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    RFS launches viking challenge offering £2000 bursary for research into trees and woodland

    The launch of the RFS Viking Bursary 2017 is a unique opportunity for a student in forestry or a closely related discipline to receive up to £2000 towards the costs of research into trees and woodlands.

    The deadline for applications is 1 June 2017. Full details can be found here (follow the bursaries and studentship links).

    To qualify for the Viking Bursary you should be studying forestry or a closely allied field, such as arboriculture, urban forestry, natural resources, conservation, geography or environmental science. The bursary will be awarded to a full-time or part-time student at a university or college in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Proposed projects will need to be:

    • Original, independent, self-directed study or research.
    • Have clear study/research objectives, methods, outcomes and timeframe.

    The scope includes course-related dissertations and theses. The area of study is limited to the UK with priority given to projects focused on England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Meanwhile, two bursary holders from University of Cumbria are reaping the benefits of being awarded the first ever Viking Bursary after it was set up in 2016 thanks to a generous bequest by Mrs Sheila Jorgensen, a former RFS Yorkshire Division member.

    Mauro Lanfranchi says he is currently at “the most exciting time (so far) of my PhD!”

    He has travelled to Bilbao where he has been learning a new technique to support his PhD on ‘Carbon dynamics of UK forest soils’  and will be working with Forest Research in March 2017 to process his first set of forest soil samples.

    James Broom, who is studying for a BSc in Forest Management, has used the bursary towards his BSc (Hons) dissertation on ‘The effect of dieback on ash tree growth rate across Suffolk and Norfolk’.

    James reports: “It is proving an interesting piece of work and I am currently in the midst of the literature review and analysis of the data.”

    The 2017 bursary holder will be expected to contribute an article based on outcomes of the project to our respected Quarterly Journal of Forestry and share their findings widely with the forestry sector.  The RFS will provide advice and support as required to assist with the development and delivery of the project.

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