Grant Opportunities

UC Natural Reserve System

Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants

Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants are available to any graduate student enrolled at a University of California campus other than San Francisco who is conducting research at one or more of the 41 sites in the UC Natural Reserve System. A total of $38,000 will be available in grants, with a maximum award of $3,000 per applicant. Students from any academic discipline are eligible.  To learn more about this program visit the UCNRS website.

The annual Mathias grant competition is announced in August and closes October 1st. Awardees are expected to produce a paper or report, or present their findings in a suitable forum.  Recipients of Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants are invited to present their findings before peers at the NRS’s Mathias Symposium, which is held every two years.

Mayhew Graduate Research Award for Boyd Deep Canyon

The Mayhew Graduate Research Award is available to graduate students conducting research at Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center. One or more grants of up to $4,200 are awarded by the review panel. The competition is open to all graduate students, not just those enrolled at the University of California. As Boyd Deep Canyon is a gateway reserve, research projects conducted off site also will be considered.

Visit the UC NRS website to learn about grants available at other NRS reserves.

Southwestern Association of Naturalists

Howard McCarley Student Research Award

The Howard McCarley Student Research Fund provides up to eight awards annually, up to $3000 each, to support student research. Applicants must be students (undergraduate or graduate) currently enrolled in an institution of higher education, sponsored by a faculty member, and a member of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists ($15/year). Awards will be made in support of any aspect of research on biota of the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, except for travel to meetings. Individuals may receive a maximum of two grants from the Association. All qualified students are encouraged to apply, especially those in developing countries. More information about competing for the Howard McCarley Student Research Award can be found under Instructions for Student Awards.

Ecological Society of America

Desert Ecology-Forrest Shreve Award

The Forrest Shreve Award supports research in the hot deserts of North America: Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Vizcaino. Projects should be clearly ecological and should increase our understanding of the patterns and processes of deserts and/or desert organisms.  One to two awards annually of $1000-2000 are available to support graduate and undergraduate research. Applicants must be members ($38/year) and currently enrolled in a degree program.  Proposals will be ranked based on the importance of the project to understanding desert ecology, feasibility, experimental design, and innovation and on the quality of the application and letters of support.  To learn more about awards and grants offered by ESA you can visit the ESA website for general information. For all questions, please contact

Southern California Botanists

You must be a member to apply; membership is $26/year. Applications are usually due in November and maximum grant awards are up to $1,000/person/year. To learn more about these grants, please visit their website.

  • SCB Annual Grant: This grant is to support a broad scope of botanical research in southern California.
  • Susan Hobbs Grant for Field Research: This grant honors Susan Hobbs, former SCB Secretary and avid field botanist. It is specifically for the support of field research.
  • Alan Romspert Grant in Desert Botany: This grant honors Alan Romspert, long time SCB Treasurer, desert botanist and naturalist. It is specifically for desert botanical research.
  • The Jessica Mae Orozco Diversity Grant: This grant is to support research or projects being implemented by underserved and underrepresented individuals in the botanical community. The research or project must be related to the plants or plant communities of southern California.
  • The SCB Conservation Grant: This grant is to support research or projects that contribute to the understanding and conservation of rare plants in southern California.

Torrey Botanical Society

Graduate Student Research Fellowship

The Torrey Botanical Society supports student research with three annual awards of up to $2,500. Graduate students in plant science who are members ($20/year) of the Society are eligible to apply for this award. This award must be used to help pay the costs of field work. Deadline for applications is January 15th and recipients are announced by April 1st. Applications will be judged by a committee of the Council of the Society.

California Botanical Society

Paul Silva Student Research Grants

The Paul Silva Student Research Grant is named after Paul Silva (1922-2014), a phycologist and Curator of Algae at the University Herbarium, UC Berkeley, whose bequest to the Society has made this award possible. Awards are made to qualified undergraduate and graduate student members of the Society ($20/year) working on projects that will help achieve the Society’s goal of advancing Western American botany. Students from any accredited university doing botanical research within western North America are eligible.  Proposals are due in May.  One to several awards of $600 are given out annually.

California Native Plant Society

Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant Program

In 2001, the Bristlecone Chapter established a grants program as a fitting tribute to Mary DeDecker, a renowned local botanist and founding member of the chapter.  Grants are for research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of native plants and ecosystems in the Eastern Sierra and are primarily targeted to graduate students, college students, and primary and secondary students (K-12) and their teachers.  Projects should be conducted at least in part within Inyo or Mono Counties. Grant recipients receive up to $1,000 each for expenses and are asked to present their results to the Bristlecone Chapter either at a regular meeting or in the chapter newsletter. Proposals are generally due in January. Applicants will be notified by the end of March.

