Christopher Wathes - Travel Bursary Award

Christopher Wathes - Travel Bursary Award

This scheme has been established to honour the contributions which Professor Christopher Wathes OBE made to animal science, in particular through improving the welfare of farmed livestock. The awards are intended to help members of BSAS to attend scientific meetings and workshops in the UK or overseas who might not otherwise be able to go through lack of financial support. The awards are targeted at early career scientists.

Applicants must provide evidence that they will be presenting their work at the meeting. The award will specifically support studies involving animal welfare, precision livestock farming, design of animal housing or ethical considerations relating to the use of animals.

What is the award?
The award must be used for travel, accommodation and/or registration to attend a meeting or educational workshop. The value of each award will be determined by the distance travelled by the applicant from their place of residence to the location of the meeting and will provide no more than 70% of the total cost of attendance. The maximum amount awarded will be up to £750 for travel within the UK and up to £1000 for travel overseas.

Who is eligible
The award is open to any member of BSAS who is in the early years of their career (postgraduate student or within three years of graduating with a PhD, or working in commerce or industry with an equivalent level of experience without necessarily having a PhD).

Application Deadline

30th June

Please return completed application form with a copy of your full CV to:

Who was Christopher Wathes?

Christopher was an outstanding and uncompromising scientist who acted on evidence and always challenged ill-informed opinions. He was also strongly supportive in developing the careers of his younger colleagues.

His career began with a degree in physics followed by a PhD in environmental physics. In 1980 he became a lecturer in animal husbandry at the University of Bristol. Here his interest in the impact of housing design on farm animals led him to develop expertise in the field of animal welfare including the use of preference testing. In 1990 he moved to Silsoe Research Institute to head their bioengineering division, where he was at the forefront of the newly emerging field of precision livestock farming. He then joined the Royal Veterinary College in 2005 as their first Professor of Animal Welfare, where he also developed a strong interest in animal ethics.

Christopher chaired the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) for eight years from 2005, working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a clear strategy and produce a number of highly relevant reports, which have a lasting impact on the welfare of farmed livestock in the UK. He was also instrumental in the formation of EuroFAWC, providing a platform for informed debate and development of shared policy relating to animal welfare throughout Europe.

He was awarded the 2002 Research Medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the 2016 UFAW Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Animal Welfare Science. He also received an OBE in 2013 for services to animal welfare.

General Criteria

Applications will be considered by the BSAS Stakeholder and Awards Committee after the submission deadline and thereafter applicants will be notified of their decision within 6 weeks. Feedback on an individual candidate’s application can be provided on request of the individual. General information on the numbers of applicants and success rate of applications and the names of the successful applicants may be made available in BSAS newsletters/website. 

All information provided in the application is treated as confidential.  It will be used by, and made available to, the committee assessing the Scholarships in accordance with Data Protection.

The meeting/workshop attendance must be completed within 12 months of the closing date of the Award.  Successful candidates will be asked to prepare and submit a short report / poster (template will be provided) which will be uploaded to the society’s website.

Applications will be judged on the criteria set out below, using the information provided by the applicant on the travel bursary application form together with the information contained in the supporting documentation (CV).  The referee named in the application may be contacted to help with the judging process.  Each application is judged on its own merit.

BSAS Awards Committee will assess all applications and assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • Originality & Innovation - Assessing how original and innovative the proposed work is. The expected advances in knowledge to arise from the award (scientific merit, learning opportunity, benefit to the animal science industry, likelihood of success in the case of short research programme).
  • Applicant Benefit - The likely benefits to the individuals in terms of career progression.
  • Value for money - Including (i) are the costings/timetable sensible given the application (ii) is the applicant “adding value” to the application (e.g., undertaking a visit to a relevant local research group before/after a conference).
  • Application Quality - Quality and presentation of the overall application, qualifications and individual merits of candidate

Candidates will be scored out of 5 (1 poor, 5 excellent) in each of the above criteria and the scores of the judging group collated. Applicants must score a minimum of 12 (out of 20) to be shortlisted for an award.  The judging group may give an award to multiple candidates, dividing award monies between successful applicants. 

The amounts awarded to candidates may not be the full amounts requested. In the case of a potential conflict of interest for a member of the judging group (e.g., academic supervisor of a candidate), their votes will be discarded.  Any application that fails to meet the criteria of the awards set out in this document will not be considered.

  • Applicants may only apply for one award with the same project/proposal
  • Monies not to be used to purchase capital equipment
  • Awards not to form part of core funding for an MSc or PhD studentship
  • Successful applicants must provide a report at the end of the project/visit and within three months of proposed end date (A reporting template is available on the BSAS website)
  • Full monies paid on successful completion of the report
    • 50% of award may be eligible to be paid in advance. Full monies paid on submission of final report and valid receipts.  These receipts must not have been submitted elsewhere
  • BSAS must be acknowledged in all presentations and publications

Christopher Wathes Application Form