The Living Earth Collaborative is pleased to announce its fourth call for proposals.

The Collaborative welcomes proposals for collaborative activities of all sorts that would support its mission to advance knowledge of biodiversity and to ensure the future of earth’s 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 to convene 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 about whether 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). This requirement is particularly stringent for Seed Grants, and may be more relaxed for other types of proposals.

    Preference will be given to proposals representing a collaboration including (but not limited to):

    a. PIs from two of the Living Earth Collaborative’s partner institutions;

    b. A PI from one of the partner institutions and a PI from an institution contributing
    matching funds (this condition applies to institutional agreements for cost-sharing,
    not to individual PIs listing other 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


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. The goal of these grants is to help initiate new, hopefully long-lasting, collaborations. Thus, strong preference is given to proposals that appear to be a true collaboration, rather than one investigator’s research with others added to meet the requirements to apply.

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 April 25, 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 expeditiously, if conditions permit.


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 (