How to Apply for a Grant from the Patrick Sullivan Young Birders Fund

The Patrick Sullivan Young Birders Fund (PSYBF), supported by contributions from members of the Washington Ornithological Society and from the general public, was established in 2005 to encourage and support young people interested in birding. Grants are available to individual young people or to adults to help fund group birding activities or education for young people. We define “young birders” as anyone in the age group from pre-teens through college showing a serious interest in birds and birding. Both students and non-students are eligible and are encouraged to apply.This grant program is not intended to support graduate school activities.

PSYBF grants are intended to support activities directly related to birding, such as but not limited to:  registration fees and expenses for birding conferences and related events; fees and expenses for youth birding camps such as those offered by the National Audubon Society or the American Birding Association and Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours, and related activities; research on specific species or species groups that spend a significant portion of their life cycle in Washington; census work at a park or natural area; bird banding when supervised by a qualified adult; and supplies and related expenses for adult-taught youth group activities centered on birding and bird study.

Grantees are expected to have exhibited a serious interest in birds and birding. They should be able to show that they have participated in birding activities and established some level of expertise in birding. Those activities might include attending their local Audubon chapter meetings; taking bird identification classes; participation in birding field trips and Christmas Bird Counts through their local Audubon chapter or birding club; fieldwork involving systematic data collection and record keeping; and other areas of interest.

The number of grants awarded in any year is entirely at the discretion of the PSYBF Committee.Amounts of individual grants are also variable, typically ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the number of applications in a year.  Applicants with projects that run more than one year are encouraged to apply to renew their funding.

Application Guidelines

Examples of eligible expenses include:
1) Registration fees, travel costs, and other expenses related to attending birding camps, conferences, or related activities;
2) Direct costs of gasoline, vehicle or equipment rental, meals, or lodging required to carry out the project;
3) Supplies as needed for data collection or compilation, and services such as copying, printing, and mailing;
4) Books and recordings (CDs), if they are directly related to the project. Non-eligible expenses.

Examples of non-eligible expenses include:
1) Salary;
2) Publication fees;
3) Training; and
4) Birding equipment (binoculars, spotting scopes, etc.); with the committee’s discretion.

Research projects

Research should be on a species or species group that spends a signification portion of its life cycle in Washington; in most cases the research itself would be carried out in the state. Examples include, but are not limited to, research on populations, habitat, and ecological requirements; bird banding projects; and census work. Nest box projects are eligible as long as they include monitoring and data reporting. Ideally projects will be field-based, but lab-based and museum-based research will also be considered.

Dissemination of results. The awardee will be expected to share the results of the activity or project via an article in an appropriate publication such as WOSNews, Washington Birds or an Audubon chapter newsletter; and/or as a presentation at a WOS monthly membership meeting or annual conference. If research projects continue beyond the funding period, WOS requests an annual project update until the awardee is able to fulfill the above dissemination requirements. The WOS Patrick Sullivan Young Birders Fund must be acknowledged in all publications resulting from the support. Reprints of these publications should be submitted to WOS.

Proposal format

A complete application consists of the following:

Cover page with applicant’s name, date of birth, postal address, telephone number, email address;

Short (2–3 lines) description of specific purpose and approximate total amount of eligible expenses (examples: Attend ABA Young Birders’ Camp, Patagonia, Arizona, March 2008 — $850;  Research on Savannah Sparrow beachfront habitat preferences, Long Beach Peninsula, Washington, Spring–Summer 2008 – $725);

Summary statement of applicant’s education, birding interest and experience, and future plans (education, occupation, etc.);

Description of activity for which funding is being requested. If the activity is a conference or other organized event, give date, place, sponsor, and additional information such as links to websites. If the activity is a research project, include project description, significance of research, research methods, short review of past similar work, description of study areas and season, timetable for the research, and name of adult advisor (if applicable);

Approximate budget for the proposed activity, showing anticipated expenses;

Proposed payment schedule.

When and Where to Apply

Applications are reviewed as received, with the deadline being four months before the start of the project.  A decision will be made by the committee within two months of the receipt of the proposal.  The grant year is one year from the start of the project.  Timing of funding within that period will be specified in the grant notification. Applications should be submitted in writing to:

Patrick Sullivan Young Birders Fund
Washington Ornithological Society
12345 Lake City Way NE, #215
Seattle, WA 98125

Inquiries may also be directed to this address or to

Information@WOS.org