2020 Grant Announcement

General Information

The Montana Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce the 2020 Student Research Grant Program, which is designed to award research grants to undergraduate and graduate students in the State of Montana. This year there will be two categories of competitive grants with total funding of $7,500. The first category is for three grants up to $1,500.00 per award, open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The second category ($3,000 total) is open to undergraduate students only, with award amounts up to $750.00 per award. Students may apply to either category, but not to both.

These competitive grants are intended to encourage and assist students with conducting scientific research projects at any of the universities, 4-year colleges, or Tribal colleges in the State of Montana. Undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines are welcome to submit a research proposal application to this program. Disciplines of students that have been funded in the past include: biology (all sub-disciplines), biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental and climate sciences, geology, physic, mathematics and the social sciences; as well as, several interdisciplinary fields.

Awards will be announced at or shortly after the Annual Meeting (April 4, 2020). Awards will be disbursed by the end of April or early May for research during the summer and the next academic year. Students who receive funding are expected to present an oral presentation of the results of their research at the 2020 MAS Annual Meeting.

It is the intent of the MAS Student Research Grant Program to disperse these grants to as many institutions and applicants as possible. Furthermore, because grants are funded in order of ranking, and because the MAS intends to disperse as much money from its grants pool as possible, grants requesting smaller dollar amounts may have a better chance of being funded than larger grants. Awards will be made to the grants office or office of sponsored programs for disbursement of funds through the normal channels for extramural funding at each institution. No indirect costs (IDC) will be paid as part of this program.


All undergraduate and graduate students involved in scientific research at the institutions listed in the previous section are eligible. Students need not be members of MAS.

Application Instructions, Process and Deadlines

Instructions for submitting an application will be posted on the MAS website page: Link to InstructionsThe application must include a letter of recommendation from a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor need not be a member of MAS at the time of application; however, if the grant is awarded, it is expected that the faculty member will join the Montana Academy of Sciences. The deadline for application is March 15, 2020. No late submissions will be accepted. Apply online

We expect that the proposal WILL BE WRITTEN PRIMARILY BY THE STUDENT, with guidance, consultation, and review by the faculty sponsor.

Please prepare the following information, for your online application:

• Relevant background information for your proposal.

• Clearly articulated research objectives, hypothesis, and methodology.

• A brief statement describing the potential significance of your research, and how it connects to larger questions in your field.

• A detailed budget showing exactly how you plan to use this grant to further your research.

Faculty sponsors must submit a letter of support (included with the proposal submission). This letter should address the student’s ability to conduct the research as well as the institution’s ability to support the research (space in a lab, consumables or other funding provided by the institution, etc.). Further, the letter should acknowledge that the applicants understand that successful grantees will be expected to present results from the project at the Annual Meeting of the MAS, which is held each April at Montana Tech in Butte, the following year. Faculty mentors who sponsor MAS funded research that is not presented will be ineligible to sponsor further projects for a period of three years (grant cycles).

Receipt of the completed application will be confirmed by email from a member of the MAS Student Research Grants Program Committee.

Applications will be reviewed by qualified faculty in the appropriate disciplines. Review and evaluation criteria for proposals will include: scientific merit; understandable approach and assessment; feasibility (can work be performed in time-frame) and implications (what is impact of work); and clarity of writing (format and style). Each applicant whose grant proposal is reviewed will receive their scores, ranking relative to the funding priority cut-off, and summaries of reviewers from the Chair of the MAS Student Research Grants Program Committee.

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