The Linnean Society of NSW



The Joyce W. Vickery Research Fund

Grants from the Joyce W. Vickery Research Fund are intended to support worthy research in those fields of the Biological Sciences that fall within the range of interests of the Society, especially natural history research within Australia.

A PDF of the information on this page plus details of previous awards can be downloaded HERE.

Awards from the Fund are governed by the following rules:

1. Applications will be accepted from postgraduate and Honours degree students at recognised Australian universities who are undertaking full-time or part-time higher degree studies with a biological emphasis.

2. Applications are also encouraged from amateur or professional biologists, whether in employment as such or not, who can demonstrate a level of achievement in original research in the Biological Sciences.

3. In awarding grants, the Council of the Society will assess:

a) the quality of the project 
b) the applicant's ability to carry it out 
c) a realistic costing and timetable 
d) the likelihood that successful completion of the research will lead to publication.

4. The total amount of Fund money available for awards in any year will depend on interest income received by the Fund over the preceding year. Not more than 50% of this income to be distributed as grants; the remainder will be capitalized to increase the Fund. 
Individual grants will not normally exceed $2,000 for Members and $1,200 for non-members.

5. Applicants need not be members of the Society, but other things being equal, preference will be given to members.

6. The Society envisages that grants would normally be used for items such as travel within Australia, equipment, photographic and other expenses, but not for subsistence, travel to conferences, or thesis preparation.

7. Grantees are required to make a report to the Linnean Society at the end of the project and to justify their expenditure. Any publication arising from work supported by the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund should include an acknowledgement to that effect.

8. Any type material generated by studies supported by these grants should be lodged in the collections of an appropriate scientific institution.

9. Applications must be entered on the Fund’s application form and must also include references and a list of the applicant’s relevant publications over the previous five years.

Click here to download the application form.

10. Applicants should email their signed applications to:

11. The Society's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into once successful applicants have been announced.

12. Unsuccessful applicants usually fail because of inadequate explanation of what hypothesis is being tested, or why the project is important, and how it would add to knowledge in that particular discipline. The proposed budget must also be fully justified. Students are strongly urged to seek help from their supervisor, or someone versed in the art of writing grant applications, if they are doing this for the first time. It would also be wise to have the application reviewed before submission.

13. The deadline for applications will be 1st March each year, although in exceptional circumstances, applications for genuine emergency support may be considered at any time. However, considerations for such applications are entirely at Council discretion and will only be awarded if funds are available.

Appeal For Donations

The Council of the Linnean Society of NSW is keen to increase this form of direct financial support to the scientific community - to professionals, students and amateur researchers alike. The only way it can do this is by increasing the capital of the JOYCE W. VICKERY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND, thus augmenting the interest earned, and disbursed for support of scientific research.

The Linnean Society seeks donations from individuals, institutions or organisations sympathetic to the purposes for which the fund is currently being used. All such donations, which are tax-deductible, will be gratefully received by the Linnean Society of New South Wales and used to support original scientific research in Australasia. Give yourself a tax break and help a struggling research student, as most of the funds go to students. Please make cheques payable to the "Linnean Society of NSW". 
Click here to download a donation form.

Dr. Joyce Winifred Vickery M.B.E. (1908-1979)
Joyce Vickery

Joyce Vickery, one of Australia's leading botanists and a pioneer Australian woman scientist, spent most of her working career (before and after retirement) at the National Herbarium of New South Wales, Royal Botanic Gardens. Joyce Vickery (appointed Assistant Botanist in 1936) actively supported the new Chief Botanist, R.H. Anderson, in raising the standards of one of Australia's oldest and most important botanical centres.

Her appointment broke new ground in several ways. Joyce Vickery was the first woman to be appointed as a scientific professional officer in the NSW Public Service and she flatly refused to accept the lower starting salary for a female officer. She held out for, and gained, a more appropriate higher salary based on qualifications rather than gender!

Dr. Vickery was an ardent early supporter of the Nature Conservation cause in N.S.W. and was closely involved in the campaign to set up the then Kosciusko State Park, Elouera Bushland Reserve (now Berowra Valley National Park) and Muogomarra Sanctuary. Her practical support included a generous donation of an adjacent block to enlarge the Elouera Reserve.

As an interesting sidelight, Dr. Vickery's botanical knowledge was put to good use in the forensic field in the notorious "Bradley Case". Her presentation of evidence led to the conviction of the murderer of young Graham Thorne based on the evidence of plant fragments associated with his dwelling. This forensic contribution was later recognised by the award of an M.B.E.

In 1960 Joyce Vickery also received the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of N.S.W. in recognition of her many contributions to botanical science in Australia.

History of the Fund

The fund began in 1952 with a donation of 10 pounds from Mr Armstrong of Nyngan after he read an article in the Graziers Association journal. The research fund remained static until 1971 when the Linnean Society received an anonymous donation of $1000. From then until 1978 two anonymous donations of $1000 were received annually. It became an open secret that the donor was none other than Dr. Joyce W. Vickery, a member of the Linnean Society since 1930 and an active Council member since 1969 and latterly its Honorary Treasurer, 1971-1978.

Joyce Vickery's long-term aim was to revitalise a fund which could actively support scientific research in the natural sciences and achieve some worthwhile objective for the Society. She envisaged a time when the capital invested would produce sufficient interest to support good scientific research projects. Following her death in May 1979 the Linnean Society's Scientific Research Fund received a substantial boost of almost $34,000 from Joyce Vickery's estate, raising the capital to a level where the fund could become operational.

Shortly afterwards, by unanimous decision of Council, the fund was renamed the JOYCE W. VICKERY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND in recognition not only of her financial generosity but also her many years of active support for the Society.

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