and avifaunas and other works deemed appropriate by the trustees. Specific projects which promote the development of ornithology (particularly among the youth and wider public) in Scotland will be eligible for support. Effort should be made to ensure that at least 50% of the funds are spent on supporting publications.
Applications are welcome from anybody who has a project which they believe meets these aims. Early applications (Stage One, see below) for projects which may not be completed until a few years’ time are welcomed to allow early consideration of these projects and to improve financial planning of The Birds of Scotland Fund.
How do I apply?
Click on a link below to download an application form, or contact the SOC at Waterston House:
application form (Microsoft Word version to save and email to the SOC)
application form (PDF version to print and post in to us at SOC Headquarters)
How will applications be considered?
Applications will be considered as a two stage process by a group of 5 members of the Fund committee. This comprises members of the SOC Council and the editors of The Birds of Scotland. The first stage will consider a project in principle and assess how well it will meet the purposes laid out for The Birds of Scotland Fund alongside other applications received. The details required for Stage One have been kept to a minimum to allow an early decision for support to be made. At the end of Stage One applicants will either receive an ‘orange light’ indicating a willingness in principle to provide some funding to the project, or a ‘red light’ indicating that the project will not be supported. Stage One applications can be made at any time of the year.
At the conclusion of Stage One, the Fund committee will provide reasons for refusal of an unsuccessful application, or may provide pointers for additional issues to be considered during Stage Two.
At Stage Two, a more detailed consideration will be given to those projects which have reached that stage. Applicants will be required to provide details of the budget for their project along with details of existing and possible sources of funding. Key deliverables and timescales should be detailed, giving an indication of when the funding is required. There will be two Stage Two closing dates per year after which applications will be considered in detail and a decision agreed by the Fund committee.
What form will the contribution take?
The contribution from The Birds of Scotland Fund may comprise a grant or a loan to the project. The decision on which is provided will be at the sole discretion of the Fund committee.
All projects in receipt of money from the Fund will be required to include accreditation to The Birds of Scotland Fund by including a copy of the SOC logo along with the wording “Birds of Scotland Fund”. Electronic copies of this will be provided to successful applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a member of the SOC to apply?
How long will it take to hear if my project will receive funding?
Applicants to Stage One should normally expect to receive an indication of whether their application to The Birds of Scotland Fund has received agreement in principle within one month of receipt of their application. Stage Two applications will be considered twice yearly and applicants informed as soon as possible after the closing date for this stage. Closing dates will be published in Scottish Birds.
Can regular publications, such as bird reports, apply?
Yes, but the Fund committee may consider providing a pump-priming grant or provide a loan for such proposals, and ongoing payments are unlikely.
What sort of ‘special project’ might be considered?
No initial boundaries have been set for ‘special projects’, but these may be developed in due course. Each project will be judged on its own merits and how it may meet the aims of the fund and the sums of money involved.
When will money be transferred to the successful applicant?
Payment will be made in line with agreements reached following submission and acceptance of Stage Two applications.
What level of funding will be provided?
The Fund committee are still considering this. In due course details will be provided here of the small, medium and maximum funds.
Will The Birds of Scotland Fund provide assistance for fieldwork?
No. The SOC will continue to supply research grants from its Endowment Fund.
Will The Birds of Scotland Fund provide assistance for land or site management?
No, the Fund will not seek to further Scottish ornithology through the management of land or sites.