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Student Research Grants

The Society of Wetland Scientists aims to develop and encourage wetland science as a distinct discipline by providing support in student education, curriculum development and research. To support this goal, SWS offers partial funding of wetland-related research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students from an accredited college or university worldwide. These grants are intended to aid student's costs of travel, room and board in the course of field investigation and to help cover costs of expendable materials and supplies required in the execution of the proposed research.

2024 Student Research Grant Application Deadline: May 1, 2024

Who's eligible?

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 an SWS Research Grant are eligible to apply. Not an SWS member? Visit our student page to find more information and to join SWS.

Application Requirements

SWS students may apply online and should include the following: full proposal (3000 word limit), a CV, cited literature, a budget, and the contact information for two referees who will write letters of recommendation. Recipients of the SWS Research Grant will be recognized at the Annual Meeting.

Application requirement
CV Please provide contact information and information regarding education, professional experience, research experience, significant accomplishments, awards, and/or publications.
Proposal The proposal must include a title limited to 180 characters, an abstract limited to 350 words that includes a clear and concise statement on research goals, methods and significance, and a proposal narrative limited to 3000 words. The proposal narrative must include the following:

  1. Background about the research topic to convey its relevance and significance as specifically related to the aims of SWS
  2. A clear statement of hypothesis, 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 data
  4. A description of how collected data will permit interpretations and/or conclusions relevant to the proposed research
 Cited Literature All references in the cited literature 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 works may be referenced.
 Budget For each expense, please provide a detailed description and monetary amount. Provide the total amount requested for the grant, not to exceed $1,000 USD. Please provide a maximum 250 word justification of the budget expenses.
 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 bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree). Letters also should evaluate the likelihood that the work will be successfully completed.
SWS Chapter/Section Student Research Grants

All student research proposals may also be eligible for one of the other Student Research Grants associated with SWS chapters or sections. Students interested in applying can select one of the chapter/section grants when filling out their Student Research Grant application online. By selecting one of the chapters/section Student Research Grants, applicants will be considered by more than one group, and in some cases, may increase the amount of the award in which they are eligible.

Evaluation criteria

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 as well as any written comments that the reviewers may provide.

Evaluations 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
  8. Qualifications and capabilities of the student to conduct the proposed research (likelihood of success)
Terms and responsibilities

SWS Student Research Grants are not intended to be used as the sole source of support nor should the grant be used to provide funding for incidental research tasks of a larger project. 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. These grants are intended to aid student's costs of travel, room and board in the course of field investigation and to help cover costs of expendable materials and supplies required in the execution of the proposed research.

Student investigators are encouraged to seek publication of research results. For any published research or oral or poster presentations, SWS (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.


All Student Research Grant questions may be directed to

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