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Research Fellowship Program Print
Deadlines for proposal reception: October 1 st & March 1st

OTS fellowships are open to graduate students enrolled in degree programs at OTS member institutions and to OTS graduate course alumni.

General information | Proposal Guidelines | Endowment | Specific Fellowships

General Information

  • Awards are intended to assist thesis-related field research in tropical biology and similar fields.
  • Pilot awards for exploratory research are available in amounts up to a maximum of $2,625 in 2016. This amount is intended to cover up to 25 days at OTS field stations plus $700 in airfare or other permissible expenses.
  • Thesis research fellowships are available in amounts up to a maximum of $4,550 in 2016. This amount is intended to cover up to 50 days at OTS field stations plus $700 in airfare or other permissible expenses.
  • ECTS-GS Emerging Challenges in Tropical Science Graduate Student Fellowships starting in 2016, will allow graduate students whose research fits within the three ECTS questions, to apply for up to 70 nights at OTS field stations plus $700 allowance for international travel or other permissible expenses. Maximum award is $6,090. For details on this program please visit the ECTS page: http://education.tropicalstudies.org/en/emerging-challenges-in-tropical-science/ects-graduate-student-fellowships-ects-gs.html
  • OTS graduate research funds are limited. Most awards will be restricted to OTS field stations (La Selva, Palo Verde, and Las Cruces), with the exception of one annual fellowship for research at the Cocha Cashu field station in Peru; and the Hovore-Horn Entomology awards which may be used in any Latin American country. Other than these specific exceptions, proposals for research at other sites will not be considered. Only one research award may be held at a time.
  • The Hovore-Horn Entomology funds are intended for Latin American entomology students, for small amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500.
  • The Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship for work in Cocha Cashu, Peru is available again this year.
  • Awards are intended primarily to cover station fees at OTS field stations (food, lodging and station access) which will be charged at the full standard rate, currently overnight $77 (2016) and day visit $39 (2016). Other expenses that may be included in your budget, to a maximum of $700, are research and export permit fees, local travel, and reimbursement in whole or in part of one round trip airline ticket. Major capital equipment will not be covered; minor amounts of materials and supplies may be considered, but are best covered by other sources of funds. Salaries or stipends for the investigator are not allowed, but salaries for field assistants will be considered if the work cannot be carried out safely or efficiently by one person. .
  • Several named awards are described below.  Applicants need not specify the award for which they are applying, with the exception of the Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship for work in Cocha Cashu, Peru; or the Hovore-Horn Entomological fellowships.
  • Completed proposals must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for funding. Proposals may be submitted in English or Spanish.
  • Notification of decisions will be about two months after each deadline; please plan accordingly.
  • Successful applicants must complete the proposed research within the original time frame of the project approved for funding.

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Proposal Guidelines

Submit the following items, typed in 12-point font. Items 2-9 should be no more than seven pages for research fellowship awards and no more than four pages for pilot awards. All pages must be numbered. Items 1-11 must be submitted by email to guiselle.castro @ tropicalstudies.org Letter of endorsement from thesis advisor should be sent directly by your recommender by email to guiselle.castro @ tropicalstudies.org Proposals that are incomplete or do not comply with guidelines will not be processed.

  1. OTS Fellowship Cover Sheet (Download)
  2. Project abstract
  3. Project objectives
  4. Project methods
  5. Project significance
  6. Project schedule and expected outputs.
  7. Project budget
  8. Budget justification
  9. Literature cited
  10. Name, address, telephone, fax, and email of four people who can comment on the scientific merit of the proposal
  11. Curriculum vita of applicant
  12. Letter of endorsement from thesis advisor

Direct English or Spanish proposals/questions to:

Graduate Program, OTS - Costa Rica Office
Apartado Postal 676-2050 San Pedro, Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 2524-0607 • Fax: (506) 2524-0608
E-mail: guiselle.castro @ tropicalstudies.org

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Donald & Beverly Stone Endowment

This endowment was created to honor Don and Bev Stone for more than 20 years of service with the Organization for Tropical Studies. Don served as the Executive Director and Bev as the Administrative Assistant from 1976 to 1996 and during that time built OTS from a small organization to a large consortium of over 50 universities. The endowment was funded with gifts from numerous OTS friends (matched in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) to recognize Don and Bev for the tremendous advances that they helped promote in the fields of tropical biology. Fellowships awarded from the Stone Endowment are open to all fields of inquiry and include the following named fellowships:

Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship - The fellowship was created as a memorial to the life of Francis Bossuyt (1969-2000). At the time of his untimely death, Francis had been collecting his final year of data for his dissertation on Titi monkeys at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Manu National Park in Peru. In recognizing Francis' love for the Titi Monkeys and for field-oriented research, the Bossuyt family established this endowed fellowship. Priority areas to be funded are research: 1) on animal behavior (preference for Callicebus) in Cocha Cashu and the surrounding areas, 2) on other subjects in Cocha Cashu, 3) by Peruvian students working in tropical ecosystems in Peru, and 4) at other locations in the tropics.

