The Micropalaeontological Society

TMS Educational Trust Awards

To support post-graduate training in micropalaeontology

Until recently there were no degree-level training courses in Applied Micropalaeontology in the U.K. or continental Europe. Biostratigraphers, apart from one or two Ph.D. students, were no longer being trained. The Micropalaeontology Society recognised this alarming situation and established an Educational Trust Fund as a Registered Charity in 2011.

This Trust, with eight industry based trustees, is raising the funds required to finance studentships at those academic locations where micropalaeontologists can still be trained within Europe. For example TMS support has been instrumental in helping the University of Birmingham establish their M.Sc. course “Applied Micropalaeontology” where we have covered the tuition fees of thirteen students over the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. Unfortunatley due to a major reduction in income we are unable to provide a full scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year. We can however provide a stipend of £2,000 that would be paid to the awardees selected course in part payment of tuition fees. The application form can be found below.

In addition the Education Fund has also sponsored a student at the University of Lille, France, and has agreed to provide an annual student stipend for the ‘Foram’ summer school at the University of Urbino, Italy. Our aim is, funds permitting, to broaden out from this foundation.

The Education Fund focusses of aspects of “Deep Time” by which we mean taxonomy/biostratigraphy at post-graduate level i.e. micropalaeontological M.Sc. courses and discipline specific taxonomy/biostratigraphy short training courses (a few days in length). The fund was not set up to subsidise the training of company employees for their day jobs and such applications will not be considered. Therefore, academic awards will be made on behalf of:

  • Individual students undergoing post-graduate training in micropalaeontology
  • Micropalaeontology courses requiring equipment or additional resources

Award can be made both to dedicated micropalaeontology training and to micropalaeontological components of broader courses (e.g. undertaking a micropalaeontology project within a stratigraphy M.Sc).

Applications from student attendees on the following short courses will be considered for funding;

  • Urbino Foram Summer School
  • Terrestrially-Derived Fossil Palynoflora: Subsurface Application to Petroleum Geology. Master Class
  • Polar Marine Diatom Workshop
  • INA; Nannofossil short course
  • European School on Ostracoda (University of Jena, Germany)

Please contact the TMS Industrial Liaison Officer if you would like information on whether your taught course would be considered for support by TMS Education Fund, whether a proposal by you would be suitable or would like more information on the scheme. Any award is totally at the discretion of the Board of Trustees for the TMS Educational Trust Fund.

Whatley Scholarship Fund

TMS Education Fund offers grants of up to £400 to support micropalaeontological research by any junior researcher who is a TMS member e.g. M.Sc. & PhD students and early career post-docs. This grant is specifically aimed at assisting with costs associated with using the University of Aberystwyth Micropalaentological Collections now housed at the Natural History Museum, London. A focus on Robin Whatley’s research themes of ostracod taxonomy, Jurassic and latterly deep-sea ostracods will be favoured. This grant is open to any TMS member but if funding relates to an existing Ph.D/Master’s project then a case must be made as to why funding is required above that already available. This award cannot be used to support conference or workshop attendance

There are two application periods per annum. Applications should arrive by either 31st March or 31st October, and should be e-mailed to the TMS Industrial Liaison Officer

If you would like to apply for funding, please use the appropriate form below;

The following organisations are thanked for their financial contribution to the Education Trust;

BG Group (2012-13)

BP (2012-13)

MMEA (Mediterranean, Middle East & Africa Scout Group; 2014-15)

Shell International (2012-15)

A number of private individual donors are also thanked.

Without the continued support of such organisations and individuals the Trust will be unable to support education in micropalaeontology.


Matt Hall & Agile-Libre are thanks for their generous donations generated from every sale of “52 things you should know about Palaeontology”.

The Educational Trust is run by a Board of Trustees comprising the following people;

Dr. Matt Wakefield (Lealt Stratigraphic Consultants Limited); Chair

Dr. Haydon Bailey (Network Stratigraphic Ltd; former chair)

Dr. Robert Campbell (Shell International)

Dr. Jim Fenton (CGG-Robertson)

Dr. Dan Finucane (BP)

Matt Hampton (Network Stratigraphic Ltd; Treasurer)

Dr. Nick Holmes (RPS-Ichron Ltd)

David Hulks (Equinor)

Dr. Emma Sheldon (GEUS)

Former Trustees (now retired from board);

Dr. Shirley van Heck

Dr. Bob Wyn Jones

Dr. Simon Payne

Dr. Bruce Tocher (Statoil)

Dr. Jeremy Young (former treasurer)