Secondary and Post-Secondary Educator Grant

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of the National Speleological Society, Inc. (NSS) has established a program of small grants to support cave-related research by students and their educators. Many karst scientists and scholars who have made significant contributions started as young cavers and developed a passion for cave science. Today's young and curious cavers/scientists are the people who will be future leaders in the field of cave and karst studies.

The Secondary and Post-Secondary Educator Grant is established for the purpose of investing the future of karst science by supporting projects initiated by and/or overseen by educators of secondary students and post secondary undergraduates. Proposals submitted for consideration will be reviewed by the Research Advisory Committee with input from the Education Committee.

The purpose of this grant is to make an investment in the future of cave and karst science by supporting outstanding research proposals submitted by educators of secondary and post-secondary undergraduate students. The program is funded by money approved in the yearly RAC operating budget

To Apply

Call For Proposals - A call for proposals is published annually in the October and November issues of the NSS News and the summer or fall issue of the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, although the advertising schedule is at the discretion of the program administrator.

Proposal Contents - Proposals must include: (1) a narrative of up to four double-spaced pages describing the motivation for the study and presenting a clear statement of the objectives and methodology to be used (citing pertinent literature as appropriate); (2) a brief discussion that includes the role of students in the project and a list of planned products or outcomes:; (3) a detailed budget; (4) a brief statement of up to 250 words on the experience and interests of the applicant; and (5) one or more letters of recommendation from individuals who are capable of evaluating the applicant.

More Information

Eligibility: Educators in U.S. secondary schools and educators that instruct undergraduates in U.S. post-secondary institutions. Complete proposals must be submitted by the due date to be considered for grants.

Grant Amounts: Each year, ten percent of the amount available from the Ralph W. Stone Research Fund, as defined in Board Act #19-138, will be made available for these grants based on an annual review of research proposals by a panel of karst scientists in a manner similar to that of the NSS Small Grant program. More than one grant may be offered each fiscal year.

Awards Limit: There is a lifetime limit of two grants per applicant, which may be either for separate projects, or continuation of a previously-funded project, if justified by an additional proposal and progress report.

Project Scope: The scope of projects considered for funding is conceptually similar to that of the Ralph W. Stone Award and Small Grant Program, generally to include the study of cave and karst-related phenomena from any scholarly perspective. Projects, however, must involve students in central roles at each stage – the primary role of the educator should be in the form of coordination and guidance. Acceptance of proposals for review with respect to content area is at the discretion of the program administrator, and the appropriateness of projects may also form a basis for the opinions of reviewers.

Review Cycle: There is an annual proposal review cycle, the first deadline of which is 01 February 1999. Proposals are reviewed by a panel of at least three scientists or others familiar with the subjects, with each reviewer evaluating all proposals submitted. Input from the NSS Education Committee will be sought during the review process. Awards are made by 15 April of each year with the expectation that funds will be expended on programs during that NSS Fiscal Year.

Publicity: Print or electronic publicity of the program shall be encouraged in a variety of outlets, including, but not limited to, the NSS News, the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, the Society's web page, or other NSS outlets.