Grant Opportunities

Grant and Fellowship Opportunities for Graduate Research in Plant Biology and Conservation and Related Fields are listed below. We try to keep this page up to date but as deadlines can change annually, please visit the webpages for each award to check current deadlines. Here are other helpful sites: The Graduate School, the Garden Club of AmericaThe Environment at Northwestern and UIUC further information.

Deadlines

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberRolling

January Deadlines

Kathryn Fuller Fellowships

Advancing Conservation through Science
For nearly 50 years WWF has committed to delivering science-based conservation results while incorporating the latest research and innovations into our work. As part of its commitment to advancing conservation through science, WWF established Kathryn Fuller Fellowships to support PhD students and postdoctoral researchers working on issues of exceptional importance and relevance to conservation in WWF-US priority places.
Fuller Doctoral Fellows receive either $15,000 or $20,000 allocated over a period of up to 2 years to cover research expenses. Fuller Postdoctoral Fellows receive $140,000 to cover a stipend and research expenses over a period of up to two years as well as $17,500 to cover indirect costs at the host institution over the two-year fellowship period. Citizens of any nation may apply. Applicants for Fuller Doctoral Fellowships must be currently enrolled in a PhD program. Questions may be sent to fullerfund@wwfus.org.

Dr. John N. Nicholson Fellowship (for doctoral students at Northwestern)

This fellowship supports outstanding students enrolled in PhD programs in the sciences or engineering and the PhD programs in Management.
Eligibility: PhD students in the following areas: basic sciences, such as chemistry and physics; biotechnology; engineering; and PhD programs in Management.

The Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship In Garden History and Design

Established to further the study of history and design in the American garden. It is intended, also, to look to the future of gardens and their unique place in our environment. The art of the garden increases in importance today with the growing restraints on all open spaces. Project study would have wide scope. This unique award, administered by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, provides a fellowship to a graduate student for study and research at an institution in the United States. Selection is by a panel appointed by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
*Funds one scholar annually at $4000.

The Loy McCandless Marks Scholarship in Tropical Ornamental Horticulture

Fosters the study of tropical ornamental plants and their use in horticulture and landscape architecture. It affords a graduate student, or advanced undergraduate, an opportunity to study at a leading foreign institution that specializes in the field of tropical plants. The Loy McCandless Marks Scholarship is administered by the GCA Scholarship Committee.
*Funds one student annually at $2000

The Frances M. Peacock Scholarship For Native Bird Habitat

Grants financial aid to advanced students to study areas in the United States that provide winter or summer habitat for threatened and endangered native birds. Awarded in cooperation with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the scholarship offers scholars the opportunity to pursue habitat-related issues that will benefit bird species and lend useful information for land management decisions.
*Funds one or more scholars annually at $4000 each.

The Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarships

Established to encourage the study of horticulture and related fields by providing financial assistance to students who wish to pursue these academic endeavors. Preference is given to young men and women who are college juniors, seniors, or graduate students from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. Selection is by the Grosscup Scholarship Committee.
*Funds several students annually up to $3000 each.

The GCA Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

The GCA Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry provides financial aid to advanced undergraduate or graduate students to study urban forestry and related subjects. Work in this field will be far-reaching, as it will include the planning, management, and horticulture in urban forests and the effect of healthy urban forests on the environment. Awards are up to $4,000 and the deadline is January 31.

Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Award for MS Students

This award is available to currently enrolled MS students in the Program for Plant Biology and Conservation. Funds of up to $1500 will be awarded for research expenses including equipment, supplies and/or travel. To apply, fill out the application and write a 3-page statement about your research along with your budget request. Also include one letter of recommendation addressed to the PBC Awards Committee. Applications and accompanying materials should be e-mailed to Nyree Zerega by January 31 or July 31 of each year.

The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Research

The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from MS and PhD students in disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archaeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, and population genetics, but grants will not be restricted to these fields.

Botany in Action

The Botany In Action Fellowship develops new, science-based plant knowledge and chronicles traditional knowledge of plants for use in growing a greener world. Botany In Action (BIA) promotes interactive scientific education about the importance of plants, biodiversity, and sustainable landscapes for human well-being. Open to PhD students enrolled at US graduate institutions and conducting plant-based scientific field research.

