Paleontology Grants

Grants are available for research in paleontology

As defined by the National Parks Service, Paleontology is the study of ancient flora and fauna and their fossils, which can be found and excavated today. To become a paleontologist requires dedication to research and study and a passion for the historic record. To help fund the education needed for this career, as well as post-doctoral research and excavations, grants are available.

Professional Societies

Organizations dedicated to the advancement of paleontology and advocates for those working in the field can be funding resources for research projects. The Paleontological Society based in Boulder, Colorado was established in 1908 and has membership in 40 countries. The society awards student research grants to undergraduate and graduate students conducting paleontological research. As of June 2011, the award amount is $800, and eligible applicants must be members of the society. The society also awards the Sepkoski Grant to paleontologists living in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Fifteen $1,000 awards are available for research in paleobiology or paleontology.

Scientific Organizations

Institutions interested in the advancement of science often provide grants for paleontological research. The National Geographic Society is a nonprofit institution dedicated to science and education. The society’s committee for research and exploration awards grants for paleontological research. The grants fund excavations worldwide. Applicants should hold a PhD and be affiliated with an academic institution. As of 2011, most grant awards range from $15,000 to $20,000 to fund on average a maximum of two years of research. Those who are awarded grants are expected to give Nation Geographic the first right of refusal for material to be published on research findings.

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Museums often sponsor research in line with the intuition’s focus and mission, including awarding travel grants so that scholars can study the museum’s collection. The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut funds the Charles Schuchert and Carl O. Dunbar Grants-in-Aid Program for Invertebrate Paleontological Research. As of 2011, two awards of up to $1,000 each are granted to graduate students or young professional paleontologists who wish to conduct research at the museum. The funding can be used for travel and accommodation.

Colleges and Universities

Academic institutions that provide a concentration in paleontology often award scholarships and grants to help graduate and undergraduate students fund their academic studies. The Department of Geological Studies at the University of Missouri offers several awards to paleontology students. For example, the Maurice G. Mehl Memorial Scholarship in Field Geology is bestowed upon a graduate student to help cover field expenses. The Ernest J. Palmer Memorial Scholarship is awarded to both graduate and undergraduate students studying paleontology and systematic botany who need financial assistance to complete their degree.