Developing Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) egg by Noah HammTree Swallow copyright Marie Read



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Student Grants


This grant program supports independent, student-motivated research on Tachycineta swallow biology. These funds can not be used to pay salaries or educational costs like tuition or school fees. In some cases, however, the grants can cover travel, food, and lodging needs that are directly necessary for the proposed research.

For the purposes of this grant program, we define “student” broadly to include any pre-PhD individuals (current students working toward a PhD are fully eligible) who are seeking to advance their scientific training and professional careers via their proposed independent research on swallows.

US citizenship is not required; in fact, we want to make sure that these grants support work across the entire Tachycineta range, from the arctic to Tierra del Fuego.


There are no deadlines for these awards, which are made on a rolling basis. Awards may be made in any amount, but the funding must be used in direct support of Tachycineta-related, student-motivated research projects. You must apply three or more months in advance of the proposed research period to allow time for proposal review and evaluation. Awards made to individuals outside the United States may require additional (and sometimes substantial) time for arranging the transfer of funds.


There are no hard limits on award amounts, but we anticipate that most awards will be for $500-$2000. It is important to justify your funding request by including a detailed budget.


If you are granted an award, you must turn in a final report on your project at the end of the award period. This is a very serious requirement, because we must be able to formally document that these funds are being used solely for their intended purpose, which is the support of student research projects.

Award criteria

Proposals will be selected for funding based on their: (1) scientific merit; (2) relevance to Golondrinas objectives, considered broadly; (3) potential to contribute to the training of the student applicant; and (4) appropriateness of budget and its justification. The selection committee is comprised of PhD-level scientists working on Golondrinas projects.


Proposals may be written in English or Spanish. Only the proposal abstract (see below) must include an English translation.

Application Instructions

Please combine all proposal materials into a single file, either MS Word or PDF format. Include your last name in the file name (i.e. GONZALEZproposal.doc). Email the file to Irby Lovette and Lori Sonken. If you have logistical difficulties with getting your proposal into these formats, or in sending it to us, please contact Lori for assistance.

Each proposal should include the cover sheet, plus three additional components:

  1. Curriculum Vitae - Attach a current Curriculum Vitae (a document similar to—but not exactly like—a resume; we ask for this in part because developing a CV is a good experience for a young scientist. If you have never done this before, check out the example CVs).

  2. Research Plan - Describe the research you plan to do in 1 to 3 single-spaced pages. Try to be thorough in describing why the research is interesting, what you will do, where you will do it, how you will use the information, and who is available to assist and/or mentor you.
    Important: the research plan document should begin with a two- to three-sentence summary or abstract. This summary is the only part of the proposal that must be written in English; if translation to English is difficult for you, we can help: email Lori Sonken.

  3. Budget - Attach a very explicit, detailed, and complete budget for your project. List only the expenses for which you are asking for support via a Golondrinas student grant. You may request any amount, but the award review committee will be looking very carefully at your budget to ensure that the requested funding is necessary, reasonable, and appropriately frugal.