Lewis & Clark Fund for Exploration & Field Research in Astrobiology

American Philosophical Society

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Deadline: Feb 16, 2021

Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Fields of work: Astrobiology

Applicant type: Graduate Student, Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Conference, Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 5 years of receiving their PhD

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About this funder:



In 2006 the American Philosophical Society and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) partnered to promote the continued exploration of the world around us through a program of research grants in support of astrobiological field studies. The NAI-supported Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology has awarded nearly $500,000 to over 100 Lewis and Clark in Astrobiology Field Scholars over the past 13 years.

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth and in the universe. It encompasses research in, among others, the fields of astronomy, chemistry, evolutionary biology, field and population biology, geology, microbiology, molecular biology, oceanography, paleontology, and planetary science.

Astrobiology includes investigations of the geologic and fossil record to understand the conditions of the early Earth when life arose. Its scope also includes research of contemporary locations on Earth that might be similar to early earth and to environments elsewhere in our Solar System (such as on Mars, Europa, and Titan), which may be, or have been in the past, suitable for life. Astrobiology is also about understanding the characteristics of life, which requires investigations into extreme natural environments on Earth and, eventually, elsewhere.

The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology is open to field studies in any area of interest to astrobiology. Applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes members of the NAI, the APS, and the wider science community as needed. Recipients will be designated as Lewis and Clark Field Scholars in Astrobiology.

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


  • Grants will be available to graduate students and post-doctoral and junior scientists who wish to participate in field studies for their theses or for other purposes.
  • Eligibility for applicants with doctorates is limited to those five years or fewer beyond their Ph.D. or equivalent degree, although, rarely, exceptions may be made.
  • A graduate student applicant should ask his or her academic supervisor or field trip leader to write one of the two letters of recommendation, specifying the role of the student in the field trip and the educational contribution of the trip.
  • Budgets should be limited to travel and related expenses, including personal field equipment.
  • The competition is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and foreign nationals formally affiliated with a U.S.-based institution, who may carry out research anywhere in the world.
  • Both members and non-members of NAI are eligible.


  • Applicants from outside of the United States and U.S citizens affiliated with foreign institutions may not apply.
  • Grant funds are not to be used to pay income tax on the award.