4th Annual SCCi Science Awards Program: Call for Proposals

The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) announces that the Annual Science Awards program to help fund scientific and conservation research projects on SCCi preserves is now soliciting grant proposals for 2019-2020. As the nation’s largest and most successful land conservancy solely devoted to acquiring and protecting caves, SCCi understands that scientific research must be part of our mission. We firmly believe that research is essential to conserving cave and karst resources, and it is a foundation upon which good stewardship must depend.

We aim to have a well-rounded research program with focus mainly towards cave/karst topics in geology, geochemistry, hydrology, biology, environmental science, and archaeology. SCCi currently protects more than 170 caves on 31 preserves in 6 states. Any one or more of these caves and preserves would be worthy of different scientific investigations.

SCCi is now accepting grant proposals from non-profit caving groups, scientists, university/college faculty members, and undergraduate-graduate students for conducting research projects at SCCi properties beginning in the Fall of 2019. Funds can only be given to a not-for-profit organization or educational institution. For this year, funding is available to support as many as 3 grants of up to $1,500-$2,000 for (1) geology, geochemistry, or hydrology, (2) biology (zoology and botany) and (3) environmental/archaeological projects.

All proposals must follow the format outlined below and be submitted via email to SCCi Chief Scientist Dr. Matthew Niemiller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition to the research proposal, please also include your C.V. or resume highlighting your current position, educational background, and relevant research experience. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2019. A team of reviewers will evaluate all proposals and base their decisions on scientific merit. Funding decisions will be announced by December 30, 2019. Awardees from the previous year are not eligible. Results from the research must be submitted to SCCi as brief biannual reports highlighting research progress and accomplishments to date followed by a final report or thesis. We encourage publishing in scientific journals but SCCi reserves the right to review each report for approval/disapproval prior to publishing.

In your proposal, please provide the following information:

TITLE. Provide a concise and descriptive title in 15 words or less of the proposed research.

CONTACT INFORMATION. Provide your name, official mailing address, contact phone number, and email address.

BACKGROUND AND NEED. Describe in up to 1,500 words state the research problem which will be addressed wholly or in part by this research. Provide in up to 1,500 words relevant background information and discussion to (1) clearly identify the research problem that will be addressed wholly or in part by the proposed research; (2) provide a framework for the research and how it relates to other research; and (3) identify the relevance of the proposed research.

OBJECTIVE(S). Describe in up to 500 words the primary research question(s), hypothesis, predictions, and specific objectives of the proposed research. Objectives should focus on research outcomes.

EXPECTED RESULTS OR BENEFITS. Describe in up to 500 words the expected results and benefits of the proposed research. How will the research project benefit cave and karst resources owned and/or managed by SCCi? Please attempt to provide quantifiable or verifiable resource benefits. Also identify plans for how the results of the research will be disseminated.

APPROACH. Describe in up to 1,500 words how the research will be conducted. Include the major method(s) to be employed and the schedule (i.e., project timeline) to be followed. Please list any existing or pending permits and approvals necessary to conduct the research (e.g., state or federal scientific collecting permit). If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, please identify the research advisor at your institution.

LOCATION. Identify where the research will occur and include a list of SCCi preserves and caves where research may be conducted.

ESTIMATED COST AND BUDGET. Provide the total estimated cost for the research project and an itemized budget on how SCCi funding from this award would be applied. In addition, please provide a short justification for budget line item requested. If the total project budget is greater than the amount of SCCi funding requested, please include a list of other existing or potential sources of funding for the project.

LITERATURE CITED. Provide all relevant literature cited in the proposal.

Written by : Ray Knott