CNPS Educational Grants Program

California Native Plant Society

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Grant amount: US $300 - US $1,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 31, 2019

Applicant type: Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: California

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The CNPS Educational Grants Program was created in 1983 to award funds to students and researchers studying California’s native flora. The seven funds were created and added to over the years through the generosity of several major donors, some of whom are anonymous, in honor of some of our Society’s most dedicated members and leaders. Five of the awards are endowed funds. The Educational Grants Committee determines which type of grant is appropriate for each proposal funded. 

The Doc Burr Grants: One of the first Educational Grant funds, established in 1983, was the Doc Burr Graduate Research Fund to honor Horace K. "Doc" Burr, a founder and Fellow of the Society and director at large for many years. Doc Burr grants are awarded to graduate students conducting research that promotes conservation of California’s flora and vegetation.

The Karen Callahan Scholarship Award: established in 2014, this award is offered to students engaged in study and/or research relating to native plant conservation, restoration, systematic, or ecology. Such study or research must be directed to plants that grow in Placer or Nevada County habitats. Preference will be given to: a) topics concerning rare plants or communities; b) students from Placer or Nevada Counties; c) students attending Sierra College; California State University, Sacramento; or, UC Davis. We honor Karen Callahan for her extraordinary efforts over the years as a volunteer in the Redbud Chapter of CNPS—especially, her monitoring, protecting, and educating others about rare plants and rare plant communities.

The Hardman Native Plant Research Award: Established in 1994, in honor of Gertrude R. Hardman, who was for years involved with the Botany Club of the Academy of Science in San Francisco, this grant was initiated by Doris Hoover. We offer the Hardman Native Plant Research Award for promising academic and applied botanical research involving California's native plants, especially rare plants. For this grant, we also welcome research leading to elimination of invasive exotic plants from the state's flora.

Natalie Hopkins Award: Established in 2007, this grant honors Natalie Hopkins, lifelong supporter and mentor of women in plant sciences and 2nd president of the Santa Clara Chapter of CNPS. Natalie Hopkins Awards are given to women students and researchers pursuing native plant studies.

The Helen Sharsmith Grants: Established in 1983 by Carl Sharsmith, this award pays memorial tribute to his wife, Helen, the author of The Flora of the Mount Hamilton Range. We award Helen Sharsmith grants to students or non-students involved in research on California's native flora.

The G. Ledyard Stebbins Award: CNPS established the Stebbins Award in 1986 to honor Dr. Stebbins for his many years of dedication to the Society and to students of genetics and evolutionary botany. Each year one Stebbins Award may be given to a graduate student for an outstanding proposal for research in evolutionary botany.

Joan Stewart Educational Grant Award: Joan Stewart has served California Native Plant Society in many capacities for over forty years. A lifelong joy for Joan has been to mentor and to encourage students in their research. As part of her desire to support student research, Joan chaired the Educational Grants Committee from 2005 to 2014. The Joan Stewart Educational Grant Award, established in 2014, is an educational grant to be awarded to the student whose California Native Plant Society (CNPS) grant proposal is deemed by the CNPS Educational Grants Committee to be an excellent research project contributing critical information necessary for the conservation of California native plant species and their habitats.

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


  • Must be a researcher studying California’s native flora.
  • Applicants may be undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, or non-students.
  • Project must be consistent with the mission and vision of the CNPS.