About the QRA

We are an organisation comprising archaeologists, botanists, civil engineers, geographers, geologists, soil scientists, zoologists and others interested in research into the problems of the Quaternary.


Coronavirus – an update from the QRA Executive

The Quaternary Research Association is in the process of reviewing our range of activities and making contingency plans in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will make announcements via the regular QRA emails and through the website about current grants, forthcoming awards rounds, QRA-sponsored meetings in 2020, and other activities that will be impacted as the situation develops over the coming months.

Those of you holding awards for activities scheduled to take place in 2020 may be concerned about retaining these funds given the ongoing uncertainty and likely postponement or cancellation of research activities. We would like to reassure you that we are working towards a solution whereby funds for postponed activities should not be returned, at least until there is greater clarity on whether the activity can proceed or not. If an event has been cancelled altogether and funds are no longer required we will discuss the best way forward with grant-holders.

We will contact grant-holders with more specific information as soon as possible. In the meantime, questions or queries relating to funding can be sent to the Awards Officer (awards@qra.org.uk).


Founded in 1964, over 1,000 Members

The QRA was founded in 1964 as the Quaternary Field Study Group and its name was changed to the Quaternary Research Association in 1968. Today the QRA has an international membership of over 1000, with a large and thriving postgraduate student membership. The QRA has an active meetings programme, including the Annual Discussion Meeting each January, field meetings, usually held in April and May or September and the annual Postgraduate Symposium.

The QRA and its members also undertake activities that support and promote the geoconservation of Quaternary sites, landscapes and museum collections.



Members receive the Quaternary Newsletter and Circular three times a year, which contain short research papers, reports on meetings, abstracts, reviews and news on forthcoming meetings, events and a range of other information. The QRA also publishes field guides to accompany its field meetings and a series of technical guides which provide up-to-date coverage of technical developments in the field. The Journal of Quaternary Science, founded in 1985, is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Association.

The Association operates a number of grant schemes to support research activities by members, especially new researchers and postgraduate students. It also recognises outstanding contributions to Quaternary studies through a series of awards that include the James Croll Medal (for senior members whose work has achieved long-standing international impact) and the Lewis Penny Medal (for exceptional early career scientists).

For more about the Quaternary Period see our What is the Quaternary? page.


QRA News

February 2020 edition of QN available online...

We have another exciting, science-filled edition of QN for February 2020. QN 150 is now...

October edition of QN available online (member...

We have another science-filled edition of QN for October 2019. QN 149 is now available for download from the Members' Documents area of the website (login required).

Issue 51 of Earth Heritage Magazine now available

This issue includes articles on College Lake (Pitstone Quarry SSSI, Marsworth) and the Brecks Earth Heritage Trail.