The GCA Award In Coastal Wetlands Studies

Seeks to promote wetlands conservation through the support of young scientists in their field work and research. Recognizing the growing value placed on wetlands, the GCA created this award to encourage sound scientific knowledge of coastal wetlands (defined as those tidal or nontidal wetlands found in the coastal states, including those of the Great Lakes). Applicants may propose a wetlands program of their choice at a leading educational institution within the United States that specializes in wetlands studies. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of The College of William & Mary, is the selector and administrator for this award.
Funds one student annually at $5000.

American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT)

Support is available for graduate students conducting field work, herbarium travel, and/or laboratory research in any area of plant systematics. ASPT Graduate Student Research Awards do not include support for institutional overhead or stipends. No award will exceed $1000; it is unlikely that proposals from previous recipients will be funded. Proposals will be funded on the basis of merit, regardless of the research area within systematics (e.g., if all of the best proposals emphasize field work, grants will only be made in that area).

February Deadlines

The Joan K. Hunt And Rachel M. Hunt Summer Scholarship In Field Botany

Provides financial aid toward a summer study of field botany. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote the awareness of the importance of botany to horticulture. It does not support lab work. The summer projects may be pursued beyond the regular course of study to gain additional knowledge and experience and may award credit. Study must be in any one of the 50 states of the U.S. College undergraduates and graduate students up to the Masters degree may apply. Preference is given to undergraduates. Application for the GCA Summer Scholarship in Field Botany and the application for this scholarship are the same and will be considered together. Selection and administration by the GCA Scholarship Committee
The specific course of study and the location are chosen by the student. Some suggested studies include:

  • assisting a botanist with field studies
  • assisting a botanist with plant inventories
  • plant monitoring in a national forest
  • internship on a special project in a botanical garden
  • Funds one or more scholars annually at $1500

The GCA Summer Scholarship in Field Botany

Provides financial aid to students following their undergraduate years or graduate students up to the Masters degree level wishing to pursue summer studies doing work in the field specifically related to field botany. This award addresses the need to promote the study of botany to the horticulture public and increase the awareness of the importance of botany to horticulture. Field work may be done in North America, Central America or South America, but with equally qualified candidates, preference is given to students studying in the United States. All candidates must be enrolled in a U.S. college or university. The summer project may be pursued beyond the regular course of study to gain additional knowledge and experience, and may award credit. Selection and administration by the GCA Scholarship Committee and members experienced in botany.
Funds one or more scholars annually at $1500.

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Scholarships

Chicago ARCS Scholars pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of subjects involving leading-edge technologies in science and engineering. Representative university departments eligible to sponsor ARCS Scholars include artificial intelligence, biochemistry, biology, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geological science, immunology, mathematics, medicine, and physics.
Eligibility:

  1. An ARCS Scholar must be a citizen of the United States.
  2. An ARCS Scholar must have an undergraduate and graduate grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
  3. An ARCS Scholar must be enrolled as a full-time PhD or Master’s student in The Graduate School specializing in natural sciences or engineering.

The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Research

The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from MS and PhD students in disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archaeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, and population genetics, but grants will not be restricted to these fields.

Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Award for PhD Students

This award is available to currently enrolled PhD students in the Program for Plant Biology and Conservation. Funds of up to $1500 will be awarded for research expenses including equipment, supplies and/or travel. To apply, fill out the application and write a 3-page statement about your research along with your budget request. Also include one letter of recommendation addressed to the PBC Awards Committee. Applications and accompanying materials should be e-mailed to Nyree Zerega by February 28 or August 31 of each year.

March Deadlines

Richard E. Schultes Research Award

The Schultes Award was created in 2001 to honor the late Dr. Richard Evans Schultes. The award is to be presented annually to a graduate student who is a members of the Society, or a member who has received their degree within a year. The award of up to $2,500 is intended to help defray the costs of field work on a topic related to economic botany. 

BSA Karling Graduate Student Research Award

The purpose of this award is to support and promote graduate student research in the botanical sciences. To be eligible, one must be a member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA), a registered full-time graduate student, have a faculty research advisor who is also a member of BSA, and not have won the award previously. Each award is $500.

