Student Financial Support

Expeditions

Expeditions

About

Newcastle University's proven record of student expeditions stretches back over 70 years.

Expeditions are an excellent way of getting out into the real world and applying your knowledge, and building on it, with new experiences. Independent research expeditions are organised each year by students, for students, with the support of the University Expeditions Committee. We will help you to make your student-led research expedition a successful and rewarding experience.

Organising an overseas expedition is a challenging exercise, requiring the development of research aims and objectives, identification of study sites, acquisition of new skills and techniques, and liaising with research counterparts overseas. An additional challenge is that overseas expeditions usually require substantial funding to be raised, including from external professional bodies and via commercial sponsorship.

Expeditions are undertaken during the university summer vacation and any student on a taught degree course which continues beyond the return date of their expedition is eligible to apply for funding.

If you would like to organise your own research expedition the University Expeditions Committee can offer advice and, in some cases, financial assistance to support safe and worthwhile expeditions.

Expeditions must have a duration of at least three weeks and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Travel to a research site that involves unusual endeavour or hardship
  • Living and / or conducting research in a physically challenging environment
  • Conducting research in an environment where there are language difficulties

There are seven basic phases to organising and undertaking your own student-led research expedition.

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The global coronavirus pandemic has led to significant disruption to the fieldwork plans of many researchers. The University Expeditions Committee will select and award funding for students to undertake overseas expeditions only when and where it is safe and responsible for them to do so. Grants will only be awarded and funds released where full risk assessments, UK Government, FCDO and in-country guidance is clear that it is appropriate for the proposed expedition to take place.

Expeditions Committee

The University Expeditions Committee provides help and advice with expedition planning, as well as assessing proposals and awarding funding towards expedition costs via a competitive funding round in January each year.

The University has established an Expeditions Committee to support independent student research expedition activity. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that independent expeditions feature several or all of the following characteristics:

  • valuable experiences for Newcastle students and their counterparts from the host country
  • least possible exposure to predictable risks
  • promotion of the University's name both at home and abroad
  • lasting positive impacts for the locality and/or the host country

For advice and help with your expedition planning, please make contact as early as you like with your Faculty representative on the Expeditions Committee:

  • Dr Emma Pearson Committee Chair for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Dr Richard BevanFaculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering
  • Dr Rachel CarrFaculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • TBC, Faculty of Medical Sciences (please contact Committee Chair)

These people are available to help you to:

  • shape your initial ideas
  • find more expert advice
  • they may also be able to help you get in touch with other students looking for a similar opportunity

Most of the money available for expeditions comes from interest raised on the Student Exploration Appeal Fund. You must not approach any of the donors to this Fund for your expedition funds. Other funds are contributed from the Henderson Fund, replacing previous funding from the Vice-Chancellor. Please do not approach the VC's office directly for funds.

Funding

You can fund your expedition from various sources. These include:

  • Expeditions Committee funding
  • other University funding
  • external funding
  • travel scholarships

Students from the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology may apply for support from the Sonia Stonehouse Expedition Fund.

Preparing Reports

What follows are guidelines only, you do not need to follow them precisely. You may well be asked to supply reports to other sponsors of your expedition, and they may provide alternative guidelines.

The Expeditions Committee will accept reports in alternative formats, but would like to see material relating to all the headings mentioned in the following sections in your submissions.

Our guidelines will help you produce professional documents that do justice to your efforts abroad, and are not necessarily the best blueprint for your report. Reports based on dissertation research projects should be just that, but please add an informative 'top' and 'tail':

  • an introduction should explain the origin and organisation of the expedition
  • final section should give full details of your full expedition budget and expenditure, listing sponsors, donations and grants received, equipment loans and other assistance in kind. It should also include full details for your main contacts both at home and abroad, with a brief explanation of their roles.

Previous Expeditions

Previous expeditions have been carried out in a wide range of countries all over the world including, in recent years, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia..Research projects have included tropical diseases, big game hunting, medicinal plants, nursing care, melting glaciers, polluted rivers and the sociology of forest tribes and nomadic peoples.