In 2023, The Wetlands Institute will award the first-ever Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship for Coastal Conservation and Research. This $10,000 fellowship supports the academic development and research of a highly qualified graduate student pursuing a degree within natural resources, environmental science, or coastal and wetlands science. Research projects can include environmental, natural, and wildlife sciences, and should focus on the conservation, health, and ecology of mid-Atlantic tidal salt marshes, barrier beach systems, or the wildlife they support.

Description

In 2023, the Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship Program for Coastal Conservation and Research will be awarded by The Wetlands Institute, a New Jersey federal tax-exempt nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote appreciation, understanding & stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through research, conservation and education, in order to support the academic development and research of a highly qualified graduate student pursuing a degree focused on natural resources, environmental science, or coastal and wetlands science.

Areas of research can include environmental, natural, and wildlife sciences. Projects should be focused on or relevant to the conservation, health, and ecology of mid-Atlantic tidal salt marshes, barrier beach systems, or the avian and herpetofauna populations they support. Projects aligned with and best able to advance The Wetlands Institute’s current research and conservation programs will be selected.

The Wetlands Institute is committed to promoting appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through our programs in research, conservation, and education. This fellowship was established to support academic training and development and to diversify and expand research endeavors focused on the wetlands and coastal ecosystems. The Wetlands Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information or any other status protected by law or regulation. It is our intention that all qualified applicants be given equal opportunity and that selection decisions are based on eligibility criteria and research-related factors.

Application Details

Application & Requirements

  1. Application (application period is now closed)
  2. Resume
  3. Description of research project, to include title, objectives, methods, anticipated outcomes and applications, project timeline, required permit status, and anticipated budget for fellowship funding (2 page limit)
  4. One letter of recommendation from academic advisor or principal investigator; may be submitted directly to research@wetlandsinstitute.org, subject line: Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship Program
  5. Consent form from Principal Investigator, as appropriate for applicants with existing research projects, attached to the Application.

Instructions & Selection Process

Application materials should be submitted to research@wetlandsinstitute.org, subject line: Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship Program, by 11:00 PM on November 19, 2023.

Employees, officers and directors of The Wetlands Institute and their respective family members are not eligible to apply for the fellowship.

A final selection will be made following review and announced on this website.

FAQ

What is amount of fellowship grant and when is it awarded?

$10,000 to be awarded in two payments of $ 5,000 each, the first payment upon signing of the fellowship grant award letter agreement with The Wetlands Institute and the second on or about April 1, 2024, upon receipt of a timely and acceptable progress report from the awardee.

Who can apply?

Any student enrolled full-time in a graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) focused on natural resources, environmental science, or coastal and wetlands science at accredited college or university within the U.S. which is a federal tax-exempt educational organization, are eligible to apply.

Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or have Permanent Resident Alien status, and be residents of the United States at the time of the dispersal of the award. As required of the Institute under federal tax law, the names of all prospective awardees will be checked to make sure they are not on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of Treasury.

You should be aware that The Wetlands Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information or any other status protected by law or regulation.

What is the deadline for submitting an application? When will award decisions be made?

November 19, 2023, 11 PM Eastern, is the application deadline. Award decisions will be made following application review.

What can the fellowship grant funds be used for?

The fellowship grant can only be used for “qualified tuition and other related expenses” as defined in Section 117(b) of the Internal Revenue Code in order to be exempt from federal income taxes for the recipient. This includes tuition and fees required for enrollment at your educational institution, as well as fees, books, supplies and equipment, and certain pre-approved research project travel and supplies and professional development opportunities necessary for the Project you are proposing.

Can the Project be part of an existing research project at an Applicant’s home institution? Can this Project also be funded by other sources obtained by the applicant?

Yes, the Project can be part of an existing research project at an Applicant’s home institution so long as the principal investigator for such existing research project must consent for the applicant to pursue the Project in alignment with, or as part of, the existing research initiative, before any application can be reviewed by The Wetlands Institute for possible award.

Yes, the Project can be part of a research project funded in part by other sources obtained by the applicant.

Does the research need to be conducted at The Wetlands Institute site?

No, the research can be conducted at other sites in coordination with an academic advisor at that institution.

Is publication expected for this fellowship grant?

