Field research grant opportunity

Hi, folks –

            See below.  Small grants (up to $3000), but ES students and faculty are well-positioned for these – both geographically and in terms of training and expertise!

– John

John A. Commito


Environmental Studies Department

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA


Phone:    717-337-6030

Fax:        717-337-8550







Purpose:  The Washington Biologists’ Field Club, first organized in 1900, annually provides competitive grants to support research on the natural history of the Potomac Basin.  The WBFC encourages inventories of targeted taxa [e.g.  rotifers, tardigrades, mites, mosses, annelids & nematodes (free-living, and plant and animal parasites).  Research projects that focus on increasing knowledge of organisms occurring on Plummers Island (in the Potomac River below the American Legion Bridge) are generally given priority.  Recent grants have supported studies of turtles, fish, insects, marsh vegetation, and terrestrial flora throughout the Potomac River Basin.  Proposals on a broad range of natural history topics are appropriate.  Projects that consider aspects of systematics, biodiversity, ecology, or environmental issues are of particular interest to the WBFC.

Eligibility: Applications are accepted from individuals qualified to perform the proposed research.  Applicants who are not members of WBFC are required to obtain sponsorship and a letter of support from a member.  A list of sponsors may be obtained from at the club’s web site (click on the link, “Research Awards Announcement”).  The sponsoring member need not be involved in the applicant’s research or the publication of results, but must be familiar with applicant’s scientific abilities, credentials, integrity, and proposed research.  The sponsor also must be willing to serve as liaison between the grant recipient and the WBFC during the term of the award.

Financial information: Grants vary in amount, depending on the needs and nature of the project, but typically do not exceed $3000 per year.  Funds may be used for travel to study sites, actual field expenses, honoraria for assistants, and cost of specialized equipment and tests.  Additional funds may be available for proposals directed at targeted taxa.  Principal Investigator’s salary, publication costs, and overhead or administrative costs are not supported. 

Duration: Grants are officially awarded for one year, but applicants have a two-year window in which to spend the funds, after which they revert to the WBFC.  

Application procedure: An application consists of (1) a concise 500-word description of the project, including an explanation of the project, scientific significance, and relevance to the Potomac Basin; (2) an itemized budget listing anticipated expenses and providing explanatory notes where appropriate; (3) a time table that includes an anticipated spending schedule and a completion date; (4) a curriculum vitae of the applicant, including educational background and a list of publications; and (5) a  letter of support directly from a sponsoring member.  These items should be sent as a single electronic file, although the letter of support may be sent separately.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the letter of support arrives before the deadline.  Parts 4 & 5 are not required for applications from members.

Responsibilities: A status report summarizing project activities is required one year after the grant is awarded, and a final report must be submitted to the WBFC when the study is completed.  Publication of results should acknowledge WBFC support, and a PDF of the publication provided to the Chair of the Research Committee.  It is the responsib
ility of the grantee to obtain all appropriate permits.  Voucher specimens should be deposited in an appropriate institution.

Submission:  Applications and letters of support should be submitted (preferably by email), to: 

Neal Woodman, Chair of WBFC Research Committee

Washington Biologists’ Field Club

c/o Smithsonian Institution

P.O.  Box 37012

National Museum of Natural History, MRC 111

Washington, DC 20013-7012

The deadline for submissions is January 18, 2013.  You should receive an e-mail acknowledging that your application has been received.  Applications will be reviewed immediately following the deadline, and applicants should receive notification of the status of their proposals by the end of February. 


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