Clay Minerals Group bursaries

The Clay Minerals Group (CMG) distributes Ordinary CMG Bursaries, the prestigious Mackenzie-MacEwan Award, Workshop Bursaries and, new in 2022, ‘Research Grants’. The amount of money available in any given year is variable and will be determined by the Treasurer of the CMG in consultation with the Officers of the CMG.

CMG Research Grants

The Clay Minerals Group (CMG) is offering PhD students or Early Career Researchers (ECR) the opportunity to bid competitively for research grants.

The principal objective is to promote, instigate and deliver clay mineral-based research.

The programme is also designed with the following aims in mind:

  • To promote research-group interactions (within and outside of the clay-minerals community).
  • To aid inter-disciplinary research (on a clay-minerals theme).
  • To help build (kick-start) the grant winner’s independent research path.
  • To support the development and delivery of cutting-edge research in all aspects of clay mineralogy.

Grants can be used to:

  • provide mobility (travel/accommodation/subsistence) for developing new relationships between the grant awardee and an external research group (some form of research activity whilst visiting is anticipated);
  • provide mobility for PhD students (nationally or internationally) within their research programme to conduct research with external research groups;
  • provide seed-corn funding to begin a research-based ‘proof of concept’ investigation;
  • obtain materials, chemicals, small instruments for a specific research purpose.

In kind or funding contributions from any grant holder’s visiting establishment and/or other sources is encouraged.


  • The amount of money available in any given year is variable and will be determined by the Officers of the CMG.
  • The maximum amount of money available per year will be approximately £3,000 (£5,000 for the 75th Jubilee year – 1st May 2022 applications) and up to £1,000 per applicant.
  • Multiple grants may be offered within a given year.
  • Applications will be considered annually and the deadline for applications each year will be 1st
  • Applicants of successful and unsuccessful bids will be notified within 1 month of the deadline date.
  • Submitted bids will be assessed by a chaired, independent panel and bids deemed to address the objectives will be ranked based on scientific merit, novelty, feasibility, timeframe, infrastructure, impact, and outcomes (see application form for scoring grid).
  • The selected top-ranked bids will be funded based on the money available for the given year.
  • Bids will be dealt with professionally, confidentially and respectfully.
  • The CMG abides by the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity. Applications are welcome from all bidders.
  • Any outcomes resulting from grant research must be acknowledged to CMG, i.e. in publications, and papers or posters at conferences/seminars. Publication in the journal Clay Minerals is strongly encouraged.
  • Feedback in a small report will be required from the grant awardee upon completion of research activity, which will be displayed on the CMG webpages.
  • Grants are expected to be spent within 1 year of being awarded (i.e. June to May) and are non-transferable to the following year. For instance, cancelled visits or travel will not be transferable or re-imbursed.
  • Award payments will be made via appropriate invoicing from the applicant’s establishment or by claiming expenses with valid receipts.
  • The CMG reserves the right to make no awards in any given year.


Grant applications…

  • Applications must be made using the template provided here. Further guidance regarding the content is provided within the template document.
  • Fairness will be applied when assessing applicants’ proposals with weightings applied between PhD student and ECR applicants.
  • Only the content of the bid will be considered and not the bidders’ names or places of work.
  • Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants, though may be limited in content if excessive numbers of applications are received.


  • ECR is defined as a person who is within 5 years of completion of his/her PhD or within 5 years of commencement of a research career. The 5 year period is exclusive of career breaks taken due to maternity leave, family commitments, illness or other exceptional circumstances.
  • PhD students/ECRs must provide proof (e.g. letter on headed paper) of being registered (or supported by the applicant’s establishment) for the duration of the grant period.
  • Evidence of in-kind contributions from external research collaborators must be provided in a supporting, headed letter.
  • Only one grant per applicant can ever be awarded as a PhD student or ECR. Unsuccessful applicants can reapply.

Ordinary CMG Bursaries
Funding is available to assist researchers and postgraduate students to attend and present research on clay minerals (sensu lato) at conferences, workshops and related activities.  Awards are limited to £500 or 50% of costs (whichever is less) and are paid retrospectively.

There are two bursary application deadlines per year; 1st March and 1st September. (Bursary Application Form)

The Mackenzie-MacEwan Award
The prestigious Mackenzie-MacEwan Award is conferred annually to a postgraduate student/early career researcher from those in receipt of an Ordinary CMG Bursary for that year (March to March). The award is for funding to orally present their clay mineral (sensu lato) research at a prominent, international conference (e.g. International Clay Conference, Euroclay, Mid European Clay Conference). In addition, the awardee would also be expected to orally present their research at the following CMG Annual Research in Progress (RiP) meeting, where the award would be presented. The award is an additional £750 and is paid retrospectively.

Workshop Bursaries
The CMG also welcomes bursary applications for short workshops on any aspect of clay mineral science. Funding may be requested to assist with, by way of example, student/researcher travel bursaries, venue and catering costs, etc. Preference will be given to proposals where matched funding has been obtained from other sources.  Funding of up to £2K may be requested and is paid retrospectively. Applications are judged on their scientific merit. Preference will be given to Mineralogical Society Members (student membership is free for the first year) and those actively associated with the CMG. The CMG reserves the right to make no awards.
All applicants for CMG bursaries are encouraged to support the activities of the CMG and the Mineralogical Society. This might include attending and presenting at a CMG/Mineralogical Society event, offering to help convene a session, helping to publicize the CMG/Mineralogical Society, following and contributing to the CMG/Mineralogical Society’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook), joining the CMG committee or submitting a paper to one of the Society’s journals (Clay Minerals or Mineralogical Magazine).

Ordinary bursary applications should be made by e-mailing the completed Bursary Application Form to the CMG Secretary to include abstract, CV, statement of support from academic/industrial supervisor where appropriate. Applicants are allowed to receive more than one award (but not in the same year) from the Mineralogical Society or its Special Interest Groups (SIG e.g. CMG, AMG etc), but must include details of previous awards in their application.

For Workshop Bursary applications, please send a short proposal (2 sides of A4 max, outlining the proposed workshop, the names of those leading/speaking, envisaged names and numbers of attendees, a full breakdown of costs and details of matched funding).

Ordinary Bursary awards will be decided by a sub-committee of CMG Officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer), shortly after each deadline. Workshop bursaries and the Mackenzie-MacEwan Award will be conferred at the discretion of the CMG committee. The CMG Secretary will notify applicants of their success/failure. Successful applicants will be advertised on CMG webpage and Twitter feed.

Following the conference/workshop/related activity, the successful applicant is required to submit:
1. a report (one A4 page including a photograph) to the CMG Secretary for publication on the Mineralogical Society website. Examples are shown here.
2. full receipts to the CMG Treasurer.

Once both a satisfactory report and receipts have been received, payment will then be arranged by the Mineralogical Society Finance and Operation Manager.