Instrumentation - RAS Tomkins awards

(Instrumentation - RAS Patricia Tomkins awards to be selected as category of grant when making the online application). 

When are the deadlines?

Applications are assessed twice a year; the deadlines for these grants rounds are 20 February and 20 August each year. A call out will be made to announce when the online application process is open for each round.

How much can be applied for?

Applications should normally be for sums between £250 and £2,000. Evidence of application for matching funding from other sources must be provided, and the majority of grants are awarded on the basis of such funding being available.

RAS Tomkins Award Rules
  • With the exception of certain Education and Outreach grant applicants[1], only Fellows may apply for grants.  (Education & Outreach grants are applied for here.)
  • A Fellow will not be allowed to apply on anyone else’s behalf, except in the case of summer student bursaries (where the beneficiary is a named undergraduate).
  • All applications must be to one of the two published deadlines. The only exceptions that may be considered are events which could not have been anticipated, or were not announced, in time for an application at either of the two deadlines (evidence will be required).
  • Applications from academics and postdoctoral researchers/fellows will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances; examples of such circumstances will be given as guidance.
  • The submission of a report on the use of grant money will be mandatory for future eligibility. E&O grants will have specific requirements on evaluating the effectiveness of the activity, e.g. numbers reached and impact.

[1] Where the applicant is not an academic or research staff member or PhD student at a University, and also not FRAS, an application for an E&O grant will be permitted.

The RAS will generally NOT provide funding for:

  • Professional academics based in the UK who would be expected to apply for departmental or research council funding.
  • Students seeking fees for organised courses at GCSE, A level, undergraduate degree, PhD or diploma level.
  • 100% grant funding for travel by postgraduates who can obtain some support from research council training awards. Applications for partial funding only will be considered.
  • Travel on research projects funded by, or eligible for funding from, research councils.
To apply

Please complete the online application form here.

Conditions of the Awards

Successful applicants should promptly acknowledge receipt of their award and must agree to adhere to the conditions of the awards:

(i) Payment will be made on submission of receipts, or invoices from audited bodies. Invoices from the applicant's institute are the preferred method of payment.

(ii) Payment will not be paid until a short summary (not exceeding 1 A4 page) of the outcome of the grant has been received.  This should be submitted to the Office, Events and Building Manager ( ) on completion of expenditure.

(iii) Any publications arising from the award, whether wholly or in part, should acknowledge RAS support (this includes online publications, such as conference websites). If required, digital versions of the RAS logo are available at


For awards in support of organization of professional meetings/conferences:

(iv) At least half of the sum awarded should be designated for the support of participation by scientists at an early career stage (e.g., postgraduate students).

(v) RAS sponsorship should be clearly indicated where appropriate.

(vi) A copy of any published proceedings should be made available to the RAS library.

If no invoice (or explanation for the delay) is received within a year of the award being made, the award is deemed to have lapsed.

Objectives of the Society

Competitively within each Grants round and the resources available, the Society will consider any applications that advance its charitable objects, namely to ‘advance astronomy and geophysics’: within this broad area nothing is explicitly excluded. However, given the modest scale of the its grants programme, which cannot compete with government funding, the Society wants to make contributions to its sciences that are additional to their normal functioning. It especially seeks applications for grants for purposes that are not usually supported by other organisations or for the benefit of people who are ineligible for grants from well-established sources.