Research application form

***PLEASE NOTE: As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, Bristol Zoological Society has made the difficult decision to restrict research on site. As such, we are not currently accepting external research applications. Please continue to monitor our website for further information.***

Charitable objects:  To advance the public understanding and the conservation of wildlife and the natural environment, and to advance the scientific study of animals and plants.

  1. All research to be undertaken in association with the Bristol Zoological Society must be compatible with the Society’s charitable objects and must be assessed and approved prior to commencement to ensure scientific and ethical validity, that animal welfare is not compromised, and that it complies with relevant UK, EU and/or other countries’ legal requirements.
  2. Research will be encouraged particularly which links, or is relevant to the Society’s Research Strategy, its living collections, historical records, in situ programmes or education/higher education programmes.
  3. All research undertaken must be for the net benefit of the individual subject(s), and/or the species that are the subject(s) of the research, and/or the ecosystem that the species are part of, and/or for the benefit of the organisation. Where no such benefit is demonstrated, research projects may only be approved if clear learning outcomes can be demonstrated. Approval is not normally given to research requiring a Home Office licence for any of its components (including such components that are not directly carried out at Bristol Zoo Gardens or Wild Place Project).
  4. All research carried out must be reported in full, and reports should acknowledge the Zoo, Wild Place Project and/or the Bristol Zoological Society. The Field Conservation & Science Department should be advised, in advance, of publication plans. Publication of results in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings is to be encouraged. It would normally be expected that individual Society staff contributing to or supervising research projects must be acknowledged through co-authorship of any publications as well as by name in the relevant section of reports. Copies of any publication resulting from research undertaken through the Bristol Zoological Society are to be provided.
  5. A copy of all raw data, appropriately annotated to allow independent interpretation, must be lodged with the Society on completion of a study. The Bristol Zoological Society reserves the right to use all data collected at the Zoo, at the Wild Place Project or in one of its in situ projects for its own publications if they have not been published (or submitted for publication) elsewhere within one year of the termination of the research project. In such cases, due acknowledgement of contribution and intellectual property will be given in accordance with the Society’s Data Protection Policy.
  6. Registration fees: To access the Zoo or WPP for the duration of the project, all researchers must obtain a researcher’s pass. In addition to site access, the researcher’s pass entitles the researcher to an ARKS Taxon Report for their study species, a short introduction and an opportunity to ask questions of the Field Conservation and Science Dept. and/or keepers. The basic fee does not include supervision by staff of BZS. The pass gives access to the Zoo for the duration of the project (max. 12 months).

    Students conducting projects co-supervised by a member of staff of the Society will be charged an additional fee for supervision. This entitles them to access to a member of staff of the Field Conservation and Science Dept. at agreed times, and to the provision of research facilities (in addition to those necessary for behavioural observations from the visitors’ viewing areas) within reasonable limits.

    Registration fees may be waived in cases where researchers are affiliated to specific partner institutions or where research has been commissioned by the Bristol Zoological Society. In these cases, a letter requesting waiving the fees must be submitted with this proposal form.



Dr J Bryan Carroll, CEO                

Research Policy approved by Council: 24 July 2000, amended 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

Click here to download our Research Proposal Form.

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