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Forestry research students up for new backing

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Post-graduate students looking to carry out new forestry research can now apply to a new bursary scheme for additional support for their work.

The Scottish Forest Trust (SFT) and the Forestry Commission have teamed up to support postgraduate studentships that are relevant to UK forestry and that will be carried out in the UK.

The aim is to support PhD and Masters research that is related to the practice and application of forestry or that could benefit the development of new forest products. Key areas include earth and environmental sciences, product development or innovation, and social policy.

In welcoming the move the Commission’s chair Pam Warhurst, said:

“Research, training and innovation are vital if we are to give our forestry sector and our forest industries the competitive edge they need to succeed in an increasingly challenging market.

“We are renowned the world over for our ingenuity and industriousness and it is encouraging to be working closely with the Scottish Forestry Trust to help focus those talents on addressing the challenges that face forestry.

“This is not only about adapting our forests to better withstand the impact of climate change but it is also about delivering clear benefits for business, for biodiversity and for communities.

“I’m sure this bursary will act as welcome encouragement for the new scientists and researchers coming into our sector.”  

Scottish Forestry Trust Chairman, Robert Scott added:

"This initiative signals a commitment from both the Trust and the Forestry Commission to work collaboratively in support of further postgraduate research and education in UK Forestry, a cause in which we fundamentally believe, at a time when the contribution made by forestry to so many government priority targets is gaining wider recognition.

"We are delighted to be able to pool some of the Trust’s resources with those of the Forestry Commission to provide much needed additional financial support for research in this vital sector".

The scheme will be managed by SFT and will run for seven years. It will be jointly funded by SFT and the Commission and projects will be chosen jointly by SFT and FC staff.

It is expected that support will be in the region of £3,000 to Masters research degrees and 30% of costs for doctoral research degrees. The bursary will not serve as a sole source of funds and applicants should be able to demonstrate additional funding through a combination of industrial sponsorship, CASE funding, charitable support or personal funds.

The success of the scheme will be assessed annually and summaries of the project findings will be published at the end of the projects. 

To find out more about the bursary scheme, visit

Notes to Editors

1) The Scottish Forestry Trust is the leading Charitable Trust providing funds for research, education and training in support of the British Forestry industry. The Trust assists with enhancing British forestry knowledge, supporting research, education and training in forestry throughout Great Britain. The Trustees keep a close watch on research needs and priorities in forestry in Britain and offer the Trust's services to other organisations or individuals to help identify and monitor projects. For more information visit 

2) The initial total funding package will comprise £10,000 per annum for five years from Forestry Commission Scotland and £64,000 from the SFT. 

Media contact: Colin Morton 0131 314 6249