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Bursaries and Studentships

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The RFS is committed to supporting individuals who wish to enhance their knowledge of trees, woods and sustainable forest management both in the UK and abroad.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, we are able to provide a range of bursaries that subsidise or cover the costs for individual projects. Over the years, our funding has helped many people acquire new information about forestry and share their expertise with others. 

Full details of all RFS bursaries can be found below and on the following pages. 


Summary of Bursaries and Studentships Awarded by the RFS 


  • The Spencer Bursary is open to current students or recent graduates (within the last 2 years) of forestry/arboriculture degrees (or higher level courses with a high forestry content). The bursary enables recipients to attend RFS events, including the RFS National Conference. Up to five awards are presented in any calendar year. 


  • The Randle Travel Fund offers bursaries to enable RFS members of all ages to travel independently to enhance and share their forestry knowledge. Up to four awards of £300 each are awarded in any calendar year. 


  • The Yorkshire Bursary is sponsored by the RFS Yorkshire Division, in conjunction with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The bursary has a value of £600 and allows a younger person to carry out a forestry related project.


  • The Viking Bursary is open to full- and part-time students enrolled on a forestry or closely related course, such as arboriculture, geography, rural land management, or environmental science. The bursary has a maximum value in any year of £2,000 and can be awarded to one individual or divided between two or more successful applicants, at the discretion of the selection committee. The bursary is designed to cover travel and other expenses for independent, self-directed study or research which benefits the practical management or resilience of woodlands, principally in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.


Table 1. Summary of RFS bursaries and studentships.  

 Award RFS Membership required? Eligibilty Scope of work Commitment
Forestry Roots No Forestry, arb, or countryside management college or university leaver who has not had a previous full time job in the forestry sector.  One year work placement with a reputable forestry employer supported by CPD training.  1 year work placement with CPD training. Secure RFS Cert Arb/Cert Forestry.
Viking Bursary No Full- or part-time students in forestry or closely related discipline (BSc & MSc in dissertation year). Independent study based in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, may be linked to accredited FE award, or BSc/MSc/PhD Dissertation/Thesis. Provide presentation to RFS Yorkshire Division & paper/article for QJF.
Randle Travel Bursary Yes All RFS members. Overseas study Report/article to be submitted to QJF.
Spencer Bursary Yes All RFS members. Attend the Annual Conference or Whole Society Meeting (WSM). Attend the event.
Possible report upon request from RFS.
Yorkshire Bursary  No Younger/early career person interested in forestry. Offered for a younger/early career person to carry out a forestry related project. Report findings to RFS Yorkshire Division.