National Garden Clubs (NGC)

NGC's scholarship program offers financial aid to students and promotes study in horticulture, floriculture, landscape design, botany, biology, plant pathology, forestry, agronomy, environmental concerns, city planning, land management, and allied subjects. Thirty-four stipends of $3,500 will be awarded. Citizenship: US.

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been providing undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences for more than 80 years. The program awards grants of $1,000 or less to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

The Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship

The Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship is available to qualified graduate students. It is created in honor of Gloria Barron, dedicated educator and tireless advocate for wilderness protection, and administered by The Wilderness Society, a leading conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. We award a $10,000 scholarship to a graduate student for the coming academic year to support research and preparation of a paper on an aspect of wilderness. We strongly encourage proposals relating to climate change, as well as other topics regarding wilderness conservation. Eligibility: any student enrolled in graduate school in North America

Society of Systematic Biologists

The purpose of these awards is to assist students in the initiation (first two years) of their systematics projects and in the collection of preliminary data needed by them to pursue additional sources of support (e.g., Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants from the National Science Foundation) or to enhance dissertation research (e.g., by visiting additional field collection sites or museums). Applicants may be from any country, but must be members of SSB, and are advised to join the Society as soon as possible to facilitate their applications. Previous awardees may not re-apply, but other previous applicants are encouraged to re-apply. Budgets and awards will range between $1,000 and $2000. Up to six awards will be made.

April Deadlines 

EPA STAR (Science to Achieve Results) Fellowships

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is offering Graduate Fellowships for master's and doctoral level students in environmental fields of study. Master's level students may receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years, usable over a period of four years. The fellowship program provides up to $37,000 per year of support per fellowship.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The Foundation awards matching grants under our Keystone Initiatives to achieve measurable outcomes in the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants, and the habitats on which they depend. Awards are made on a competitive basis to eligible grant recipients, including federal, tribal, state, and local governments, educational institutions, and non-profit conservation organizations. Project proposals are received on a year-round, revolving basis with two decision cycles per year. Grants generally range from $50,000-$300,000. A minimum of 1:1 non-federal match is required; however, most competitive projects have at least 2:1 in non-federal match.

Project Pre-Proposal Received By: Project Full Proposal Due: Board of Directors Decision:
April 1 June 1 Mid-November of the same year
September 1 November 1 Mid-April of the next year

May Deadlines

Elmhurst Garden Club

The Elmhurst Garden Club offers an annual scholarship to college juniors, seniors and graduate students majoring in Horticulture or one of its related fields. The student must be a resident of Illinois with at least a 3.0 GPA. Click hereto download application.

July Deadlines

Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Award for MS Students

This award is available to currently enrolled MS students in the Program for Plant Biology and Conservation. Funds of up to $1500 will be awarded for research expenses including equipment, supplies and/or travel. To apply, fill out the application and write a 3-page statement about your research along with your budget request. Also include one letter of recommendation addressed to the PBC Awards Committee. Applications and accompanying materials should be e-mailed to Nyree Zerega by January 31 or July 31 of each year.

August Deadlines

Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Award for PhD Students

This award is available to currently enrolled PhD students in the Program for Plant Biology and Conservation. Funds of up to $1500 will be awarded for research expenses including equipment, supplies and/or travel. To apply, fill out the application and write a 3-page statement about your research along with your budget request. Also include one letter of recommendation addressed to the PBC Awards Committee. Applications and accompanying materials should be e-mailed to Nyree Zerega by February 28 or August 31 of each year.

September Deadlines

Fulbright Program

Offers a variety of grants for one year of study or research abroad to over 100 countries. Applicants must have proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country. Campus information and applications are available in May each year for the upcoming academic year.

Prospective applicants should file a Registration Form as soon as they have formed their plans and definitely before May 31 with the Office of Fellowships.

DEADLINE: For deadline information, go to the Office of Fellowships website.

October Deadlines

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been providing undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences for more than 80 years. The program awards grants of $1,000 or less to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Also visit the NSF website for further information.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards fellowships for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation. NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are intended for individuals in the early stages of their graduate study. Applicants may pursue graduate study at an institution in the United States or affiliate with a foreign institution. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports a comprehensive holistic plan for graduate education and takes into account the individual interests and competencies of the Fellows. Thus, an applicant must provide a detailed profile of his or her relevant educational and research experiences and plans for graduate education in such a way as to demonstrate the potential to become an emerging knowledge expert in STEM disciplines.

