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Scientific Meeting Grants

Individuals wishing to apply for travel grants should contact the British Society for Developmental Biology, the British Society for Cell Biology or the Society for Experimental Biology.

Applications are invited from the organisers of a range of charitable activities, including – but not limited to – meetings, workshops and conferences in the fields covered by our journals. Organisers may use a grant from The Company of Biologists in a variety of ways, for example to meet the expenses of a plenary or keynote speaker, assist with travel for early career scientists, or to reduce (or waive) registration fees. Applications to support younger people are encouraged.

As part of our Sustainable Conferencing Initiative, additional funding may be awarded to organisers where it can be demonstrated that efforts have been made to reduce the environmental footprint of their event.

It is necessary under the law of England and Wales for grants to be provided on terms which enable us to verify, and monitor, that the funding provided has been put to proper use and is in furtherance of our charitable purposes. As such, our grants are subject to terms and conditions which are non-negotiable and it is for those applying for grants to decide whether or not to accept them on the terms offered. Our Grant Agreement is attached to the application form for information.

Guidelines for completing the application form:

  • The applicant who completes the form must be in the organising group for the meeting. Applications from professional fund-raisers or other grant giving institutions will not be considered.
  • Incomplete application forms will not be considered.
  • We are unable to fund ‘core costs’ (or overheads).
  • Information on the topics/programme outline, speakers/proposed speakers must be included with the application form. Please keep this information to a maximum of six pages in total.
  • Please note that whilst the quality of science remains paramount, The Company of Biologists would prefer to support meetings and events where organisers have sought maximal feasible diversity in speakers in terms of geography, gender and age. In addition, where attendance at events is selective, then we would expect such issues to also be influential. We invite applicants to make a statement on these issues in their application for funding.
  • Funding requests must be in GB Pounds Sterling.
  • Application forms and supporting information must be written in English.

Acknowledgement of funding: As part of our agreement to provide funding, we request that should your application be successful, you acknowledge The Company of Biologists’ contribution to the meeting on your website and in any printed material circulated about the event. We would ask that this acknowledgement include our company name, logo and web address. Upon grant approval we will issue a non-negotiable Grant Agreement which will need to be signed and returned along with your bank details. We also require a 250–500 word summary of the meeting including an assessment of the impact and outcome of the meeting within 3 months of the meeting date. If you have any questions regarding these grants, please contact grants@biologists.com.

COVID-19 – Guidelines in respect of grants paid for cancelled meetings

Where organisers plan to reschedule scientific meetings within 18 months of the original date, funds may be retained only on condition that the organisers remain the same and that details are provided of the new dates.

Where scientific meetings are cancelled, we request that funding be returned as soon as possible. We recognise that some costs may not be recoverable and in these instances details should be provided by the organisers.

Where organisers wish to convert in-person meetings to virtual, a revised budget with details on how funding will be used should be provided in order that retention of funding may be considered.

Grants to hold a Small Meeting

The Company of Biologists will consider applications for a grant towards the cost of holding a small meeting within the fields of our journals. This would normally be a local meeting with a small budget. Support requests for aspects of large meetings will not be considered for a Small Meeting Grants. Applications should include the title and location of the meeting, full details of costs, other sources of finance already obtained or applied for and any other relevant details.
Our applicant handbooks provide useful information on the process. Please click on the Small Meeting Grant applicant handbook to download.
Criteria for funding:

    • • Level of funding not exceeding £400
    • • Total meeting budget not to exceed £1,000
    • • Meeting to take place on one day
    • • Meeting not to be part of a larger meeting or organisation
    • • Only one application per year will be considered
    • • Funding will not be made retrospectively

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Deadline dates, applicant handbook & FAQs

Deadline date for Scientific Meeting Grants


  • 26 March 2021 (decision w/c 10 May 2021)
  • 04 June 2021 (decision w/c 12 July)
  • 27 August 2021 (decision w/c 11 October 2021)
  • 23 November 2021 (decision w/c 17 January 2022)


  • 08 March 2022 (decision w/c 09 May 2022)
  • 24 May 2022 (decision w/c 11 July 2022)
  • 23 August 2022 (decision w/c 10 October 2022)

Our applicant handbooks provide useful information on the process.  Please click on the Scientific Meeting Grant applicant handbook to download.

When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?

Applications are initially evaluated by the Grants Committee, who selects a short-list to be recommended to the Board of Directors. If your application is unsuccessful at this stage, you will be notified immediately. The Board of Directors then review the recommendations of the Grants Committee, following which successful applicants will be contacted. You will be required to sign our non-negotiable Grants Agreement and provide bank details to enable funds to be electronically transferred.

What is the maximum funding available?

Although there are no rigid rules, we would normally expect grants to be broadly proportional to the size of the meeting. Typically, they are awarded on a sliding scale where meetings with fewer than 100 people are given up to £2,000, or over about 400 people up to £6,000. These limits can be exceeded in exceptional cases, but special justification is required.

What will not be funded?

  • Expenditure on capital equipment and capital building proposals
  • Removal expenses
  • Undergraduate expeditions and courses
  • Prizes, e.g. posters
  • Social/political networking
  • Conference dinners/social events/refreshment breaks
  • Tuition fees
  • Payments for the employment of staff
  • Abstract books
  • Series of meetings year on year
  • Intra-institutional events, e.g. departmental seminars, etc.
  • Indirect costs

Can we invoice The Company of Biologists for the value of the grant?

As this funding is a grant and not sponsorship, we do not require an invoice.

Can we request a change to the terms of the Grants Agreement?

It is not possible for The Company of Biologists to accept any changes to the Grants Agreement. If you are unable to accept the terms offered, we will consider your request for funding withdrawn.

Sustainable Conferencing Grants

Grants of up to £2,500 are being offered to organisers of a variety of events, to assist with the cost of innovative ideas that will enable virtual events to become more sustainable.

DMM Conference Travel Grants

Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) offers Conference Travel Grants of up to £600 to early career scientists wanting to attend meetings and courses relating to the areas of research covered by the journal. We also welcome applications from independent group leaders and PIs with no independent funding.

Biology Open Meeting Reviews

Recipients of Scientific Meeting Grants are eligible to apply to publish a Meeting Review free of charge in Biology Open. Published by The Company of Biologists, Biology Open is an online Open Access journal that publishes peer-reviewed original research in the biological and biomedical sciences.

About Travelling Fellowships

The Company of Biologists’ journals Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology and Disease Models & Mechanisms offer Travelling Fellowships to postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows wishing to make collaborative visits to other research laboratories.

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