|SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION SOCIETY AWARD (SESA) is intended to make a financial contribution to the fieldwork to be carried out by either by the leader of the expedition, or the expedition team as a whole.
The fieldwork will be assessed to verify that it is capable of making a significant contribution to the project concerned, and that it falls into the Society's Objects:
“To promote, organize or support (whether financially or otherwise) expeditions for the exploration of the under-developed regions of the earth for the purpose of advancing knowledge of, or research into, or for the purpose of educating individuals in, the geography, geodesy, geophysics, history, archaeology, sociology and economics together with the topography, ecology, geology, meteorology, botany, zoology, human physiology and glaciology of the said regions and allied subjects relating thereto and, where incidental to such expeditions, to advance the education and relieve the poverty and sickness of the people of such regions.”
WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR: The SESA is intended to offer support to an innovative individual who has put together a team and expedition plan. Their ambition will be to make changes to the world, one step at a time. This person will be a rising star in the world of exploration, who will gain knowledge of value and purpose by leading the expeditions of the future. He or she should share the pioneering commitment of John Blashford-Snell, by inspiring young people to go on and do great things.
For more information and to download an application form, click below.
SES Award Application Form - V2.pdf (156 KB)
Ranulph Fiennes - The organisers of London 2012 seek to 'inspire a generation', and this vision is echoed by the SES in the launch of their Award Scheme. With support and backing from the SES, the rising stars of the exploration world can discover so much that is yet unknown, and inspire others to join their quest for knowledge.
Monty Halls - It is a commonly held misconception that the days of the great exploratory expeditions are over. Programmes such as the SES Award scheme are vital to fuel the efforts of young explorers, to facilitate the projects of the next generation of expedition leaders, and to continue the long and proud British tradition of stepping off the map.
Neil Laughton - JBS and the SES were instrumental in supporting my desire to travel and explore the world. As a direct result my life has been tremendously exciting, culminating in my achieving the Explorers Grand Slam. This is a wonderful opportunity for young and aspiring adventurers of the next generation.
Rosie Stancer - The SES is to be applauded in its initiative for throwing open the gates to plucky young explorers, to go out into the unknown, meet fresh challenges whilst inspiring others through their own achievements. Such opportunities will yield a rich legacy of learning and continue to uphold our proud heritage of exploration.
2013 WINNER: Xinyang Hong - Selin Cuo Expedition
The Scientific Exploration Society is delighted to announce that XINYANG HONG has been selected to receive an SES Award of £500.
Born and raised in JiangSu Province, China, Xinyang came to the UK when she was 15 for further study. Having always been interested in conservation and science education, she attained an MSc in Biological Imaging and Photography from Nottingham University, and is now in her 2nd year of D.phil in Zoology study at Oxford, where she is also actively involved in the photography and expedition societies.
The expedition Xinyang and her colleagues are embarking on in July is both exciting and innovative. Xinyang has become increasingly aware that wildlife conservation in poor countries is hugely understudied and recorded. Her efforts in this first - and hopefully further expeditions - are to promote wildlife conservation and science education in developing countries.
In July, Xinyang and her 2 colleagues will head to the Selin Cuo nature reserve in Tibet. With easy road, air and rail links having opened up the region, there is a rise in poaching and damage to the wildlife and ecosystem. The team therefore plan to document the current status of vulnerable/endangered species around Selin Cuo, and use this study as a model to promote eco-tourism and raise awareness of wildlife protection in Tibet.
The SES funding will be used towards the hire of photographic equipment required to produce a documentary reporting the expedition findings, which will be screened within Tibet, wider, and also at various conservation documentary festivals to raise essential funds for wildlife protection in Tibet.
The selection committee of The SES were delighted to receive a very varied and high quality selection of applications for funding. The application from Xinyang however best matched the ethos of the SES Awards in terms of the individuals leadership potential, innovative research, a well-planned and feasible expedition, and offering a legacy locally and further afield.
2012 WINNER - Augusta Thomson - Expedition to Mount Kailash in Tibet
This past summer, the SES was pleased to support Augusta Thomson of the Oxford University Expeditionary Society (OUEC) to mount an expedition to Mount Kailash. Together, as an expedition team of three, we spent five weeks documenting and researching the practice of pilgrimage and the various sacred offerings left at pilgrimage sites across the Tibetan Plateau and, specifically, around the Mount Kailash Kora, or pilgrimage route.
Augusta says, "Our time in Tibet and around the Sacred Mountain provided extensive data on the implications of material culture offerings for pilgrimage practices, and the results of the expedition confirmed that these offerings do help to construct a pilgrim community, comprised of diverse human communities that might not otherwise interact or crosspaths.
I am currently sifting through thousands of photographs taken in-field, and am finishing up the first draft of the final expedition report. This autumn Lara Yeo (Expedition Treasurer) and I presented our project before high school students at several schools around New England. We have additional talks lined up for the winter and spring, and are hoping that our story will feature in the Wellesley College Magazine and other publications. Additionally, we currently have two film projects underway, based on the footage we compiled of the journey- one documentary will serve as an educational tool about pilgrimage practices across the Tibetan Plateau, in extent, and one which will focus on our journey around Mount Kailash. I also just discovered that one of my expedition photographs will be featured in a calendar sponsored by Stitch UK Ltd to raise money for environmental conservation. Whilst I will use the research results from the expedition to write my Third Year dissertation on pilgrimage at Oxford University, I also hope to use my experiences in-field to raise awareness about the need to preserve the culture and landscape of the Tibetan Plateau, and to inspire other explorers to pursue overseas travel.
This expedition would have been impossible without the generous support of organisations like the Scientific Exploration Society, and, along with the rest of the expedition team, I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the SES for its generous financial contribution to our project. Our experiences of researching, planning and finally undertaking and completing the expedition to Mount Kailash, were deeply enriching. And I continue to work on our post-expedition data analysis, results, and assorted dissemination projects, and to collaborate with the Scientific Exploration Society, I urge others to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity to obtain funding to lead an expedition or mission to a remote region of the world!"
2011 WINNER: David Lewis - Expedition to Afar in Ethiopia
In August 2011, the SES was pleased to support the then Oxford University Expeditionary Society (OUEC) Student President, David Lewis, leading his anthropological study of the Afar people in Northern Ethiopia. David sent a thorough and fascinating report to the SES, including this marvellous testimonial:
“The Oxford University Danakil Expedition was without doubt one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date. The chance to lead an international team to the Danakil is something I’m incredibly thankful for and it certainly would not have been possible without the help of organisations such as the Scientific Exploration Society. We are especially indebted to the SES for their kind guidance and support through the newly-launched bursary scheme, as well as anecdotal advice from the well-travelled and field-hardened team back at HQ in Motcombe!
The expedition was particularly challenging, mentally as well as physically, though the skills we honed were invaluable and the memories unforgettable. The pragmatism and thoroughness we developed through the necessary research, meticulous planning and eventual execution of the expedition will undoubtedly stick with us and be practised for a long time yet - a very formative experience indeed!”