The Scientific Exploration Society
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Echoing the Scientific Exploration Society's (SES) long history of worldwide exploration and pioneering leadership, our quest to encourage ‘Pioneers with Purpose’ is the primary focus of the SES Explorer Awards, designed to support inspiring leaders through scientific exploration at the frontiers of human discovery. The SES seeks to enhance careers by providing high profile Awards for projects that will leave a lasting legacy and benefit in the field in which a winners’ expedition takes place, but also inspire a wider audience to the issues being addressed through film, photography and the pure passion of the recipient. We are looking for the rising stars who could become major players in the next generation of explorers, willing to take on risks in a sensible way and who share the values of grit, curiosity, integrity and leadership that pioneers like SES Founder John Blashford-Snell expound.

The aim over the next decade is to showcase the finest feats of contemporary explorers alongside a new generation who can be inspired by them. The SES believes the values expressed through the best kind of leadership, exposing integrity, understanding risk, pursuing scientific excellence and endeavour, are all values that the world urgently needs today to navigate the different choices facing humanity.

At the bottom of this page, you will see the preliminary details of the SES Explorer Awards 2018. Please keep checking back as this will be updated as we head towards formal launch of the Awards in the Autumn, when the Application Forms, dates and Guidance will be available. The closing date for applications will be mid-January 2018, with a decision date by the end of March 2018. Funding will not be given retrospectively.

Before submitting an application, we urge those considering applying for an Award to contact us with a brief outline of their plan including:

Please do note that applications must be submitted by individuals, and usually the person instigating the expedition (or co-leading in the case of the SES Neville Shulman Film Award and SES Elodie Sandford Explorer Award), and that we do not support NGO or other organisation lead projects.

We are extremely grateful to the Sponsors for their generous support.

THE SES NEVILLE SHULMAN FILM AWARD 2018 - an Award of £7,000 and the exclusive right to become THE SES NEVILLE SHULMAN EXPLORER 2018
Explorer, Mountaineer, Adventurer and Author Neville Shulman CBE is a long-time member and supporter of the SES, and we are delighted that he has included the Society amongst his many charitable interests. He is personal consultant and advisor to Ridley Scott, and has a wide and varied interest in film, culture (Director of the International Institute for Dance and Theatre) and exploration. Combining these interests, Neville has very kindly supported The SES Neville Shulman Film Award and will offer pre-and post-production mentoring if logistics allow. The Award is to support projects focussing on the intangible and/or tangible heritage in a foreign land. The applicant should be someone who has filmmaking knowledge or experience, and is either organising or closely involved in the planning of a scientific and/or geographical expedition and who will produce a short film in order to communicate the planning and results to a wider expedition audience. Within the application procedure, applicants must detail their plan for a film, at least 5 minutes in length, to be made post expedition and shown at the SES Explorer Awards presentation in 2019.

The Rivers Foundation has for many years provided support for children and young adults, both in the UK and internationally. It particularly focuses on the education, social development and medical well-being of young people. Alan Rivers, chairman of The Rivers Foundation is a long-time friend and supporter of John Blashford-Snell and the SES, and has generously donated money to purchase school books to be distributed by John during his expeditions, as well as medical equipment and supplies. The Rivers Foundation also has an interest in development of the arts, culture and music, and would love to hear about projects involving development of these areas within their expedition. Now in its 3rd year, the focus of The SES Rivers Foundation Award 2018 aims to support projects benefiting communities in deprived and under-developed regions of the world, or where the expedition will assist in cultural development or practices within those communities.

THE SIR CHARLES BLOIS EXPLORER AWARD 2018 - an Award of £5,000 and the exclusive right to become THE SES SIR CHARLES BLOIS EXPLORER 2018
Sir Charles Blois is a long-time friend to and supporter of the SES. His passion for travel and adventure is unquenchable - on a par with that of John Blashford-Snell who he hails as his inspiration. The SES Charles Blois Explorer Award has been created to support a Pioneer with Purpose undertaking an adventurous expedition with strong physical requirements in a challenging environment which aims to produce new science, physical or anthropological insight into little known peoples. Also of great interest will be a scientific expedition or journey which re-traces the journey of a famous explorer or scientific pioneer - somebody who endeavours to go ‘one step further’ on their exploration of scientific research, remoteness or innovative recreation of a past journey or discovery. Sir Charles will favour and where film and/or photography will be used to share the success.

