Student Research Grant Program

Student Grants-in-Aid are awarded annually on a competitive basis to graduate or undergraduate students in support of research on wetlands.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission site opens: Monday, December 16, 2013
Submission site closes: Monday, February 17, 2014
Award notification by: April 30, 2014
Announcement at annual meeting: May 18-23, 2014
Click here to apply online.

INTRODUCTION

One objective of the Society of Wetland Scientists is to "develop and encourage wetland science as a distinct discipline by supporting student education, curriculum development, and research." As such, the primary goal of the Student Research Grants Committee of the International Society of Wetland Scientists is to provide partial support of wetland-related research conducted by qualified undergraduate and graduate students from an accredited college or university worldwide. Grants are intended to aid student research, but not be the sole source of research support or provide funding for incidental research tasks of a larger project directed by a faculty member. Student Research Grants generally are intended to defray the costs of travel, room, and board in the course of field investigation, and/or the costs of expendable materials and supplies required in the execution of the proposed research.

ELIGIBILITY

All SWS student members conducting undergraduate or graduate-level research in wetland science at an accredited college or university, who have not previously been awarded a SWS Student Research Grant are eligible to apply. Applications will be considered for funding periods of no more than one year. For information about becoming a member of SWS, visit www.sws.org.

These instructions and forms are also used for selecting students who, in addition to being eligible for the national SWS Student Research Grant, may also be eligible for one of four other Student Research Grants associated with an SWS section or chapter: (1) the Ramsar Section, (2) the South Atlantic Chapter (SAC) of SWS, (3) the North Central Chapter (NCC) of SWS, and (4) the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Chapter of SWS. It is important to read the eligibility criteria carefully on each application form and request to be considered for one of these awards only if you are eligible.
Click Here for more info on SECTION AND CHAPTER AWARDS

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Starting, December 16, 2013, the SWS website will link to the online Student Research Grant Application. All applications must be completed online and include: applicant contact information; a full proposal; cited literature; a budget; a CV; and contact information for two referees who will write letters of recommendation. The application package must be submitted via the online submission site by the deadline of February 17, 2014. Please note: The two required letters of recommendation should be submitted via email to Michelle Czosek at mczosek@sws.org no later than February 24, 2014.

APPLICANT CONTACT INFORMATION

You will be asked to provide basic contact information - name, designation, phone, email, and institutional affiliation.

PROPOSAL

The proposal must include a title limited to 180 characters; an abstract limited to 350 words with a clear statement on research goals, methods, and significance; and a proposal narrative (max 3000 words, including figures and tables) with:

  1. background about the research topic to convey its relevance and significance, as specifically related to the Aims of the Society of Wetland Scientists
  2. a clear statement of hypotheses, objectives, or research questions
  3. a description of methodological approach to be used, including a description of study sites, spatial and temporal intensity of sampling, tools and/or procedures used to generate data, and planned quantitative or statistical treatment of the data
  4. a description of how collected data will permit interpretations and or conclusions relevant to the proposed research

LITERATURE CITED

All references in the Literature Cited section must have been cited in the proposal narrative. The citations in the text and the format of the Literature Cited section should be consistent with Wetlands. A maximum of 15 cited works may be referenced.

BUDGET

For each expense, provide a detailed description and a monetary amount. Provide the total amount requested for the grant, not to exceed US $1000. Finally, provide a maximum 250-word justification of the budget expenses.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Provide education, any professional experience, research experience, significant accomplishments, awards, or publications.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Students applying for funding through the SWS Student Research Grants Program are required to have two letters of recommendation. One letter must be written by the applicant's research advisor. The second letter should be written by a qualified individual familiar with the applicant and technical details of the proposed project. Each referee must clearly identify the nature of his/her relationship with the applicant. The letters of reference must clearly and directly address the proposed research and the applicant's role in project development and initiation, taking into consideration the academic stage in the applicant's career (viz., seeking a Bachelors, Masters, or Doctoral degree). Letters also should evaluate the likelihood that the work will be successfully completed.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Proposal evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  1. clear statement of hypotheses, objectives, or research questions
  2. appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental design, research plan, or research approach
  3. reasonableness of the projected time schedule for accomplishing the proposed research
  4. adequacy and appropriateness of literature citations
  5. significance or potential impact of the proposed research to advancing knowledge and understanding in its field
  6. creativity or originality of the approach or concepts in the proposed research
  7. relevance of the proposed research as related to the Aims of SWS (Does this research focus on wetlands?)
  8. qualifications and capabilities of the student to conduct the proposed research (likelihood of success)

Every proposal will be evaluated independently by two to three reviewers, each of whom will assign a numerical score for each of the criteria. Letters of recommendation will be used to help assess the criteria. These scores will provide the basis for funding decisions. Funding amounts will be determined in light of both the budget justification provided by the applicant and available funds. Regardless of the final funding decision, each applicant will receive a summary of their numerical scores (by Email unless an Email address is not provided in the application), as well as any written comments that the reviewers may provide.

TERMS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Funds requested for equipment purchases, contracted routine chemical analyses, field assistant(s), vehicle rental, etc. will not be provided except under extraordinary circumstances. Applicants should recognize that the need for such requests should be especially well substantiated in the budget justification section of the written proposal. Funds for salary, tuition, costs associated with attendance at professional meetings or symposia, typing or word processing, routine photocopying, purchase of computer software, and/or thesis preparation will not be provided.

Student investigators are encouraged to seek publication of research results. For any published research or oral or poster presentations, the Society of Wetland Scientists (and/or the appropriate SWS Section or Chapter) should be acknowledged for its financial support through the Student Research Grant program.

The awardee is expected to use the grant funds in accordance with the proposed budget. At the end of the grant period, each grant recipient must submit a report to the SWS Executive Office. Reports should provide a brief update on the status of the research and also describe the actual use of funds. If the recipient is unable to complete the research as proposed, unexpended funds must be returned to SWS.

Late applications or applications that have missing or late letters of recommendation will not be considered.

For questions or comments please contact:
Chair, SWS Student Grants Committee
Dianna Hogan
dhogan@usgs.gov