Trapnell Fund for Environmental Field Research in Africa

Amended by Decree (5) of 11 October 2001

1. The University accepts with gratitude the initial endowment from Mr Colin Trapnell, OBE, and his wife, and all further sums contributed for the same purpose, to establish a fund, to be called the Trapnell Fund for Environmental Field Research in Africa, for the furtherance within the University of environmental studies. Such furtherance shall be promoted by the support of research concerned with the African environment with reference to all or any of the following:

(a) local climatic variation and geomorphology;

(b) pedology, soil biology, and soil conservation;

(c) the history, composition, and successional phases of the vegetation, and the conservation of indigenous forests; and

(d) the carrying capacity of land for human populations.

It shall be a condition of the provision of support for research that the results will be made available for publication.

2. The fund shall be administered by a board of management consisting of:

(1) the Professor of Geography or a deputy nominated by the professor;

(2) either the Sibthorpian Professor of Plant Science or the Sherardian Professor of Botany, as may be agreed between them from time to time, or a deputy with special knowledge of plant ecology, nominated by them jointly;

(3) the Director of the Environmental Change Institute or, if the director is unable or unwilling to serve, a person with special knowledge of geomorphology and climate, nominated by the member at (1) above;

(4)-(6) three persons with special knowledge respectively of pedology and soil biology, plant ecology, and forest botany, jointly nominated by the members at (1)-(3) above;

(7) a senior member of the Oxford University Exploration Club nominated by that club.

The board shall have power to co-opt up to two additional members, at least one of whom may be co-opted for the purpose of facilitating liaison with bodies serving similar purposes outside Oxford. Any co-opted member shall serve for two years and may be reappointed. Nominated and agreed members shall serve for such periods as shall be determined by the person or persons nominating or agreeing them as members of the board. Nominated and co-opted members, other than the member at (7) above, need not be members of Congregation.

3. Within the terms of clause 1 above, the first call on the net income of the fund shall be to support a research post in the subject of African Terrestrial Ecology in the Environmental Change Institute. The fund shall provide the salary costs of the person appointed and a research and travel fund for the holder of the post, and other such support costs on such terms as the board of management shall from time to time determine. The post shall be advertised at such grade and for such periods as the board of management shall determine, taking into account the financial position of the fund. The appointment shall be made by a selection committee appointed by the board of management, which shall normally be chaired by the Director of the Environmental Change Institute. The board of management shall receive an annual report on the research carried out by the holder of this post.

4. The board of management may apply any surplus income remaining, after providing for the post specified in clause 3 above, for purposes within the terms of clause 1 above in the provision of financial support to any of the following:

(a) to graduates of British or African universities carrying out, or intending to carry out, either field research in Africa or research in Oxford based upon fieldwork or on previous field-based recording in Africa, and preference under this heading shall be given to applicants working for a research degree of the University, but applicants holding postdoctoral positions at Oxford may also be considered, subject to the availability of funds; and

(b) to members of the University intending to undertake an undergraduate expedition approved by the University on the recommendation of the Expedition Council, provided that they pursue a relevant research project.

In considering applications under either (a) or (b) above, the board shall give priority, other considerations being equal, to research into the ecological aspects either of soils or of indigenous forests and woodlands in the tropical region.

5. Council shall have power to alter this decree from time to time, provided that the main object of the fund, as defined in clause 1 above, is always maintained, and that the majority of members of the board of management shall always comprise persons with special knowledge, and so far as possible field experience, of the topics listed in clause 2 (3) and (4)-(6) above.

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