THE SES INSPIRATIONAL EXPLORER AWARD 2018 - an Award of £5,000 and the exclusive right to become THE SES ‘INSPIRATIONAL’ EXPLORER 2018
The Trustees of the SES, together with foundations, organisations and individuals wishing to make smaller contributions to the SES ‘Inspiration’ Explorer Award (the final amount will be confirmed in the Autumn) now invite applications from the most inspirational of ‘Pioneers with Purpose’, those whose expedition has that special ‘something’ be it in terms of the nature of research, the legacy it offers, or any other aspects of the expedition.

THE SES GOUGH EXPLORER AWARD 2018 - an Award of £4,000 and the exclusive right to become THE SES GOUGH EXPLORER 2018
The SES Gough Explorer Award is supported by Viscount Gough, whose association with the SES began when he joined the Operation Drake expeditions in Papua New Guinea and Kenya in 1978-80. Since then, he has remained a loyal friend to and supporter of the Society, particularly with Hon Archivist Captain Jim Masters OBE. The SES Gough Explorer Award has been created to support an individual leading an expedition, the main or partial focus of which is to carry out either medical aid or associated research within communities in developing regions of the world.

THE SES ELODIE SANDFORD EXPLORER AWARD 2018 - a financial Award, and the exclusive right to become THE SES ELODIE SANDFORD EXPLORER 2018
The SES Elodie Sandford Explorer Award has been created by family and friends in memory of Elodie, an honorary Vice-President of the Society and keen photographer. The recipient will be a person who partakes in an adventurous, innovative project who can demonstrate how the use of photography will focus attention on the needs of indigenous people living in a remote area and/or the plight of fauna and flora. The applicant should be an amateur rather than a professional photographer and must show that his/her photographs will be of real benefit to the people, the environment, fauna or flora. The applicant should either be an exceptional individual who has instigated and will lead their own expedition, or for this particular award, an individual who proposes to join an expedition in a supportive role but who can demonstrate the value of photography as a means of communicating their passion for the purpose of the expedition to a wider audience. The sharing of images from the expedition is an important part of the expedition output, and a tangible means by which the Award winner can inspire interest in the particular issues the expedition seeks to address. It is suggested, therefore, that the Award recipient be asked to reserve up to £300 to help disseminate photographs through social media and other channels to the widest relevant audience possible, and a modest display at the 2019 SES Explorer Awards event. Their proposal for how this can best be achieved should be included in their application.

(Donations in memory of Elodie are still being received, and will be collated and the final Award total announced in the Autumn of 2017.)

Would you consider supporting a ‘Pioneer with Purpose’ through the SES Explorer Awards? There is a great opportunity for individuals and organisations alike to encourage, recognise and reward the next generation of outstanding leaders in the world of scientific exploration and sustainability.

By supporting a bespoke Award or series of Awards, or contributing to a collective Award, you can support a rising star through their daring journey, scientific research and watch them go onto achieve great objectives whilst carrying their supporters’ name with pride.

Please do CONTACT US to learn more about the unique opportunity the SES offers.


Leatherman - Award Winners 2017

Photo by Mark Nortje and Design by Jacqui Sinnatt (L-R) SES Explorer Award Winners 2017: Molly Thompson, Dr Pramod Patil, Anirban Dutta Gupta, Dani Greenspan (representing Jamie Unwin), Alex Braczkowski, Rosie Stancer, Chris Poonian and Martin Holland with their Leatherman multi-tool kindly donated by Leatherman.

To read more about the 'Pioneers with Purpose' award winners, please CLICK HERE

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