- Applicants must be enrolled as graduate students (PhD or Masters) at a University of California campus.
- Applicants must use at least one of the 39 reserves or additional satellite reserves in the Natural Reserve System for a significant part of their field research project.
- There are no restrictions on department or academic discipline.
- Recipients of a Mathias Grant in an earlier grant cycle remain eligible for the current cycle. Previous Mathias Grant recipients must submit a report describing their progress to date. Failure to submit the report will render the previous recipients ineligible in the current cycle.
- Full application instructions will be made available at the time of the call for proposals.
Applicants must use the online application system to apply.
- Applications will include:
- a project description (three pages maximum);
- the applicant's curriculum vitae (two pages maximum);
- a letter of approval from the reserve manager or faculty manager (as appropriate) of each reserve at which research is proposed;
- a letter of recommendation 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 to conduct the research and meet established deadlines; and
- copies of appropriate collecting permits and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approvals , if applicable.
- Campus committees will evaluate and forward applications they consider to be of particular excellence to the NRS systemwide office.
- A UC-wide selection committee will make final award decisions.
- Successful applicants must submit campus accounting information before awards will be disbursed. Award funds may be carried forward upon approval of the NRS Director.
- Awardees must submit a progress report to the NRS Director, with copies to the campus coordinator and reserve manager, by the date indicated in the award letter. 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:
- 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.
- Reserve dependence (5 pts.) Research must take place on one or more NRS reserve(s), or the areas or regions in which the reserve or reserves are located. Adjacent areas may be used more than the reserve or reserves proper if justified in the proposal. Higher scores will be assigned for research that takes advantage of special reserve conditions, such as building on a history of related research, occurrence of unique/ special conditions or resources, need to protect equipment, etc.
Additional considerations may be applied to differentiate similarly ranked proposals. These include, but are not limited to:
- Stage of student's career. Preference will be given to students early in their career.
- Other funding. Preference will be given to projects lacking other support.
- Relationship to dissertation research. Preference will be given to proposals for research that is directly related to the student's masters or dissertation research.
- Underrepresented disciplines. Preference will be given to disciplines that do not normally take advantage of NRS sites and resources.
- 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.