Call for Proposals 2020

The Living Earth Collaborative is pleased to announce its third call for proposals. The Collaborative welcomes proposalsfor collaborative activities of all sorts that would support its mission to advance knowledge of biodiversity and to ensurethe future of earths species in their many forms. In particular, we will consider the following types of proposals:

  • Seed Grants for collaborative research projects
  • Seed Grants for collaborative conservation projects
  • Working Groups
  • Workshops
  • Symposia
  • Invited Lecture(s)
  • Educational and Outreach Activities

Additionally, we welcome proposals for other sorts of activities, and would be pleased to support groups that wish toconvene meetings on particular topics as a prelude to future proposals (alternatively, see the LEC’s “Bring Your Own Ideas” program).  Information on previously funded proposals is available on the LEC website. If in doubt aboutwhether an idea is worth proposing, please contact Jonathan Losos (

To be eligible for consideration, proposals must meet three criteria:

  1. They must be about biodiversity.
  2. They must represent a collaboration between two or more Biodiversity Fellows of the Living Earth Collaborative(additional collaborators can be included as well). Preference will be given to proposals representing a collaborationincluding (but not limited to):
    a. PIs from two of the Living Earth Collaboratives partner institutions;
    b. A PI from one of the partner institutions and a PI from an institution contributing matching funds (e.g., Saint LouisUniversity; note, this condition applies to institutional agreements for costsharing, not to individual PIs listingother funding sources as matching funds);
    c. PIs from different departments at Washington University.
  3. They must represent new projects (as opposed to the next step in an already existing project).


Proposals may ask for up to $30,000 (including co-funding from other institutions). In exceptional cases, proposals for larger amounts will be considered. Funding will not be provided for faculty salaries, course relief, or indirect costs. For proposals including requests for salary for non-faculty, please indicate whether the proposal could be conducted without that line item and, if not, please explain. All else equal, preference will be given to proposals with smaller budgets.

Proposals must provide details on the rationale for the project, as well as the specific activities that will be involved, and the role played by each PI. In addition, proposals should indicate the expected outcome of the grant and how the grant would set the stage for next steps (e.g., large-scale grant applications). Please note any funding relevant to the project that has already been obtained or applied for.

Review of proposals will begin May 15, 2020. Proposals received after this date will be considered if funds are still available. We will attempt to make decisions rapidly so that projects may proceed this summer, if feasible.


Applications should include a cover page listing the name, institutional affiliation, and contact information of the Lead PI and other PIs. The role of each PI in the project should be briefly described.

The proposal may be up to 3 pages in length, single-spaced, 11-point font or larger.

Additional pages containing references and budget information should be included. No other materials will be allowed (e.g., appendices).

It is expected that all PIs listed on the grant will be fully aware of the proposal’s content and endorse the proposal.

Proposals not meeting these specifications will be returned without review.

Proposals should be emailed to Receipt of the proposal will be acknowledged by return email within one business day.

Questions? Contact Jonathan Losos (



Deadline for submission: TBD after June 1, 2020

Anticipated Award Amount Per Grant of up to $2,500


Information Session and Workshop To Be Held at the Missouri Botanical Garden on February 19 at 6:30pm

The Living Earth Collaborative (LEC) Graduate Student Research Grant is a new program in the spring of 2020 to encourage and support collaborative research among graduate students and graduate-level mentees of LEC Fellows. The LEC Postdoctoral Fellows developed this program in order to 1) encourage graduate research on biodiversity and/or applied conservation between different departments and institutions among all LEC fellows; 2) foster unique opportunities for collaboration between graduate students among different LEC departments and institutions; 3) advance knowledge of the origins and maintenance of biodiversity.

Eligibility Requirements

Awards are limited to graduate students who are not graduating in 2020 and who have mentors serving as Fellows within the LEC ( A mentor does not need to be the graduate student’s chair committee member, but could be any LEC Fellow with whom the graduate student works closely. Furthermore, the LEC recognizes that many graduate students have affiliations with LEC Fellows from institutions that don’t award degrees (e.g. the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden), and we encourage these students to apply.

As this grant aims to increase collaboration between departments and institutions – there must be at least two students from different LEC-affiliated departments or institutions. For example, two graduate students who have mentors that are LEC Fellows and in the WUSTL Biology department would not be eligible for this grant. However, if one or both of those students teamed up with another graduate student with an LEC Fellow mentor from a non-biology department at WUSTL or at another institution (such as the St. Louis Zoo, University of Missouri St. Louis, Danforth Plant Science Center, etc.), that group would be eligible for applying. This grant does not limit the number of graduate students on each grant, however, each graduate student can only be on one application. Lastly, applicants need to make clear that this is a new research collaboration.

Funds can be used for direct costs of research (equipment, supplies, travel to research sites, etc.) but cannot be used for salary compensation (for anyone) or conference travel. Awards are in amounts of up to a maximum of $2500 US dollars per proposal.

 Proposal Directions

The LEC supports research advancing knowledge in biodiversity and/or applied conservation through collaborations among St. Louis institutions, and thus the collaborative grant application will include the following:

  1. Title Page
  • Title
  • Authors and affiliations
  • Respective LEC Fellow mentors and respective committee chairs for each applicant
  1. 2 page proposal
  • Background information and justification
  • Hypotheses and predictions
  • Methods
  • Anticipated analyses and findings
  • Significance to the LEC Mission and LEC Community
  1. Literature Cited (not included in the 2 page limit)
  2. Itemized Budget and Justification (maximum 1 page)
  3. CV (1 for each applicant)
  4. Signed Consent Forms for each applicant from their committee chair and their LEC Fellow mentor (if not the same person). See attached.

Please include all documents in a single PDF file, using applicants’ last names in the title.

For Further Information

Please contact Dr. Michael Moore at

Learn about the Spring 2019 grant recipients