The Linnean Society of NSW

The Linnean Society of NSW

The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences provides financial assistance to support short term original research projects in all aspects of the earth sciences.

Applications will be accepted from postgraduate and honours students, amateur or professional geologists who can demonstrate a level of achievement in original research in Earth Sciences.

Projects proposed for support do not have to be restricted to Australian locations or specimens, but, given the Society’s interests in the natural history of Australia, they must demonstrate a strong Australian context.

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

a) Realistic costing and timetable

b) The quality of the project

c) The applicant’s ability to carry it out

d) The likelihood that successful completion of the research will lead to publication or other useful dissemination of research findings.

The total amount of Fund money available for awards in any year will depend on income received by the Fund over the preceding year and thus the maximum per application may vary from year to year. The current limit is $2,000. Successful awards may be less than the amount requested when quality applications exceed money available.

Money awarded must be used for research purposes, which may include the purchase of equipment, laboratory or other consumables, and fieldwork or travel within Australasia. Requests for subsistence (i.e. food and lodging), travel to conferences, or thesis preparation expenses, will not be supported.

Applications are not restricted to members.

The closing date for applications is March 1 in any year. In exceptional circumstances, emergency support may be available at other times, subject to funds being available. Please contact the Secretary before submitting an emergency application.

Applications must be made on the Fund’s application form. Supporting documents should be added to the end and the entire application is to be submitted as a single PDF file.

The application must include a short summary (up to 200 words) of the project, to be published in the LinnSoc News if the applicant is successful.

Any publication arising from work supported by the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences should include an acknowledgement to that effect.

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

An application form may be obtained from the website or from the Secretary of the Society.

The Council’s decision in regard to the award or non-award of grants from the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Council reserves the right to transfer any application to another fund where this is relevant and improves the likelihood of success.

Submit your signed application by email to

Click here to download the Mayne Application Form

Details of previous awards can be downloaded here

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 BETTY MAYNE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND for Earth Sciences, 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.

Click here to download a donation form.

Betty Florence Mayne (1930-1991)

Betty Mayne was born in Young, NSW, on 13 April 1930. She was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College, Pymble, prior to joining the nursing profession in which she served for some years.

In 1982, Betty retired from nursing and undertook extensive overseas travel. On returning to Sydney she became interested in the study of earth science and soon became a very keen and knowledgeable amateur mineralogist. She joined what was then the Friends of the Geological and Mining Museum (FOGAMM) Inc, serving as Vice President and in other executive positions. Betty was also a member of the Mineralogical Society of NSW Inc; she became its President in 1990, and organised the very successful Annual Seminar for the Mineralogical Societies from the rest of Australia.

Betty was a keen collector of minerals from worldwide locations, as well as gathering fossils and petrological specimens from around Australia. She was actively adding to her extensive collection up until her untimely death in July 1991.

Betty’s will stipulated that her collection was to be sold at auction, with the proceeds to be evenly divided between the 2 societies so closely associated with her earth science interests. The Mineralogical Society of NSW has used its share of these funds to purchase mineral specimens for the Australian Museum collections.

The Friends of the Geological and Mining Museum, more recently The Earth Exchange Museum Society (TEEMS), also purchased specimens for the collection of the latter museum. However, with closure of the Earth Exchange in September 1995, TEEMS invested its share of the Betty Mayne bequest pending winding up of the society. After consideration of various options, the TEEMS council decided that donation of the accumulated capital to the Linnean Society of NSW to establish “The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund”, the purpose of which is to assist students of the earth sciences, would be a fitting memorial to perpetuate the memory of their fellow geologist.

The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund commenced with a donation of $36,216.05 from TEEMS, which the Linnean Society of NSW has supplemented with an additional $35, 000 from reorganisation of its own funds. These amounts have been invested, with the intention of 50% of interest earned to be disbursed in the form of research grants to be first awarded in 1998.