November Deadlines

The Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation Fellowship awards are offered at the Predoctoral, Dissertation and Postdoctoral levels.  Fellowships are awarded in a national competition. Awards are made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. To be eligible for a Ford Foundation Fellowship award you must be a citizen of the United States, demonstrate evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors or other designations), and be committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.  Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs; practice oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. 

The Catherine H. Beattie Fellowship

Created to promote the conservation of rare and endangered flora in the United States through the programs of the Center for Plant Conservation headquartered at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The research grant enables a student in biology, horticulture, or a related field to conduct field research. Preference is given to students whose projects focus on the endangered flora of the Carolinas and the southeastern United States. Selection is by a panel of botanists appointed by the CPC.

Funds one or more students annually up to $4000.

The GCA and Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowships

Provides a reciprocal exchange of British and American graduate students in horticulture, landscape architecture, or related fields. The intent of the program is to foster cultural understanding, promote horticultural studies and exchange information in this field. The Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship provides a noncredit work/study program in Great Britain for an American recipient, selected by the GCA Scholarship Committee. Deadline for application is January 15. Funds one U.S. student and one British student.

Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals

The IAEP Student Research Grant Program (SRGP) is an effort to increase student interest in the environmental professions and to support them in conducting research and defining their career goals. The student research grant program will review all applications and give one First Place award of $1,000 and one Second Place award of $500 to aid students in conducting their research project (limited to supplies and mileage). Winners will also be required to create a poster in HTML or PDF format of their research project to be posted on the IAEP website (both prior to the project initiation and updated afer the project has been completed). 
Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must be full-time graduate students and must have the following:

  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on a 5.0 scale).
  • be a current student member of IAEP (Applicants may join at the time of packet submission.)

Application deadline is November 30.

December Deadlines

CIC Smithsonian Institution Fellowships

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI) invite fellowship applications for one-year fellowships to support research in residence at Smithsonian Institution facilities. Fellowships carry a stipend of $30,000.  All fields of study that are actively pursued by the museums and research organizations of the Smithsonian Institution are eligible. 
Under this fellowship program, the Smithsonian Institution and the Fellow’s university share the cost of support. Students enrolled at CIC member universities apply directly via the Smithsonian’s Online Application System (SOLAA). The Smithsonian Institution will review applications and award up to seven (7) CIC Fellowships to eligible applicants from CIC institutions. 

All unfunded applications will be eligible for consideration in the general Smithsonian Institution competition.  Review of applications for the general competition begins on January 15, 2016.

Students must have completed all course work for their programs, and must have been admitted into doctoral candidacy and satisfied all requirements except completion of the dissertation in order to qualify. Only students enrolled at CIC institutions are eligible to apply.
The stipend is $30,000 for one year, and fellows are eligible for tuition and health insurance benefits in accordance with their university policy. Fellows are eligible to receive allowances for related expenses and for temporary relocation to the Smithsonian.

Application Instructions
See Program Guide for full details. The application materials must be submitted electronically between September 8, 2015 and December 1, 2015 at 5 PM through https://solaa.si.edu

The GCA Fellowship In Ecological Restoration

Supports specialized graduate study and research in ecological restoration, the active healing of the land, at an accredited university in the United States. The goal of this fellowship is to support research that will advance knowledge and increase the numbers of scientists in this important field. The proposed study should conform to the Society of Ecological Restoration's definition of ecological restoration: "The process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity [which] includes a critical range of variability in biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices." A selection panel is composed of faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.
*Funds one or more scholars annually at $8000.

Explorer's Club

The Exploration Fund of The Explorers Club provides grants in support of exploration and field research. Grants in amounts up to $1,200 are made primarily to graduate students. Applicants do not have to be members of The Explorers Club and do not have to reside in the United States to qualify for an award.

The Torrey Botanical Society Graduate Student Research Award

The Torrey Botanical Society Graduate Student Research Award supports student research with an annual award of $2,500.00. The award, limited to graduate students in botany who are members of the Society, must be used to help pay the costs of field work. Applicants will be judged by the Council of the Society and recipients will be announced before 1 April each year.

