EBNet: ECR SWAP Travel Bursary (£250)

EBNet: ECR SWAP Travel Bursary (£250)

Proud of the work going on in your lab? Fancy a visit to another lab tackling similar topics? We have just the thing for you, the Share With A Peer (SWAP) Travel Bursary

It can be hugely useful to see how other labs work –as much for the little details as for the headline analyses and methods. If you want to swap ideas on set-ups and solutions, send us an email. We can offer up to £250* towards accommodation, meals, and travel per person for each 1/2-day trip. All we ask in return is that you take the time to make a short video clip &/or pictures suitable for our website. It’s that simple.

EBNet wants to demystify what our UK ECR members do, network people working on similar topics and promote the activity happening in laboratories and institutions across the country. So, if you are comfortable using the camera on your mobile phone, send us some visuals and have a go!

How it works

Got someone in mind to SWAP with? It is up to you to set this up. You’ll want to check with your supervisor and follow any rules. First, check internally if you can host a day visitor1. If the answer is yes, email us for a SWAP.

These are offered on an individual basis. There is no form to fill in, but we do ask for some basic information. Each of you will need to tell us by email: who/where/why. Then complete the sentence: “I am an Environmental Biotechnologist because…”. Contact Louise/Angie: EBNet@EBNet.ac.uk

If you qualify, we will offer you a SWAP Travel Bursary worth up to £2502 to cover essential travel/meals & accommodation for your visit.

In return we’ll need visual material3. This would ideally be a short video clip of you explaining something in the laboratory, but it could also be some well-lit photographs of equipment in action, or anything else that conveys the research activity going on. This could be your experimental rig or the method you are using (even exptl. design or interpretation of results), It’s simple good practice to document your project for later.

You’ll find you use these images over-and-over again, and you can also refer to them as examples of dissemination in any applications you make.

Keep all your receipts/tickets. Then just reclaim your expenses after the trip. You must send us your visuals with the claim to be paid! We’ll use these for promotions on the EBNet website and elsewhere. Finish up with some quotes about the visit.


“How do I know my visuals are good enough?”

Prioritise video clips or presentations over photos and use captions as well as voice over. Label everything! Reading minds is not in our skillset. Try to include people too – they are what make the projects interesting. These are simple examples of what can be done very quickly just with a phone.

We want to see some effort to get a result worth publicising. You can see that video clips need only take a few dozen seconds to communicate what is going on.

Avoid sending us a handful of poor quality, unlabelled photos as this may result in a request for more content.

“Does this have to be with someone in the UK?”

Yes – we want to encourage swaps between UK Research Groups. For non-UK or longer UK visits see our Placement funding (£2K/£3K).

“My schedule is tight, and I can’t tie myself to a fixed date – is that a problem?”

That’s fine. Your offer will be open for a fixed period so just fit it in when convenient to you.

“Can I do a one-way visit? What my reciprocal SWAP drops out?”

One-way visits are possible. If a return visit falls through that’s disappointing but we can still pay for your trip provided you send us some visuals

“Can I claim some supplies on expenses? While I’m there I want to do some work”

This sounds a bit much for a day visit! Why not look at our UK Placements instead – they can be any length and are better for more ambitious plans.

“I want to go to a particular research group but don’t know anyone there. Can you do anything?”

It may be worth first asking your supervisor in case they can put you in touch with someone directly. Another route is to go online and contact a peer directly with a request: most people are friendly and willing to help – if not themselves, then by signposting you to the right person. We are happy to support reciprocal visits between people who met at events – like our free ECR conference – but have not yet cemented the connection. But if you’ve tried all that and hit a dead end, tell us what you can offer and what you are looking for. We can always put a call in the Newsletter to see if we can connect you with someone like-minded.


(1Your university will have a general procedure in place for visits, and your laboratory will have its own Health & Safety requirements. Be sure to get your supervisors’ approval and to comply fully with any rules – your visitors’ safety is your responsibility. Such rules are there to ensure safety and cover you/your institution for insurance purposes. We assume no liability for your SWAP arrangements).

(2 More details to be sent with offer. Conditions and standard University rules apply, e.g., no first- class travel, use cheapest available route, taxis only permitted under specific circumstances. No Airbnb accommodation or alcohol purchase permitted. Maximum limits are in place for subsistence (£35/day) and accommodation (£135/day).)

(3Avoid anything potentially proprietary. Either avoid faces altogether or be sure to get permission for public dissemination from anyone in shot. Everything you send us needs to be copyright-free.)

*Flying far? If £250 won’t cover your trip from… Edinburgh to Belfast? Plymouth to Newcastle? Ask us to increase the cap!