The purpose of Grants in Herpetology from the Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) is to stimulate and encourage herpetological research relevant to Virginia. Awarded grants should be used, at least in part, for research on reptiles and amphibians native or naturalized to Virginia. Grants are open to all members, including high school / college students, teachers and professors and any non-affiliated VHS member. Although this grant program is geared towards scientific research, other uses of a grant award will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
These grants are available in amounts up to $500. Grant awards greater than $500 may be considered by the VHS, in special cases, for projects showing exemplary methods or products of high value to Virginia's herps. Salaries and travel expenses are not supported by this grant.
Grant proposals should be addressed to the current President (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the VHS and received by January 15 of each year. Submissions after this date will not be considered. The proposals will be judged by the VHS Executive Committee. By a popular vote, the President will announce the top recipient(s) by March 1. The VHS is not obligated to fund any proposal that does not meet the minimum requirements, and the VHS has the right to decline any proposal for any reason. The VHS also may fund more than one grant in a given year, no grants, or as many as it deems satisfactory.
Suggested, but not required:
The grant proposal should use all current scientific standards and nomenclature. However, consider that some judges of the Executive Committee are not academics, so the applicant is encouraged to write for a general audience. Applicants are also encouraged to hyperlink to websites within the document of any obscure terms or concepts that may further the understanding of the proposal. If a cited paper is critical to the understanding of the methodology of the experiment, the applicant should consider submitting an electronic version of the paper with the proposal.
Examples of uses of a grant award include the purchase of materials for:
- scientific research at any education level.
- quasi-scientific research for demonstration purposes at the high school level.
- quality exhibit labels and information signs at nature centers and parks.
- tangible conservation activities (e.g. a safe turtle road crossing).
Those interested in pursuing a grant award for items two, three, and four, should contact the VHS President (email@example.com) for project-specific submission requirements.
Criteria for judging proposals
The following criteria will be considered when the VHS Executive Committee is judging grant proposals:
- The importance of the study to understanding herpetology in Virginia.
- The conservation status of the species under study.
- The potential for public / student involvement and / or education.
- The likelihood of the recipient being able to complete the project and fulfill the requirements of the grant award (see below).
Eligibility for Submission
- Grants are open to all members, including high school / college students, teachers and professors and any non-affiliated VHS member.
- Membership Dues: If the Primary Investigator is not a member of the VHS, the Primary Investigator must become a member at the time of the application submission and must maintain membership through the grant fulfillment of publishing or presenting (see Requirements for Grant Award Fulfillment ).
Requirements for Submission
- A membership of the VHS.
- A description of the proposed research.
- Timeline of the project, including the expected completion.
- A budget showing the distribution of the grant money between equipment and supplies.
- A CV (or resume) of the Primary Investigator. (Preferably in the same file as the proposal.)
- Submissions are required to be electronic and in a Microsoft Word compatible format. This will enable the judges to make their own markups within the document, which will facilitate the judging. Applicants are welcome to submit the proposal in a format of their choosing in addition to the MS Word format.
Requirements for Grant Award Fulfillment
All or portions of the research must be published in the VHS' own peer-reviewed journal Catesbeiana -OR- presented as a poster or oral presentation at a VHS fall meeting. A smaller subset of data from the project is eligible for publication. If the final product is better suited for another journal, a waiver may be granted by the journal editor. If an article is published in another journal that resulted from the receipt of a VHS grant award, the Principle Investigator must:
- provide the VHS with a reprint of the manuscript for inclusion in the VHS archives.
- provide recognition to the VHS in the acknowledgments.
- presented as a poster or oral presentation at a VHS fall meeting (and is not eligible for a presentation student award).
The VHS must be notified within two years of the grant award of the intent to publish or present in order to fulfill the grant requirements. The primary investigator will be required to return the full amount of the grant awarded if:
- a membership with the VHS is not maintained from the time the grant is awarded to the time the grant is fulfilled.
- the results of the research are not published in Catesbeiana or presented at a VHS Fall Meeting within three years of grant fulfillment (see above).
- there are significant deviations from the methods outlined in the proposal, or the funds are not used for their general proposed purpose.
- abuse of the grant award, or illegal or unethical activities associated with the research.