- promoting the study of biosocial sciences -



Parkes Foundation Grants 2024


The Parkes Foundation provides limited funding through its Small Grant Fund and PhD Grant Fund to help Masters and PhD students conduct research into the biosocial sciences with the aim of promoting the study of biological and social topics.

The funds support studies falling in the areas of reproduction, fertility, demography, human health, conservation and human genetics (see 'Areas of study supported' below). Funding is available for biosocial research but not for primarily sociocultural or biomedical projects. Animal (including primate), evolution and medical projects with no biosocial component will not be supported.


Small Grant Fund

Small Grants are for a maximum of £1500. Small Grants support graduate research students (Masters and PhD students) conduct research, and are directed particularly towards helping them meet their field work costs. Undergraduate projects are not supported.


PhD Grant Fund

Usually one PhD Grant of a maximum of £4000 is offered to enable a registered PhD student undertake a minimum of 6 months field work as part of their higher degree. Field work of less than 6 months will only be funded under exceptional circumstances.


Eligibility information

  • • Students of any nationality may apply for funding.
    • Students must be registered for a university degree course.
    • Students from any university worldwide can apply.
    • Applications may be submitted to either the Small Grant Fund or the PhD Grant Fund but not to both.
    • Small Grant recipients from previous years are not eligible to apply for another Small Grant, but may apply for a PhD Grant.
    • Students who hold a research council studentship or equivalent (e.g. Wellcome, ESRC) are eligible to apply for funding. However, students should explain in their application why their studentship does not fund some or all of their field work costs, and why they need to apply for Parkes Foundation funding.
    • The Parkes Foundation will not remunerate research project participants for taking part in applicants’ projects, but will reimburse them for reasonable travel or other agreed expenditure necessarily incurred due to the research process.
    • Requests to attend conferences/workshops to disseminate research results will not be considered.

Areas of study supported

a) Reproduction and fertility
The Parkes Foundation supports projects in the fields of human reproduction and fertility which demonstrate a strong biosocial component. Studies can be limited to one sex or can involve both males and females. Human reproduction and fertility (including infertility) projects can involve any dimensions (e.g. physiological and/or behavioural) but primarily medical projects will not be supported.

b) Demography
Demography is the study of the structure and change over time of human populations. It encompasses the major components of population change: fertility, mortality and migration, and their causes and consequences. Demography includes the study of social, cultural economic and geographical differentials in fertility, mortality and migration. It also includes the study of marriage and partnership formation and dissolution. The Parkes Foundation will fund research into the demography of past and present populations.

c) Human health
Human health is defined quite broadly and includes physical, mental and social dimensions. Biosocial studies of both communicable (infectious) and non-communicable (non-infectious) diseases are supported as well as research on the interactions between nutrition, growth and disease. The Parkes Foundation prioritises projects which have a public health component or consider human health in a biosocial context.

d) Conservation
To be eligible, biosocial conservation research must combine social and natural sciences approaches. Eligible projects may document changing social-ecological systems and chart potential pathways to sustainability, ultimately mitigating adverse effects on people and on their biophysical environments. They may encompass the ways that human activities impact on biophysical elements and processes (including but not restricted to biodiversity), and/or the implications of those changes for people’s welfare. The Parkes Foundation prioritises biosocial conservation research that focuses on the intersection of biophysical factors (e.g. climate, biodiversity, water, energy, soils) with social factors (e.g. cultural practices, inequalities, conservation policies, markets), with outcomes generally evaluated in terms of the changing health and wellbeing of people, plants and animals, and of the places they inhabit.

e) Human genetics
Human genetics is defined quite broadly and includes classical genetics, cytogenetics, population genetics, developmental genetics, molecular and biochemical genetics, genomics and genetic counselling. The Parkes Foundation supports projects in any of these fields provided they have a strong biosocial context; primarily medical/clinical projects will not be supported.


Application Process

The 2024 Parkes Foundation fund is now closed to applications.

If you have any queries or cannot access to the online application form, please send email to secretary[at]parkesfoundation.org.uk ([at] is @).

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Awardees: To see previous award holders, project titles and affiliations, click here.



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