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  • Jed Burtt Undergraduate Mentoring Grants

    Chris Merkord

    The Wilson Ornithological Society is pleased to offer grants available to mentors of undergraduate students working in collaboration on an ornithological research project. These grants are named in honor of Edward (“Jed”) H. Burtt, Jr., a Past-President of WOS (1997-1999) and an exemplary mentor of undergraduates during his distinguished career. This grant program began in 2016.

    WOS will award annually up to two grants of $1,000 to research projects that demonstrate the greatest capacity of mentoring and collaboration with at least one undergraduate. In addition, each mentor-student team will receive up to $2,000 (i.e., up to $1000 for the faculty mentor and $1000 for the student researcher(s)) to attend a subsequent annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society where the student(s) will present the findings of their grant-supported work. WOS expects the Mentor to supervise participation of the student(s) in the conference, with the goal of enabling the student(s) to get as much out of the experience as possible.

    Applications will be due annually on 1 December, with a committee decision made as soon as possible after that date. This will allow time for funds to be distributed early in the subsequent year, to support field studies that may take place in the subsequent summer (although grants are not limited to research to be done during the summer). Recipients must complete the project no later than 1 April of the following year (for example, for an application submitted in December 2017 in support of work to be completed in summer 2018, the team must compete the project by 1 April 2019).

    A requirement of the grant is that the supported undergraduate will present the results of the study at the Wilson Ornithological Society annual meeting in either of the two years following announcement of the grant award. (A student receiving an award at the end of their Junior year could, for example, complete the work by April of her or his Senior year, but then present the work in the next year (a full year after graduation) if, for example, the student and mentor were not ready or able to present the work at the WOS annual meeting of the student’s Senior year.)

    WOS will distribute $1,000 prior to the onset of the study (funds available on or before 1 March) to support conduct of the research. WOS will distribute the remainder of the funds (up to $2,000) once the undergraduate has prepared and submitted (in consultation with the Mentor) a final report to the Research Committee Chair and has submitted an abstract for presentation at a Wilson Ornithological Society meeting.

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