In teams of two/three – you will be responsible for submitting a grant proposal to fund your proposed herpetological research.  This is an exercise to introduce you to the all important activity of securing $$$ for research purposes in the area of herpetology. 

§        You and your partner(s) (Co-PI) must come up with an original research project idea that builds on previous work conducted in the field of herpetology.  The research should focus on reptiles and/or amphibians and can be on a particular species, groups of species, or aspect (morphology, physiologyl, evolution, biogeography, conservation, etc.). You will need to come up with your own hypothesis and then design experiments that will successfully test this hypothesis.  You will need to refer to journal articles to aid you in constructing your hypothesis and for background information. You should also discuss your ideas with me prior to submission.

§        To find articles online go to:  GOOGLE SCHOLAR, BIOONE, and SCIENCEDIRECT and either search for a particular topic of interest or browse the journals for research conducted on reptiles and amphibians   

o       Useful journals in BIOONE: Journal of Herpetology, Herptelogica, Copiea, Evolution, Northwester Naturalist, Southwestern Naturalist

o       Useful journals in SCIENCEDIRECT: Animal Behavior, Aquatic Toxicology, Biological Conservation, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics

o       You can also search BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, but we might not have access to those articles…


Be sure to follow the proposal guidelines, as any discrepancies can automatically disqualify you from receiving funding – (translation: it will affect your grade!).


Grant Proposal Guidelines:


I.                   Format of the Proposal:

Proposals must have 1 inch margins at the top, bottom and on each side. The type size must be clear and readily legible, and conform to the following three requirements: 1) the height of the letters must not be smaller than 10 point or larger than 14 point.  2) While line spacing (single-spaced, double-spaced, etc.) is at the discretion of the proposer, the proposal cannot exceed 8 pages, cover sheet and references not included.

II.                 Sections of the Proposal:

A.   Cover Sheet

B.   Project Summary

C.   Project Description

D.   References Cited

E.   Budget

F.   Curriculum vitae's (Resumes for each co-PI)

A.   Cover Sheet (see form)

B.  Project Summary

The proposal must contain a summary of the proposed activity suitable for publication, not more than one page in length. It should not be an abstract of the proposal, but rather a self-contained description of the activity that would result if the proposal were funded. The summary should be written in the third person and include a statement of objectives, methods to be employed and the potential impact of the project on advancing knowledge, science and education, and/or human resource development. It should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields and, insofar as possible, understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader.

C.  Project Description

The main body of the proposal should be a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and should include:

i.                    Objectives

ii.                  Background info and general plan and timeline

iii.                Methods – with adequate description of procedures

iv.               for the period of the proposed work and expected significance.

v.                 Broader impacts of the proposed activity, addressing the following:  how the project will advance discovery and understanding.  Discuss any ways in which the proposed activity will   1). broaden the participation of underrepresented groups; 2). how the project will enhance the research and/or education, and 3). identify potential benefits of the proposed activity to society at large.

D.    References Cited

Reference information is required. Please use the Name, Year method in the body of the text -For information on how to properly cite your proposal, see Citation Guide.  Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article title, book or journal title, volume number, page numbers, year of publication, and website address if available electronically.

E.   Budget

i.                    Co-PI salaries (for summer term only)*

ii.                  Research assistant wages

iii.                Indirect costs

iv.               Equipment**

v.                 Travel

i. You must include any salaries – i.e. those for yourselves as the PI & Co-PI and for any research assistants you might need.  Summer PI salary is based on an average assistant professor salary = $6,000/month.

ii.  RA wages = The rate is $10/hour for assistants.

iii. Indirect costs – Administrative costs - %15 of the subtotal for your wages & equipment.

iv.  You must include an itemized budget of equipment/supplies needed. You must estimate all the materials and equipment you will need to conduct the research (i.e. traps, radio telemetry equipment, PCR machine, etc.). You can use the web to obtain accurate budget information for equipment costs.  There are several laboratory supply companies online (Fisher Scientific, VWR, Forestry Suppliers, Carolina Biological Supply) which you can use. 

v. If your research includes a field component (i.e. collecting frogs in Mendocino National Forest ) you also must include travel costs (airfare – expedia, gas = $.75/mi) and lodging expenses.  Food is not included since as the administration puts it – you would have to eat on your own anyway…



F.   Curriculum Vitaes (Resumes) Each co-PI must submit a resume which should include the following information: School Address, Education History, Experience, Awards/Honors, Clubs or extracurricular activities.


Proposal Grading Rubric


Sample Proposal from past class