Mathias Graduate Research Grant

Kelly Easterday Deep Canyon
Kelly Easterday collecting date at Deep Canyon


  1. A maximum of $38,000, with up to $3,000 per award, is available for Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants. Studies must be conducted on reserves in the Natural Reserve System. Applicants must be enrolled at a UC campus other than UCSF while conducting their research. In the case of summer research, enrollment during the preceding spring quarter/semester is acceptable.
  2. Joint submissions to multiple funding sources are encouraged and should be so noted in the proposal.
  3. Prior recipients of NRS student research grants are eligible for the 2015-16 competition. Please attach a brief progress report if such funding was received.
  4. Grants will be awarded on the basis of:
    • the merits of the proposed research; and
    • the feasibility of completing research as stated in the application
Application Procedure
  1. Applicants must use the online application system to get the application and instructions. The online system may also be used to monitor the status of an application during the review process. The application system is activated for the 2015-16 grant cycle. The deadline for submitting the application is 8:00 AM on October 26, 2015.
  2. Applications should be accompanied by:
    • a letter from the supervising faculty member indicating his/her support of the proposed research, its merits for funding by the NRS, and the ability of the student(s) to conduct the research and meet established deadlines;
    • a letter from the faculty or resident reserve manager (as appropriate) authorizing use of the pertinent reserve for the proposed research; and
    • a copy of current curriculum vita for the student applicant(s) (two pages maximum).
  3. Campus NRS advisory committees will evaluate and forward to the NRS Director, applications they consider to be of particular excellence by mid-November.
  4. The NRS Director, in consultation with a Universitywide selection committee, will make final awards in mid-December.
  5. Successful applicants must submit copies of appropriate collecting permits, animal care committee approvals and campus accounting information before awards will be disbursed. Award funds may be carried forward past
    June 30, 2015 upon approval of the NRS Director.
  6. Awardees must submit a progress report to the NRS Director, with copies to the campus coordinator and reserve manager, by June 30, 2016. Applicants will be disqualified from future NRS grant programs if they do not comply with this requirement.
Systemwide Evaluation Criteria

The Systemwide Evaluation Committee shall use the following criteria to evaluate Mathias proposals:

Primary Criteria
  1. Research Quality (10 pts). Evaluation of research quality will be based on the importance of the problem, originality, statement of research questions or hypothesis, sampling design and analysis, preliminary data supporting the feasibility of the proposed research, and likelihood of success.
  2. Reserve dependence (5 pts). Research must take place on NRS reserve(s), or also the areas or regions in which the reserve(s) is (are) located, and these may be used more than the reserve(s) proper. Higher scores will be assigned for research that takes advantage of special reserve conditions, such as history of related research, occurrence of unique/ special conditions or resources, need for protection of experimental treatments, and so forth.

Primary proposal score will be the sum of criteria (1) and (2).

Additional considerations

The following criteria will not be assigned numerical scores, but will be taken into consideration when comparing similarly ranked proposals.

  1. Stage of student’s career. Preference will be given to students early in their career.
  2. Other funding. Preference will be given to projects lacking other support.
  3. Relationship to dissertation research. Preference will be given to proposals for research that is directly related to the student’s masters or dissertation research.
  4. Underrepresented disciplines. Preference will be given to disciplines that do not normally take advantage of NRS sites and resources.
  5. Reserve research priorities. Preference will be given to research that directly addresses an area that has clearly been identified as a research priority for an NRS site.

At the systemwide level, an attempt will be made to balance funding among campuses and reserve sites, consistent with the goal of supporting the highest quality research proposals.