No, publication is not expected, but if it is likely to occur, all pre-publication materials must be submitted to The Wetlands Institute for approval prior to publication. Similarly, any social posting related to the funded Project must also be approved in advance by The Wetlands Institute.

Are any reports required by The Wetlands Institute?

Yes, a narrative report on project milestones and benefits derived from funding, including an itemization of the use of the funds, along with a signature of your academic advisor noting regular meetings with you, must be submitted no later than April 1, 2024 in order to receive the second dispersal of $5,000 for this grant. A final narrative report along with an itemization on use of the funds will be required at end of the award period which is August 2024.

Is a presentation required for this fellowship grant?

Yes, the preparation of a final presentation on the awardee’s Project is desired by The Wetlands Institute, and awardee should coordinate with The Wetlands Institute regarding the expected time, place and manner (remote or in-person) of this presentation.

Can this grant be renewed for an additional year?

Yes, award recipients may apply for a second consecutive year of fellowship award funding, which shall be evaluated through the general application process.  The award of funding for one year is not guarantee of funding for a second consecutive year.

Award

Up to $10,000, dispersed in two equal payments during the award period (November 2023 – August 2024), which shall be used for tuition and fees required for enrollment at the educational institution, fees, books, supplies and equipment, certain pre-approved research project travel and supplies and professional development opportunities. Funds may not be used to support indirect costs. A Form 1099-Misc will be provided to an awardee for each calendar year during which the award was dispersed.

The first payment shall be made at the time of the award selection, once a fellowship grant award letter agreement is signed by the awardee. The second payment shall be made on or about April 1, 2024, assuming the report required under the fellowship grant award letter agreement has been submitted.

Eligibility Criteria & Expectations

Students enrolled in a graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) focused on natural resources, environmental science, or coastal and wetlands science at accredited college or university within the U.S. which is a federal tax-exempt educational organization are eligible to apply. The Fellow must remain enrolled in their graduate school program full-time during the academic calendar of the award period. The Fellow must be self-directed in their studies and have an established research mentor/academic advisor at their home institution.

Projects must focus on research and conservation in the mid-Atlantic region related to tidal salt marshes, barrier beach systems, or the avian and herpetofauna populations they support.

Applicants must be citizens of, or have permanent resident alien status in, the U.S. and must provide evidence of the same with their application. Applicants must also provide evidence that they are residents of the U.S. at the time of the funding of the award disbursements.

Award recipients may apply for a second consecutive year of fellowship award funding, which shall be evaluated through the general application process.  The award of funding for one year is not guarantee of funding for a second consecutive year.

Institutional Involvement

All applicants must identify and work with an academic advisor at their institution for Project guidance. Fellows are not required to conduct research at The Wetlands Institute. The proposed Project may be aligned with, or part of, an existing research initiative undertaken by the home institution and separately funded by governmental or private funding.

Fellows may have the opportunity to use their award to conduct research at The Wetlands Institute, in coordination with The Wetlands Institute staff, though all such opportunities must be coordinated in advance and are not guaranteed. Fellows may also receive mentoring from Wetlands Institute staff.

The preparation of a final presentation on the awardee’s Project is desired, and awardee should coordinate with The Wetlands Institute regarding the expected time, place and manner (remote or in-person) of this presentation. The Wetlands Institute reserves the right to record such presentation and to use it for their own educational and marketing purposes.

The Fellow will provide drafts of manuscripts intended for publication for approval by The Wetlands Institute. Publication is not a requirement of this fellowship award. All posting on social media by an awardee related to the fellowship award or to the Project shall also be pre-approved by The Wetlands Institute.

Intellectual Property Rights: The awardee understands that all research data shared by The Wetlands Institute staff mentor with the awardee for their Project is the intellectual property of The Wetlands Institute and any use or re-publication of such data must be pre-approved by The Wetlands Institute. Any data developed jointly by the awardee and The Wetlands Institute research staff shall be co-owned by the awardee and The Wetlands Institute, and to the extent required, by the awardee’s home institution. Therefore, decisions on publication related to the Project research and attribution for support of the same shall be made jointly by all co-owners.

The Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship is generously funded by Jim and Jeannie Morris.

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