Marsh Trust Award

Studying a Horticultural Science PhD? With the Marsh Trust Award, you could receive £1,000 to go towards your career development

What is the Marsh Trust Award?

Established in 2005, the Marsh Trust Award is made possible thanks to a generous annual donation by the Marsh Charitable Trust.

The aim of the Award is to enable students to do something, not necessarily connected with their research project, that will enhance their career development. We see the awards as vital to encourage and support students in the UK pursuing horticultural science as a career.

Two awards are handed out each year. The main Marsh Trust Award winner receives a sum of £1,000 to go towards the career development activity identified by the successful applicant. There is a further Highly Commended Award of £500, which may be made to an applicant who, in Mr Brian Marsh’s view, deserves recognition.

The criteria for the Award are:

  • The student must be working on a topic that contributes to increasing knowledge or resolving problems in horticulture
  • The student is based at a UK university, though may be from overseas
  • The student has, in the course of their studies, made an exceptional contribution
​Mr Marsh makes the final decision on the recipients of the awards, on the recommendation of the RHS Science Committee.

Applying for the Award

Students applying for the award must complete the application form (49.7kB Word Doc) and return to Dr John David by email  [email protected].

Please note: The non-technical summary should be written as if for a person with limited scientific knowledge.

The student’s lead academic supervisor should supply a covering letter to support the application, particularly addressing the nature of the student’s contribution.

All applications should be received by Friday 19 August 2022 for consideration by the RHS Science Committee.


Completing the form

Mr Marsh reviews the recommended applications, and it would help him if the applicant to should provide a summary of their work in layman’s terms in Section 1.

While the Award is not conditional on the use to which the money is put, the applicant should give some indication of how the Award would make a difference to their career development. This should be given in Section 2.

The description of the project may contain technical information, the applicant should emphasise the nature of their achievements, to date, in the progress of the project. Achievements may include papers submitted or published; conference presentations; contributions to workshops or seminars; communication of the project to non peer-group audiences, such as through press, radio, television or online.

What happens next?

All applications are considered by the RHS Science Committee which selects two to go forward to Mr Brian Marsh who makes the final decision on the winner and highly commended awards.

The recipients will be notified when Mr Marsh’s decision is known and will be presented at the John MacLeod Annual Lecture in November. Normally Awards are presented in person at the Lecture, and it is intended to do so this year, but this will depend upon whether there are Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

Get in touch

Have a question about the Marsh Trust Award or any queries about completing the application form, please email Dr John David at [email protected].

You might also be interested in...

  • John MacLeod Annual Lecture: Held every autumn, this influential lecture invites prominent speakers to explore issues in horticultural science
  • RHS Science: Learn about our scientific work helping to improve the health of people and nature 
  • Science teams: Meet our teams, which include horticultural scientists, horticultural advisors and information specialists


With your support, we can undertake valuable research into gardening pests and diseases.

Join the RHS

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.