American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

Applications for the 2022 Student Research Awards

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Applications are due February 1

The ASN Student Research Awards support research by student members that advances the goals of the society: the conceptual unification of ecology, evolution, or behavior. Each award consists of a $2,000 check to the candidate. An applicant must must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, must have passed to candidacy in a Ph.D. program or equivalent, and must be at least one year from completing the Ph.D at the time of the award. Projects in all types of research (i.e., laboratory, field, theory) are encouraged. A total of ten proposals will receive awards. Proposals will be judged on originality, strength, and significance of the questions being addressed, prospects for significant results, and the match between the proposed research and the ASN mission. If not already a member of the ASN (student membership is international and US$20), awardees are expected to join ASN at the time of the award.

Applications include four elements: 1) A two-page proposal describing the research project for which support is requested; 2) A budget with justification (one page); 3) a short curriculum vitae (two pages); 4) a statement from the Ph.D. supervisor that verifies that the applicant meets the three eligibility requirements listed above (e.g. provides the date when the student passed their qualifying/candidacy exam), and confirms the supervisor’s support for the proposed project (max. one page). This is not a reference letter regarding the applicant's personal merits, so should be given to the applicant to attach directly to their application.

Detailed Instructions:

  1. The two-page proposal should describe a specific research project for which support is requested.  While some background and context is appropriate, the proposal should not be a general overview of the applicant’s complete dissertation.  The proposal should have a title at the top of the first page.  The proposal should be single-spaced, have 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins all around, and be written in a 12-point standard font on letter-sized paper (e.g., 8.5 × 11 inch).  A list of references should follow but is not included in the 2-page limit.
  2. The budget and budget justification should clearly support the specific proposed project. If total costs of the project exceed $2000, some indication of how the applicant intends to find support for remaining costs should be given.
  3. The CV should meet the same formatting requirements as the project description.
  4. All materials should be compiled into one PDF.  The PDF filename should be in the format Lastname_Firstname_SRA (example: Hartt_Lucie_SRA.pdf).
  5. Send your application via e-mail to Alice Winn (  with “ASN Student Research Award [last name]” in the subject line.
  6. Deadline for submission of all materials is February 1.


Applications will be reviewed by a committee of six persons: three faculty-level researchers and three graduate students. Senior-level appointments are made by the President-Elect. Members each serve for three years; the longest-serving committee member serves as chair in her/his final year on the committee. Graduate student appointments are made from the Graduate Council, in consultation with the President-Elect.

Examples of past winning proposals:

As part of ASN's commitment to mentor the next generation of biologists, we are providing some examples of past proposals that have won the SRA. Note that these proposals are diverse in format, and no proposal is perfect! But all winning proposals, including these examples, clearly articulate an interesting or important need in ecology or evolution, and clearly demonstrate how their proposed work will address that need. To further help guide potential applicants, our awards committee has annotated some of these proposals to highlight what makes each proposal great. Proposals are posted with permission of their student authors (thank you!).