ACA: Grants in Biodiversity

Alberta Conservation Association (ACA)

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Anticipated deadline: Nov 29, 2020 3:00pm PST

Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Fields of work: Botany Environmental Conservation Ecology Mycology Zoology

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Research, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Overview:

The ACA Grants in Biodiversity program for graduate students is funded by the Alberta Conservation Association. With the announcement of the 2019 Competition recipients, the 25 year old ACA Grants in Biodiversity has now awarded 5.4 million dollars to 529 graduate student researchers. The research supported by the ACA Grants in Biodiversity ultimately aims to conserve, protect and enhance Alberta's fish, wildlife and natural habitats.

Background

Goals

This grants program is intended to:

  • increase knowledge of Alberta’s heritage of living resources, specifically the flora, fauna, and habitat.
  • promote the development of highly qualified, Alberta-based conservation biologists, and
  • support research and study in Alberta by graduate students.

The Grants in Biodiversity program supports research in biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, and related social science approaches that relate to flora, fauna and habitat in Alberta; all kinds of organisms are covered.

Support for the Program

The Alberta Conservation Association provides up to $225,000 annually for support of graduate student research in Alberta in the areas of biodiversity, conservation biology, and ecology. Up to $20,000 is provided recipients, that money to be spent over 2 years. However, partial awards are more common and excessive requests for moderate proposals will jeopardize funding of the grant at all.

Progress of the Program

The Program is now in its third decade. To date, the ACA Grants in Biodiversity has awarded over 5 million research dollars to over 500 graduate students from universities aroung the world. (Although graduate students do not have to attend universities in Alberta, their thesis research must be Alberta-based). Most recipients go on to careers in environmental and conservation biology. Many recipients remain in Alberta after completing their degree programs.

Research Mandate

The Grants in Biodiversity program supports research in biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, and related social science approaches that relate to flora, fauna and habitat in Alberta; all kinds of organisms are covered. Applications should focus on enhancing the understanding of Alberta's flora, fauna and habitat at any biological level, but research should be directly anchored in the real world. For example, an experimental laboratory study dealing with beetle chromosomes must have a direct linkage to that organism in nature. Impact-type studies, such as those involving human-induced environmental change and social science will be considered, but such manipulations must be process oriented and related to flora, fauna and habitat change.

Geographic Area of Focus:

Alberta ONLY

Value:

Typical awards average about $10,000, with the maximum award being $20,000. Efficiency in budgeting is viewed favourably by reviewers and adjudicators, and project approvals are evolving towards a higher number of lower budget awards.

Funding Period:

Grants are a one-time payment and are awarded for 2-year periods, commencing April 1 of the granting year. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by April 1 of the granting year. On expiry, any unspent funds are recalled by the Grant Program.

Specific Funding Conditions:

Funds may be used to pay direct costs of research such as employment of student assistants, travel support in Alberta, rental of equipment, field subsistence, purchase of supplies and incidentals, and other research-related expenses for the student engaged in the research. Funds cannot be used for salary for the grantee, or to purchase a single piece of equipment exceeding the value outlined in the Application Instructions.

Capital Equipment Purchases are expected to become property of the ACA at the end of the student's graduate program.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible applicants: 
    • Graduate students doing work in Alberta. Applicants must be associated with a university as a graduate student enrolled in a graduate program.
    • Applications from students not yet in a graduate program will be considered with documentation from their prospective supervisor.
  • The criteria for eligibility to apply is as follows:
    • The applicant must be a graduate student associated with a university.
    • The applicant can come from any university in the world as long as the proposed research is being done in Alberta.
    • Applicants may only apply for support for only one project per year.
    • Graduate students are not eligible for more than one award for each degree-granting program.
    • Graduate students must provide proof of acceptance in a graduate program including date of entry (see Application Instructions for acceptable proof).
    • Applications from students not yet in a graduate program will be considered, but must be accompanied by a letter from the prospective graduate supervisor verifying that the research proposed is part of the proposed thesis research and that the applicant is in the process of being accepted. Proof of acceptance in a graduate program must be provided by the date outlined on the Deadlines page. If that program is to begin September 1 of the award year, research prior to that date will not be supported.
    • For projects that span multiple provinces, the ACA Grants in Biodiversity will only fund the proportion of the study that occurs in Alberta; the application should include the whole budget and provide a sub-estimate of the proportion that is Alberta based.
    • Although field studies have been more successful in obtaining ACA Grants in Biodiversity, genetics, social science, and lab studies have also been funded.
    • The student must write the application, but supervisors are encouraged to advise and review the application before submission.

Preferences:

  • Priority will be given to M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in the first 2 and 3 years of their program, respectively.

Ineligibility:

  • The ACA Grants in Biodiversity will not support:
    • Postdoctoral fellows. These applicants should instead look at the ACA Research Grants Program.
    • MSc research beyond the third year of a graduate program.
    • PhD beyond the fourth year of a graduate program.
    • Supervisor-written proposals.
  • The ACA Grants in Biodiversity will not pay overhead.

This page was last reviewed November 30, 2019 and last updated November 30, 2019