William L. Brown Fellowship — The fellowship was created by the family and friends of William Brown, a distinguished entomologist at Cornell University, ant systematist and evolutionary biologist, who conducted research at the La Selva Biological Station.

David and Deborah Clark Fellowship — A fellowship established by the JiJi Foundation in recognition of the pioneering work undertaken by Drs. Deborah and David Clark at the OTS La Selva Biological Station.

Rexford Daubenmire Fellowship — The fellowship was created in memory of Rexford Daubenmire (1909-1995) by his wife Jean Daubenmire. Dr. Daubenmire was a widely-recognized expert in plant ecology and professor of botany at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. He taught on early OTS field courses.

Dole Food Fellowship — The fellowship is funded by Dole Food Company in Costa Rica. Dole Food produces more than 150 products, including bananas and pineapples, marketed worldwide. Dole is a long-time supporter of OTS.

Emily P. Foster Fellowship — The fellowship was created by the family and friends of Emily Foster (1967-1994) as a memorial to her life. Emily treasured the beauty and wonder of the Costa Rican biodiversity and the generosity of the Costa Rican people. Emily worked in Costa Rica for a number of years before her untimely death at the age of 27.

Hovore-Horn Fellowship — These research fellowships in entomology are available exclusively to Latin American students. Funded through an endowment established in 2005 by biologist Frank T. Hovore in honor of his parents, Alice and Andre Horn, this fellowship also honors Frank himself, who succumbed to a heart attack September 2006 while doing what he loved, collecting beetles in Ecuador. These fellowships are open to all Latin American graduate and advanced undergraduate students interested in Neotropical entomology. Projects should involve a strong field component and should emphasize the exploration, discovery and description of biological diversity, using insects and other terrestrial arthropods as study organisms. Field surveys, faunal inventories, ecological studies, and researchers may work in their own countries or another Latin American country. Interested applicants should submit proposals in Spanish to the OTS Costa Rican office by the regular deadline. Awards will usually range from $500 to $1,000 and may not exceed $1,500.

Lillian and Murray Slatkin Fellowship — A research fellowship established by Joan Slatkin Barton in honor of her parents. Ms. Barton was a member of the OTS Board of Visitors from 1994 until 2003.

F. Christian and Betty Thompson Fellowship — A research fellowship established by F. Christian and Betty Thompson of Kingstowne, Virginia.

Christiane and Christopher Tyson Fellowship — A research fellowship established by Christiane and Christopher Tyson for U.S. and Latin American graduate students. Christiane and Christopher Tyson have been involved with the OTS Board of Visitors since 2001.

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GlaxoWellcome Endowment

TThe endowment was established by GlaxoWellcome Centro América. GlaxoWellcome is an international pharmaceutical company with offices throughout Latin America. This endowment provides funding for Latin American graduate students only.

Peace Frogs Fellowships

The fellowship was created in 1995 by Peace Frogs, a Washington, D.C. based clothing company, and provides funding for graduate students interested in conducting herpetological research, particularly with threatened or endangered species. For more information on Peace Frogs visit Peace Frogs web page

Rowe Family Fellowships

Rowe Family Fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis to students from throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Rowe Fellowships will enable selected students to conduct their thesis work at an OTS research station in Costa Rica after taking an OTS course.

Water Quality Environmental Outreach Program

Applicants interested in water quality environmental outreach in Costa Rica should contact Dr. Cathy Pringle (University of Georgia, cpringle @ uga.edu) before submitting a formal proposal.

Stanley Smith Horticultural Fellowships

The fellowship is funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust in memory of Stanley Smith, a British businessman, horticulturist and frequent visitor to Las Cruces’ Wilson Botanical Garden. The fellowship provides funding for horticultural work and systematics research on tropical plants of interest to the Wilson Botanical Garden. While it is open at all levels, curatorial expertise in tropical plant groups is essential to obtain approval. For more information, contact Zak Zahawi, zak.zahawi @ tropicalstudies.org

Research Fellowship Cover Sheet ( PDF document 70 kb )
For more information contact OTS at guiselle.castro @ tropicalstudies.org

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Last Updated ( 11/21/16 )
Organization for Tropical Studies
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