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Frederick Soddy field study awards

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Funding for geography field trips

As a geography teacher you'll understand the value of taking your students on a field trip. Outdoor learning is a fun and effective way of teaching about geographical processes and features, and your students will always remember an enjoyable fieldwork experience.

However, many schools struggle to finance field trips and competing for funds from grant-making bodies can be difficult. This is where the Frederick Soddy Trust Schools Award Scheme can help.

The Frederick Soddy Awards have supported dozens of geography field trips from a primary school residential on the Isle of Man to a Sixth Form expedition to Indonesia.

About the Frederick Soddy Trust Schools Award Scheme

The Frederick Soddy Trust was established in 1957 under the terms set out in the will of the chemist and Nobel Laureate, Professor Frederick Soddy FRS.

The Trust aims to encourage interest in field studies by providing modest financial support for expeditions and fieldwork which include the 'study of the whole life of an area with major emphasis on the human community'.

The Geographical Association and the Frederick Soddy Trust work together each year to help primary and secondary schools fund geography field trips.

What funding is available?

Every year a total of £2,500 is made available for primary and secondary schools. This is split into individual awards of between £250 and £850 depending on the merits of each project.


The award is for a group of students between 5 and 18 years of age. There is no limit on the number of students in the group.

Field trips can involve human or physical geography, but in view of the Trust's objective to encourage the study of the whole life of an area with an emphasis on human geography, priority will be given to projects with a strong human element.

There are two conditions attached to the awards:

  • Successful schools must submit a report on the project after the fieldwork has taken place. For further details visit the Frederick Soddy Trust website.
  • A statement acknowledging the Trust's support must be included in the report.
students on field trips

How to apply

Award applications must meet the core purpose of the Trust and should be no more than 500 words. They should be accompanied by an Application Form signed by both the person leading the project and the head teacher.

Download: Application Form (Word)

Judges will expect to see details of the proposed study plan, administrative arrangements including financial aspects, and evidence of the applicant's ability to safely manage and successfully carry out the proposed project.

The application should be sent to the following address no later than 31 January each year:

The Frederick Soddy Awards
c/o The Geographical Association
160 Solly Street
S1 4BF

Applications can also be emailed to Lucy Oxley.

Notification of funding

A decision is made by Frederick Soddy Trustees shortly after the application deadline. Winning schools will be notified during March and are invited to collect their award at the Geographical Association Annual Conference in April.

Previous Award Winners

Field trips supported by the Frederick Soddy Trust include:

  • A primary school trip to the Thames Barrier
  • A Year 10 residential trip to the Dorset Coast
  • A GCSE expedition to the Swiss Alps
  • A special school trip to Iceland
  • A primary school residential trip to the Isle of Man
  • A Sixth Form expedition to Indonesia to investigate sustainable conservation projects
  • A Y10 / Y13 trip to The Gambia to learn about local communities and physical geography
  • A Key Stage 2 trip to the Lake District to study mountains

Find out about previous award winners on the GA Annual Conference pages.

Further information

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