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Student Research Awards Program


The University of Kansas Field Station, a unit of the Kansas Biological Survey, annually offers funded research awards to encourage undergraduate and graduate student research at our field station. Students from both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses are eligible for these awards and encouraged to apply.

What is the University of Kansas Field Station? The KU Field Station is an area dedicated to scholarly research, environmental education and science-based stewardship of natural resources. It consists of 1,486 hectares (3,673 acres) including diverse habitats—prairies, forests, managed fields, wetlands, ponds, reservoirs—and specialized research facilities (e.g., laboratory buildings, greenhouse, gardens, experimental ponds, environmental monitoring sites). Many of our terrestrial and aquatic habitats are open to manipulative studies. KU Field Station data resources are offered to support research/scholarly activity, and field staff members are available to facilitate research or project implementation. All sites are 20-60 minutes' drive from Lawrence, Kansas. See biosurvey.ku.edu/field-station for details.

Awards offered for 2020

  • Nason-KU Field Station Student Awards (several $300-$400 awards): These awards are for KU undergraduate and graduate students who will conduct some portion of their field-based research at the KU Field Station in the award year.
  • W. Dean Kettle Conservation Award (one $600 award): This award is for a meritorious KU undergraduate or graduate student who will conduct research in conservation biology/restoration ecology at the KU Field Station in the award year.
  • Mari F. Pesek Graduate Research Award (one $1,000 award): This award is for a meritorious KU graduate student who will conduct some portion of their field-based research at the KU Field Station in the award year.

Who can apply? Undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Kansas, Lawrence or Edwards campuses.

What is the application procedure? The application procedure is identical for all awards (please note that there is no need to apply for a specific award; the selection committee will consider the applicant for all awards for which they qualify). For 2020, please submit the following by 5:00 p.m. on April 6, 2020:

  • A one- to two-page summary of the proposed research that includes a project title and a brief description of the objectives, methods, expected products and significance of the proposed work.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of reference/support from your graduate advisor, or, for undergraduate students, a KU faculty advisor.

Funds may be used for travel, supplies, equipment or personal expenses related to the research. Previous grant recipients may apply, but preference may be given to those who have not received funding in the past. Application materials should be submitted to the Kansas Biological Survey via our webform.

We will notify all applicants of funding decisions in mid-April. Awardees will receive a lump sum amount in July 2020.

Awardees must agree to follow guidelines for conducting research at the KU Field Station:
1) submit a one-page report of research findings, and;
2) present the results of their work in one of the Biological Survey’s Ecology Seminars during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Research opportunities at the KU Field Station: We encourage a diversity of research projects at the KU Field Station, and projects may involve an array of fields, including biology, ecology, genetics, geology, hydrology, soils, atmospheric science, environmental history, engineering or other disciplines. We advise interested individuals to contact the KU Field Station for more details about the site, facilities and possible research opportunities (email: Bryan L. Foster, bfoster@ku.edu, or Sheena Parsons, sheenap@ku.edu).

If you have questions about the awards application, please contact Bryan Foster, director of the KU Field Station, bfoster@ku.edu.

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