The Mary R. Dawson Predoctoral Fellowship Grant

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

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Grant amount: US $3,000

Anticipated deadline: May 9, 2020 8:59pm PDT

Applicant type: PhD Student

Funding uses: Conference, Fellowship

Membership: Applicants must be a member of this organization to apply. Become a member.

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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About this funder:



Dr. Mary Dawson is an Honorary Member of SVP (since 1999 and a member of SVP since 1954) and is Curator Emeritus of Vertebrate Paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As of the year 2011, Dawson has celebrated more than 45 years at the Museum, for 30 years of which she was curator. As Head of the section, Dr. Dawson was responsible for the fourth largest vertebrate fossil collection in North America.

Dawson’s research focus is on fossil mammals, concentrating on early Tertiary faunas and the evolution of rodents and rabbits. Her graduate thesis was groundbreaking: a comprehensive study of North American rabbits dating from 45 million to 1 million years ago, showing not just their relationships to predators or prey, but subtle changes within their own species that led to the evolution of today's jackrabbits and cottontails. Notable recent species which Dawson has described include Laonastes, a Southeast Asian mammal which she determined to be a living fossil, and Puijila, a missing link in the origin of seals, sea lions and walruses.

The Mary R. Dawson Predoctoral Fellowship Grant recognizes and supports graduate student research excellence. This award recognizes research excellence and promote a successful career in Vertebrate Paleontology by supporting the recipient’sdissertation research travel, data collection and analyses.

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


  • The applicant must be a PhD candidate (i.e., completed qualifying exam or equivalent) at time of application. 

You must be a member of this organization to apply for this award - become a member. Current membership in SVP is required. You will not be able to apply for the award unless your membership is current in the system.