Itasca Seed-to-Root Grants Program


Short-term 'seed' grants are a good way to spark science. They facilitate preliminary, higher risk efforts focused in up-and-coming creative spaces (e.g., techniques, emerging theory). Field stations, however, focus on places with particular qualities amenable to sustaining longer-term research. Itasca Station has hosted place-based field biology since 1909, and is uniquely suited for teaching and engagement. With this in mind, Seed-to-Root grants target new investments at IBSL, combining funding, support, and flexibility to encourage science to take root. 

Applications are now open. Completed applications are due by 5 pm (CST) on Monday, February 12, 2024. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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Complete applications require a letter of support from the applicant's relevant advisor. Advisors must submit their letter of support through the following portal by 5 pm (CST) on Monday, February 12, 2024:

Advisor Letter of Support

Eligibility criteria for all awards: 

  • Only single-investigator (one student per award, only), single-project proposals allowed.
  • Research must be done in or near Itasca State Park.
  • Award period is April 1, 2024 through March 31, 2025.
  • Students must be in residence at Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories for a portion of their research.
  • Applications must be from full-time students. Historically, preference has been for University of Minnesota campus (system-wide) students, but non-University of Minnesota students will be considered.
  • Budgets may include funding for research expenses and lodging/dining expenses, in addition to supplies and services. Salary is not allowed.
  • An expectation is that Fellows will share at least one science and research public engagement talk/hike at the Station, and share one technical talk in the Biome Center or Assembly Hall as part of a summer seminar series. They will also be asked to attend a CBS Awards Recognition dinner in Fall.

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Jim Winter Itasca Scholarship (Undergrad student preference)

This award was given by Jim Winter, a former Itasca instructor. This award is open to UMN and non-UMN students. Preference is for undergraduate student proposals, but graduate student proposals will be considered. Preference will be for students pursuing efforts that could not otherwise be covered by funds available in the laboratories of their advisors.

Itasca Grad Research Fellowship (Grad Students)

Robert Megard, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from 1962 until his retirement in 2006, taught field biology research at Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories. Roberta Megard, a former member of the St. Paul City Council, often accompanied him. Their fellowship supports graduate students who conduct research at Itasca. This fellowship is generously supported by the Meegard and Maschwitz families. It has historically been awarded to support research with an aquatic component.

John Tester Fellowship (Grad Students)

This fellowship us named in honor of John Tester, a professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) who was a leader at Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories and in the Itasca region. He taught and conducted research at the station from 1957 until 2017.