Biodiversity Graduate Student Research Enhancement Grants

Laramie, WY

Position Title: Biodiversity Graduate Student Research Enhancement Grants

Organization: University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute 

Location: Laramie, WY

Position Overview: The Biodiversity Institute seeks proposals that enhance biodiversity research efforts of UW graduate students, because graduate students are a major engine of biodiversity research. Successful conservation of biological diversity requires both basic and applied research to better inform current and future policy decisions. The Biodiversity Institute (BI) is providing grants to enhance or expand ongoing graduate student research at the University of Wyoming that addresses how biodiversity is generated, maintained, or restored and impacts ecosystem services.

All of the funds that will be distributed are available because of the generous contributions of donors. Donors choose to give to the BI because of the quality of the research we support, and the high-quality communication of that research. As the BI strives to increase the amount of funding available to students in the future from donors in Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain region, and around the world, it is requiredT that proposals communicate the value of the research to the public. Awardees will be required to partner with the BI in at least one outreach event and to attend training in science communication. (A menu of BI outreach options is available on the website.) Proposed science communication is not limited to activities with the BI, but at least one must be included, and a description of outreach activities must be included in the proposal.

There are multiple grant options. Please read through the options very carefully before submitting your application. Grants range from large to small, and most are limited by geography or purpose. Requests for more than one award will be accepted, but must be budgeted separately.

Proposal Requirements:

  • Enhance and expand ongoing biodiversity research by graduate students;
  • Be clearly articulated and compelling by appropriately framing biodiversity research questions or hypotheses and include a brief, accessible description of methods;
  • Provide a mechanism to 1) communicate the findings in a way that connects the research across the state of Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region, and especially communities beyond Laramie, as well as to local residents if the research is performed in another region, and 2) evaluate effectiveness of the communication.


  • Grants are available to any masters or doctoral student in good standing at the University of Wyoming at the time the award is made.
  • Graduate students must continue to be enrolled, with good standing, at the University of Wyoming throughout the duration of their proposal timeline (which cannot extend beyond June 30, 2023).
  • Research must have ongoing support in the form of existing resources to the student or advisor, access to appropriate equipment, and already approved field or other permits.

Grants Available:

  1. Biodiversity Institute Graduate Student Excellence Fellowship.
    $30,000 maximum; one will be given. The BI Excellence Fund supports UW graduate students whose research meets the criteria mentioned above, without geographic restrictions.

  2. Biodiversity Institute Graduate Student Excellence Grant.
    $5000 maximum, several will be given. See description above.

  3. Richard Baldes Native American Excellence Fund in Biodiversity Conservation Fellowship.
    $35,000 maximum; only one award will be given. This fund’s namesake is a former project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Wind River Indian Reservation, who spent his career fighting for both hunting regulations to conserve game herds, and water laws to protect fisheries. Native American students who are doing biodiversity research relevant to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho will be prioritized for this funding. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a relationship and approval to do the research with either tribe.

  4. The Richard Baldes Native American Excellence Fund in Biodiversity Conservation Grant.
    $5000 maximum; multiple awards will be given. See description of the grant above.

  5. Don and Judy Legerski UW Teton Graduate Scholars in Biodiversity Fellowship.
    $2000 maximum; two will be awarded. Applicants for this award must conduct research addressing biodiversity conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and be associated with the mission of the UW NPS Research Station ( us) through promoting understanding of Wyoming’s wonders and their connection to the world.

  6. The Hardy Family Forest Disturbance Community Science Excellence Fund.
    $2000 maximum; one will be awarded. Applicants for this award must be engaging community scientists in any aspect of forest recovery from disturbance.

  7. Wyoming Ecosystems K-12 Education Fund.
    $2000 maximum supplement; one will be awarded. The successful applicant will work with K-12 educators and an education graduate student to develop lesson plans that connect Wyoming ecosystems with science standards.

Application Deadline: Applications must be received by 5:00 pm MST April 25. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged by email. Decisions will be made and communicated by May 27, with funds available June 1.

Proposal Requirements:

Interested students should plan to attend one of the two informational sessions. Science communication requirements of the RFP will be explained, followed by a question and answer session. Proposals that do not meet the science communication requirements will not be considered for funding. The informational meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, 4 pm and Tuesday April 5, 10 am, both via Zoom. Email for the link. Required science communication training for awardees is scheduled for September 7 & 8, 6 – 8 pm.

The proposal must follow the format provided below

  • Submit as a single pdf file to
  • Proposals are limited to four pages of text including the budget justification and must use
  • the format described below.
  • A letter of recommendation from the student’s graduate advisor indicating that a) the
  • student is in good standing, and b) the faculty member is willing and able to provide guidance as well as any resources required to fulfill the project. Proposals will not be evaluated on the total value of the available resources but rather how the requested support from the proposal enhances the graduate student research. The letter must come directly from the advisor and should be submitted to This letter does not count toward the proposal page limit.

Proposal format:

  • Proposal title
  • Graduate student name, affiliation, email address, and phone number
  • Name and email address of applicant’s graduate advisor
  • Requested amount, start and end dates
  • Which grant opportunity(s) are to be considered.
  • Objective of the project
  • Background and rationale
  • Questions or hypotheses
  • Methods, timeline and deliverables
  • Plan for communicating biodiversity research: Briefly indicate a plan for how the research outcomes will be communicated in a way that connects the research to the concerns and interests of the public, especially in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region even if the research occurs outside of this geographic area. The plan should include components that can be deployed virtually. The plan should also include a mechanism to evaluate effectiveness of the communication.
  • Itemized budget, including any leveraged support. Budget may include any of the following singly or in combination: 1) summer, fall, or spring stipends at the current rate of the home department, 2) supplies and travel to conduct research up to $5,000, 2) travel to support conference participation (i.e., not just attendance) up to $1,500, 3) publication costs up to $2,000, and 4) tuition remission up to the cost of a full academic year. A separate itemized budget is required for each grant opportunity being applied for.
  • Images that convey the project are encouraged and should be included in the four pages of the proposal. External links are allowed for portfolios of work.
  • References should be appropriately cited. The reference section is not included in the page limits.