Gift in action – research and travel grant

Each summer MSc students across the School embark on ambitious research projects, in laboratory facilities and out in the field.

The cost of an MSc research project can be significant but the results are priceless, both to the students and the wider scientific community. It is for this reason that the School offers a number of travel grants, which are made possible by the generosity of donors and corporate supporters. 

Parasitology team
Lydia Banfield, Bayer Grant Recipent (back row, 3rd from right) and the team from Federal University of Sergipe

In 2015 Bayer, an international life science company active in the field of vector control, established The Bayer Research and Travel Grant Fund for Vector Control at the School.

“I was honoured to receive the Bayer Research & Travel Grant Fund for Vector Control Research in 2016. It provided me with the opportunity to carry out my MSc project in north-eastern Brazil" - Lydia Banfield, MSc Control of Infectious Diseases

“Bayer has worked with the School in various areas of vector control research over many years and recognises the leading position it has in the field of Epidemiology and Public Health. It is also one of the few institutions around the world maintaining relevant applied post-graduate courses such as the MSc in Medical Entomology for Disease Control. These courses are important for maintaining a level of capacity and expertise in this field – an issue which is highlighted in the WHO Global Vector Control Response drafted at the end of 2016 and discussed at the World Health Assembly this past May.

We are aware that many of the students who are enrolled into these degrees (like many others) can struggle to find research funding at this early stage of their careers. Therefore, given our 60-year experience and ongoing commitment towards vector-borne disease control, this was one area where we felt we could offer some support. We hope that this ultimately contributes to the students delivering the results they aim for from their research projects and perhaps goes some way to motivate them to stay within this field, which can ultimately improve the quality of life of so many.”

Justin McBeath, Market Segment Manager – Malaria Vector Control, Bayer


Testing mosquito sensitivity to DEET
Testing mosquito sensitivity to DEET

The School manages the rigorous grant application process, where each proposed project, its objectives and the student’s funding requirements are reviewed. Once awarded the grants are used by the students to cover research and travel costs associated with their projects, and no one can emphasise the importance of this support better that the students themselves.

“I was honoured to receive the Bayer Research & Travel Grant Fund for Vector Control Research in 2016. It provided me with the opportunity to carry out my MSc project in north-eastern Brazil (Aracaju of Sergipe state). My study was in collaboration with the Federal University of Sergipe, Department of Parasitology, under the supervision of Professor Roseli La Corte dos Santos. My objective was to test wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for insensitivity to the commonly-used repellent DEET and further to that, ascertain whether such a trait was hereditary. This was especially relevant due to the high rates of Zika virus around the north-eastern regions of Brazil.

Currently, I am working as a consultant Technical Officer for The MENTOR Initiative in the Central African Republic. MENTOR is an international NGO specialising in neglected and vector-borne tropical disease control, notably in crisis situations. My MSc project and experience in working with vectors gave me a definite technical edge in obtaining the position which I began in January 2017.”

Lydia Banfield, MSc Control of Infectious Diseases (2016)

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about establishing a travel grant at the School please contact Aoife Jones, Head of Philanthropic Giving, , +44 (0)20 7927 2549