SMART Scholarship(Science, Mathematics, And Research Transformation)

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories. The award includes tuition and a stipend.

Systematics Research Fund

Applications of all nationalities are welcome. Typical activities supported include contributions to fieldwork expenditure, the purchase of scientific equipment or expertise (e.g. buying time on analytical equipment), specimen preparation (including the cost of of temporary technical assistance), and contributions to publication costs. Projects of a more general or educational nature will also be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component. Typical activities not supported include attendance at scientific meetings and contributions to student maintenance or tuition fees. The fund does nto provide payments for Bench Fees. Projects already substantially funded by other bodies may be disadvantaged. Successful projects are selected by a panel of six systematists who represent a wide range of conceptual interests and taxonomic groups. The value of any single award will not exceed £1500.
**Applications may be submitted after October 1 but must be received before December 31 of the same year to be eligible for funds approved in the following calendar year. Decisions will be posted March-April of the year subsequent to submission.

Prairie Biotic Research, Inc.

Prairie Biotic Research (PBR) is an all-volunteer, Wisconsin nonprofit established in 2000 to foster basic biotic research in prairies and savannas.  One way we do this is through a competitive Small Grants Program that funds grants up to $1000 to individuals for the study of any grassland taxon anywhere in the USA.  We support both natural history and experimental science.  We are especially eager to support independent researchers (those lacking institutional support), but anyone may apply. Application information can be found here.

Rolling Deadlines

Environmental Leadership Program

The Environmental Leadership Program offers the Environmental Leadership Fellowships, as part of ELP's highly experiential and innovative national initiative that aims to build the leadership capacity of the environmental movement's most promising emerging professionals. Each year, a new class of 20-30 fellows is chosen to receive intensive training, institutional support, and mentoring for a three-year period. Fellows gain access to funding to pursue further skill training and develop new projects. Applicants must commit to participating in four retreats. ELP will provide $2,000 participation stipend, travel and accommodations for training retreats, as well as $1,000-$10,000 to support leadership-building activities and projects. Citizenship: US 

ELP hopes to launch a Midwestern Regional Network in 2009. More information will be distributed as they move ahead.

Leopold Schepp Foundation

Awards are made based on character, academic ability, and financial need. The Foundation grants approximately 200 individual awards each year to both full time undergraduate students enrolled in four year bachelor programs and to full time graduate students. Applicants must either be currently enrolled or must have completed one year of undergraduate work at an accredited college or university. High school seniors are not eligible to apply.
The Foundation also grants a small number of fellowship awards for independent study and research, usually post-doctoral, based on the recommendation of a recognized institution. These fellowships are intended to encourage research that will improve the general welfare of mankind. Because funds for such grants are limited, interested applicants should inquire as to the availability of funding for fellowships in their chosen field of study.

They begin taking applications in the summer usually until January of the following year for awards in the following Fall.

The Northwestern University Conference and Travel Award in Plant Biology and Conservation

This award is available to currently enrolled graduate students in the Program for Plant Biology and Conservation. Awards of up to $500 will be awarded for travel expenses related to attending professional conferences and workshops. These may include costs for travel to the location, conference registration fee, and accommodations. Preference will be given to those who have not previously received this award. To apply, fill out the application and submit a proposed budget. Applications should be emailed to Nyree Zerega two months prior to the conference date.

National Geographic Young Explorers Grants (YEG)

YEG grants offer opportunities to individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 to pursue research, conservation and exploration-related projects consistent with National Geographic's existing grant programs, including: the Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), the Expeditions Council (EC), and the Conservation Trust (CT).

  • Deadline: rolling, but must apply at least 8 months before funds are needed
  • Awards between $2,000 and $5,000

The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a new and significant philanthropic endowment established to directly support the cause of species conservation. Specifically to:

  1. Provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives,
  2. Recognize leaders in the field of species conservation, and
  3. Elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate.

The Fund's reach is truly global and its species interest is non-discriminatory. It is open to applications for funding support from conservationists based in all parts of the world and will potentially fund projects focused on any and all kinds of plant and animal species, subject to the approval of an independent evaluation committee.

The Fund has an initial endowment of €25,000,000 (Twenty Five Million Euros)