DENNIS L. KRUSAC AND JACQUELINE J. BELWOOD STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD
History and Mission
The Krusac-Belwood Award was created in 2023 with an endowment fund established by Jacqueline J. Belwood and Dennis L. Krusac through the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network (SBDN). Its goal is to provide a single annual award of $2,000 to an upper-level undergraduate or master’s level student to support field-based ecological research on bats in the southeastern United States. At the time of application, the recipient must be a member of SBDN. A student’s nationality will not be considered in the review process, but the student must be enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university in the United States.
Research that can be Funded
The Krusac-Belwood Award was developed to help fund field-based research on community, population, or behavioral ecology, acoustics, or the conservation and management of southeastern bats and their habitats. If both field and laboratory studies are proposed, applicants must describe how lab studies will augment/enhance field studies. Lab studies per se will not be funded nor will studies on bat genetics or systematics. Projects on white-nose syndrome and the effects of wind turbines on bats will not be considered because these topics are already well-funded elsewhere.
The proposed research must be conducted in one or more of SBDN’s member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
How Funds can be Used
The research award can support the purchase of supplies and equipment related to field research, local travel costs to research sites, and housing in the field. The award will not cover indirect costs (institutional overhead), travel to meetings, tuition, stipends, salaries, or living expenses away from field sites.
SBDN Budget Request, Additional Potential Funding Sources, and Already-available Support
The applicant should indicate the total estimated budget for the proposed project along with the amount requested from SBDN; if no additional funding is required, this must be indicated. If applicable, additional funding sources for the project, and the respective dollar amounts requested from each, respectively, must be indicated.Other support necessary for the project — and already in possession or available to the applicant or applicant’s advisor — should be listed. If no additional equipment, supplies, or logistical support are required, this must be indicated.
Announcement of Winner
The winner of the award will be notified electronically by 15 February 2024. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified by this date. The winner will also be announced at SBDN’s annual meeting (14-16 February 2024 at the Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina). Funds will be presented to the award winner at the SBDN meeting or made available electronically directly following the meeting if the winner is not in attendance.
When the project has been completed, the grant recipient will be required to submit a summary of their research for publication in SBDN’s newsletter Nightwing News. Instructions for this will be provided. The recipient will also be required to submit a 5 to 10-minute video of themself presenting their research to be archived on the SBDN website.
The award’s recipient will be encouraged to attend an SBDN annual meeting to present an oral paper on their research. Pre-paid registration fees and two nights’ lodging at the conference venue will be provided to facilitate their attendance at the meeting at which they present.
Receipt of the Krusac-Belwood Award should be acknowledged in any publication or presentation that results from the funded research.
The Application Process (Click Here For Checklist)
This is a competitive award based on merit, not financial need. Proposals will be evaluated on the qualifications of the applicant as well as quality of the science, originality, suitability of the proposed methods, budget, and the likelihood the proposed research will contribute to our understanding of bat ecology or management, and the promotion of bat conservation. In any grant cycle, the review committee reserves the right to not make an award if no proposal meets the review/evaluation criteria.
The completed application should be submitted electronically as a single document in PDF format to the SBDN Awards Committee (email@example.com). This year, the submission deadline is 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 12 January 2024. Applicants will receive a confirmation-of-receipt email.
A completed application consists of the following:
- Proposal Abstract (on a separate page)
A 200-word summary of the proposed project should include a descriptive title, applicant’s name and affiliation, need for the study, methods, project execution, and application/significance of potential results.
- Project Narrative (3 page maximum)
Applicants should submit a research proposal (12-point Arial font; 1-inch top, bottom, and side margins; single-column format). This narrative must include a descriptive title, an introduction that provides background, the scientific context and broad need for the project, a clear description of the proposed research and objectives (including questions/hypotheses to be addressed), materials and methods (including proposed field sites and field schedule), potential significance and application of results, and a project timeline. If applicable, preliminary results from a pilot project should also be included here.
Graphs, tables (10-point font permissible), and figures can be included but must be part of the 3-page narrative.
- References Cited (1-2 separate pages)
When references are cited, complete citations are required and should be listed on a separate sheet. These should include the names of all authors, the article and journal titles, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. If the document is available electronically, its website address should be included.
- SBDN Budget Request, Additional Potential Funding Sources, and Already-available Support (1-2 separate pages)
Indicate the entire budget for the project and provide the following information in three separate sections.
SBDN BUDGET REQUEST: Each budget item requested (e.g., equipment, supplies, travel, housing, etc.) should be listed separately along with a brief justification of its need.
ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES: If the SBDN award does not cover the full cost of a project, additional potential funding sources and their respective dollar amounts and status (e.g., “not yet identified,” “under review,” “already secured,” “rejected,” etc.) should be listed.
ALREADY-AVAILABLE SUPPORT: If applicable, other equipment or forms of support required for the project — and already in possession of or available to the applicant or applicant’s advisor — should be listed. If no supplemental support is required, this should be indicated.
- Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum)
A curriculum vitae should include the applicant’s name, contact information (email and phone), current affiliation and status, research advisor (and email and phone), past education, past or current research projects or experiences, past or current research support, and a list of publications (if any), and oral or poster presentations (if any) at scientific meetings.
- Letters of Recommendation
The applicant should arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent electronically in PDF format to the SBDN Awards Committee by the application deadline. Each letter should be on institutional letterhead, include the author’s email address and phone number, and be sent by the author. Recommendation letters should NOT be sent by the applicant.
One letter should be from the applicant’s graduate (or undergraduate) advisor and verify that they have read the application, acknowledges the research, and will supervise it. This letter should also verify that the applicant is a full-time student in good standing at their accredited host institution and specify why the student is particularly well-suited to carry out the project outlined in the application. The supervisor should also confirm that they have seen and approved the SBDN Budget Request, Additional Potential Funding Sources, and Already-available Support section of the proposal and that the project will not be allowed to proceed unless all support for it is in place. This includes procurement of all appropriate permits, permissions, rabies vaccination (if appropriate), and IACUC/animal care compliance from the applicant’s host institution (if required).
The second letter should be from someone familiar with the applicant and their ability to carry out the project. The letter’s author should detail their relationship and familiarity with the applicant.
 This award program is in its infancy. Its current proposal guidelines are as communicated here, on the SBDN website on 4 December 2023, for an award to be announced on 15 February 2024. We reserve the right to change components of the guidelines in future grant cycles as the program evolves.