Proposals being accepted for ecology research funding

The Penn State Ecology Institute announced a call for proposals for the 2020 Flower Grant program. Credit: Brenna Buck / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Ecology Institute announced a call for proposals for its Flower Grant program. The funds aim to support ecology research focused across the institute’s five core themes: resilience and adaptation; provision of ecosystem goods and services; ecology at the interface; rapid evolutionary change; and ecological foundations.

In addition to consideration of research projects that align with the institute’s themes, the call seeks projects that explore the ecological dimensions of COVID-19, such as ecology of infectious disease or wildlife-human interactions.

“The Flower Grants help seed projects in ecology's research community,” said Erica Smithwick, director of the Ecology Institute and associate director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE). “We fertilize good ideas with the extra boost needed to bring them to fruition, both in our core research themes and in emerging areas.”

The Penn State Ecology Institute brings together the best minds from diverse cultures, perspectives, and scientific backgrounds to accelerate research at the frontiers of ecological understanding.  Credit: Brenna Buck

Smithwick, the E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Professor of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, said she anticipates awarding between five and 10 grants, ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 each.

“We awarded seven projects in 2019 that supported workshops and symposia, as well as publication costs and fieldwork associated with exciting research, at both local and international scales,” she said. “This year, we are excited to support additional projects to leverage Penn State's research excellence to explore the ecological dimensions of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The deadline to submit an application for the Flower Grant program is Friday, May 29, 2020. All Penn State faculty members—tenured, tenure track and fixed term—who hold an appointment of half-time or more at any Penn State campus are eligible to apply. The application process and details about the Flower Grant program are available on InfoReady. Questions not answered by the InfoReady page can be sent to Smithwick at

The Ecology Institute is supported by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and IEE.

Last Updated April 01, 2020