Vermont Geological Society
Research Grant Program

Policy and Procedures

The primary goal of the Vermont Geological Society (VGS) Research Grant Program is to promote and support original research on Vermont geology by undergraduate and graduate students and secondary school teachers (grades 7-12). The grant program does not seek to cover all of the researcher's expenses but instead should be viewed as a professional endorsement of the research endeavour. Requests for grants are judged on how well the proposed research will advance the science of geology and its related branches within the State of Vermont. Since the grant program budget is not anticipated to be large enough to fund every research proposal, the grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. The policy for applying for and awarding grants is outlined below.

Undergraduate and graduate students and secondary school teachers (grades 7-12) who are undertaking original research projects on Vermont geology and related disciplines are eligible for VGS research grants.

VGS research grant applicants need not be members of the Vermont Geological Society. Graduate and undergraduate students must be currently enrolled in degree-granting institutions and their research must be part of a degree requirement. Secondary school teachers will ordinarily be teaching within Vermont. Post-graduate students, college or university faculty, primary school teachers, and institutions are not eligible. Institutions may not request that overhead costs be added to budgets. The Vermont Geological Society strongly encourages women, minorities, and people with disabilities to participate fully in this research grant program. The research proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the feasibility and scientific merit of the project, the abilities of the researcher, and the reasonableness of the budget. Students are eligible for only one VGS Research Grant per degree pursued.

Research Grant Guidelines
Individual grants will not ordinarily exceed $1,000, although a higher sum may be awarded based on merit and number of grant applications received. One or two (see below) confidential letters of recommendation are required for each grant applicant. These letters should be either sent directly to the Vermont Geological Society or included with the grant application in sealed envelopes to preserve confidentiality.

Graduate students: Priority will be given to graduate students who are ready to begin their research. Graduate students need to submit a completed application form and two letters of recommendation. These letters will ordinarily come from the student's academic or thesis advisor and from one additional faculty member.

Undergraduate students: Due to different schedules at different institutions for senior work, research should be scheduled to begin within 9 months the grant award. Undergraduate grant applicants need one letter of recommendation that will ordinarily come for the student's academic or thesis advisor.

Secondary school teachers: Research should be scheduled for sometime during the summer or the school year. Secondary school teachers will need two letters of recommendation from people able to evaluate the applicant and the proposed research.

Rules for the Use of VGS Research Grant Funds
Grants are to be used for expenses directly associated with the research proposed. For example research funds may be used for field expenses (travel, meals, lodging), materials and supplies (sample bags, base maps, air photos, film and developing costs, etc.). Travel to professional meetings will not be funded.

Funds requested for equipment, computer time and software, thin-sections, chemical and isotopic analyses, and the purchase of services must be fully justified. Research grants may not be used for salaries or tuition but may be used to pay a field assistant or technician. Upon completion of the research, equipment and materials purchased with a VGS research grant become the property of the department in which the student is enrolled or the school where the teacher is employed and are expected to be available to help additional students/teachers with their research.

Responsibilities of Recipients
Grant recipients are encouraged to present their results at professional meetings as well as to publish them. In both cases support by the Vermont Geological Society should be acknowledged. Recipients who cannot undertake or complete their project must return any unused funds along with a written explanation of expenses incurred. Grants may be subject to tax by the IRS and the grant recipient is responsible for determining this. Within 1 year of receiving their grant, all VGS research grant recipients are expected to 1) submit a written abstract of the results of their research to be published in the Green Mountain Geologist, and 2) present their research at the Spring Meeting of the Vermont Geological Society, typically held in late April.

Research grant applications are available for download from this page or by writing to Jon Kim, Vermont Geological Survey, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, Vermont 05620-3902, e-mail:, or by calling (802) 522-5401. The application should be typed and signed and then submitted together with the letters of recommendation postmarked by the deadline listed on the VGS Calendar page. The Research Grant Committee of the Vermont Geological Society will review each application. The decisions of this committee are final.

Download the Research Grant Application Form:  Microsoft Word version