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Bursaries

The Hardy Plant Society offers a number of small bursaries, in line with its objects, for students and for people who are employed in horticulture. Our aim is to stimulate interest in growing hardy herbaceous plants and to provide a deeper understanding of such plants. The bursaries are not competitive and there are no deadlines. We hope to make a decision within a month of receiving the application.

College / University students

These bursaries have been designed specifically for students at colleges and universities studying subjects related to horticulture (but not necessarily restricted to hardy plants). The general intention is to provide for travel & subsistence, and for special equipment not normally provided by the colleges, but things like study-day fees or short course fees would not necessarily be excluded. However there is no intention to provide the whole of the fees for the college awards.

Notes for students

As part of our response to a generous legacy from Mr Kenneth Black, a one-time council gardener, we have made provision for a number of small bursaries for undergraduate or post-graduate students studying horticultural subjects in the UK. These are essentially ancillary support for students during either project work or study modules upon topics broadly related to the aims and objectives of the society. In this sense the term ‘hardy’ is not necessarily limited to cold hardiness but given the consensus of opinion on climate change, drought hardiness may also be applicable. Conservation and propagation of hardy plants are also an appropriate focus.

  1. These grants are designed to provide a small element of financial support for college and university students, or during project work as a post-graduate.
  2. The application must be supported by a supervising member of academic staff.
  3. The Hardy Plant Society is aware that much project and study, at any academic level, will be enriched by greater access for students to herbaria, specialist institutions/gardens/libraries and possibly National Collections and overseas study areas. Therefore one of its targets is the provision of funds to support travel and subsistence to locations away from their home institutions. The value of these grants will normally be between £200 and £500 per applicant, exceptionally £700.
  4. The Hardy Plant Society would normally expect materials and equipment for project work to be available within the college but where there are good reasons where this is not the case an application for funding for materials and equipment can be made. The value of these grants will normally be £500, exceptionally £700, but this can be supplemented by funds from other sources.
  5. For Project work, the successful applicant will be expected to send a short report to the HPS. This may simply be a copy of the college report after grading, or a separate document. In appropriate cases the HPS may wish to publish the outcomes of the project work which it supports by, for example, including a suitable report in ‘The Hardy Plant’, the journal of the HPS. Please note that the application form allows institutions to accept this or to decline it. (Declining the option to publish will not affect consideration of the application).
  6. The successful applicant will be given free membership of the HPS for the year in which the work takes place, (depending upon the calendar this may be longer than one year).
  7. Given the multiple variations upon the traditional college year and the diversity of modular schemes now available the Kenneth Black Bursary Scheme does not have submission deadlines. Applications will be considered at any time during the year and on their own merit. A decision will normally be made within four weeks of application.
  8. An application form (which can be photocopied) is available from the Administrator or by following the link below. After completion, it should be returned to The Administrator, 15 Basepoint Business Centre, Crab Apple Way, Evesham, WR11 1GP

People in employment

The second sort of bursary is designed for younger horticulturalists who are in employment. Again the general expectation is that the support will be for travel & subsistence which might be relevant to the applicant’s horticultural development. Examples include visits to places such as botanical gardens, note-worthy gardens, national collections or herbaria which are overseas or not within easy reach of the work place. However this is not meant to be a restrictive list. Fees for study-days are also not excluded.

Although most of our bursaries are for much smaller amounts and less high profile projects, we have an illustrated report (pdf file: 5.4MB) from a recipient who used a bursary to study "The impact of weather events on native flora and the built garden environment" following the New Orleans hurricane.

Notes for applicants employed in the horticultural sector

The Kenneth Black Bursaries are ‘small awards’ which the Society can provide with a minimum of formality and straight-forward application process. The awards are to assist in the horticultural development of the applicant. It is important to recognise this “horticultural development” aspect because as a registered charity the HPS is restricted by its constitution and cannot be simply an alleviator of relative poverty. Our expectation is that the bursary will be largely used in the support of travel and subsistence costs to enable young horticulturalists to visit such places as botanical gardens, note-worthy gardens which are not within easy reach of the work place, national collections or herbaria. However this is not meant to be a restrictive list.

The awards will normally be limited to £500, exceptionally £700, for any one applicant and the Society expects the application to be supported by the applicant’s employer. In line with our ‘minimum fuss’ policy we will not be demanding a paper trail of receipts and so on, but we will expect a short report or letter indicating the benefits gained after the event. The Society will also expect the employer to exercise the bona fides of oversight which links the award to the intention of the bursary.

An application form (which can be photocopied) is available from the Administrator or by following the link below. After completion, it should be returned to The Administrator, 15 Basepoint Business Centre, Crab Apple Way, Evesham, WR11 1GP


Application Forms

If the application forms are not suitable, initial applications can be made on plain paper.


Mr Kenneth Black

In 2009 the Hardy Plant Society received a generous legacy from Mr Kenneth Black, a one-time HPS member and a gardener with Enfield Council (North London). We know very little about Mr Black other than the generosity of his nature in leaving us with this bequest. The Trustees decided to mark their recognition of Mr Black’s generosity by converting our own pre-existing Anniversary Bursary into the Kenneth Black Bursary and developing a broader provision for projects which support our charitable objects (set out below and in the HPS Constitution). The whole collection of related activity is known as the Kenneth Black Projects, and these are overseen by the Kenneth Black Project Co-ordinator.

Funds may also be available, from the Kenneth Black Fund, for HPS members to undertake other work in line with the objects of the society.


The Charitable Objects of the Society

  • to advance the culture, study and improvement of hardy herbaceous plants;
  • to preserve the older, rarer and lesser known hardy plants and varieties, and prevent their being forgotten and lost to cultivation;
  • to advance the knowledge of, and foster public interest in, hardy plants, by publications, exhibitions or displays, by stimulating research and experiment, and by awarding bursaries;
  • to provide expositions of hardy plants at horticultural gardens or gardens open to the public, and to provide facilities for giving advice on the culture of hardy plants;
  • to organise visits to places of interest in connection with the study of hardy plants, and to co-operate with other bodies having similar or sympathetic aims;
  • to do such acts as shall further the active and corporate life of the Society, which may lawfully be done by a public body established only for purposes recognised by the laws of the United Kingdom as charitable.

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