Charlie O’Neill Grant

The Charlie O’Neill Grant is awarded annually by the Orange County Chapter of CNPS to a graduate or undergraduate student planning to conduct field research related to biology, ecology, floristics, taxonomy, ethnobotany, of native California plants. Preference will be given to proposals including plants that occur within Orange County. Awards range from $500 to $1000 based on the number of suitable applicants and the relative quality and merit of their proposals. Funding may cover items such as supplies, equipment, and travel costs and include a one-year membership with CNPS.

CNPS Student Research Grants

The CNPS Student Research Grants Program was created in 1983 to award funding to students researchers studying California’s native flora. There are currently five grant programs available (listed below); the Grants Committee determines which program is best suited for each proposal.  The amount awarded is determined by the funding available that year, as well as the number and merit of proposals, but will not exceed $1,000. All grant proposals must be received by October 31st each year.  Applicants must be a member of CNPS ().  For questions contact the Student Research Grants Program at

The Helen Sharsmith Grants.  These grants, established in 1983, pay memorial tribute to the author of The Flora of the Mount Hamilton Range. We award Helen Sharsmith grants to students or non students involved in research on California’s native flora.

The Doc Burr Grants.  The Doc Burr Graduate Research Fund was established in 1983 to honor Horace K. “Doc” Burr, a founder and Fellow of the Society. Doc Burr grants are awarded to graduate students conducting research that promotes conservation of California’s flora and vegetation.

The Hardman Native Plant Research Award.  This award is offered for promising academic and applied botanical research involving California’s native plants, especially rare plants. For this grant, we also welcome research leading to elimination of invasive exotic plants from the state’s flora.

The G. Ledyard Stebbins Award.  CNPS established the Stebbins Award in 1986 to honor Dr. Stebbins for his many years of dedication to the Society and to students of genetics and evolutionary botany. Each year one Stebbins Award may be given to a graduate student for an outstanding proposal for research in evolutionary botany.

The Natalie Hopkins Award.  Established in 2007, this grant honors Natalie Hopkins, lifelong supporter and mentor of women in plant sciences and 2nd president of the Santa Clara Chapter of CNPS. Natalie Hopkins Awards are given to women students and researchers pursuing native plant studies.

California Lichen Society

CALS Grant Program

The California Lichen Society offers two grants of $750 and $1000 each year to support research pertaining to the lichens of California.  Awards can be given to graduate students, undergraduate students, and to non-students as long as they are conducting research on California lichens. No geographical constraints are placed on grantees or their associated institutions, but grantees must be members in good standing of the California Lichen Society ($10-$25/year).  Proposals are due November 1st; for more information contact

Nevada Native Plant Society

Margaret Williams Research Grants

The Nevada Native Plant Society provides two Margaret Williams research grants of up to $1000 annually. These grants are designed to facilitate basic botanical research and increase our understanding of Nevada’s native and naturalized flora. The research should cover some aspect of the Nevada flora from single species to whole communities or ecosystems. Research can include, but is not limited to, disciplines such as conservation, landscape analysis, ecology, biogeography, or taxonomy. Proposals are generally due in February; to learn more contact

Northern California Botanists

Botany Research Scholarship Program

Northern California Botanists provides several $1,000 botany and plant ecology research scholarships annually to undergraduate and graduate students from any accredited college or university.  The goal of the program is to encourage students to pursue academic endeavors toward a career in botany and to promote basic botany and plant ecology research.  Research topic or plants must occur within the Northern California  geographic range.  Proposals are typically due in March; for more information contact

Anza-Borrego Foundation

Howie Wier Memorial Conservation Grant

Grants of up to $2,500 are awarded annually to assist graduate students conducting field studies in ecology, systematics, evolutionary biology and conservation biology in the Colorado Desert and Peninsular Range region of Southern California. Allowable costs include travel, supplies, equipment and other expenses associated with field work. Proposals are generally due in December; to learn more about the application process please visit their website.

Begole Archaeological Research Grant

The Begole Archaeological Research Grant (BARG) program is designed to support scientific archaeological research in Colorado Desert District (CDD) parks and in other areas of the California and Baja California Desert regions that may have direct connections with or scientific applications to CDD parks. Two grants are available annually. Funds requested can be up to $5,000 for each research project. Proposals are generally due in June; to learn more about the application process please visit their website.

The Paul Jorgensen Bird Research Grant

Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded annually to assist graduate students, post-graduate researchers or professionals conducting ornithology field studies within the Colorado Desert and Peninsular Ranges of southern California. Allowable costs include anything associated with field work related to bird research. Research within the Colorado Desert and/or state parks of the region may receive special consideration in the award process. Proposals are generally due in December; to learn more about the application process please visit their website.