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Grants for Student Research

A grant program established with endowed funding from the A.W. Mellon Foundation

In 1986, the A.W. Mellon Foundation provided endowment funding to Professor Harold A. Mooney to establish a grant program for independent research at Jasper Ridge by Stanford enrolled graduate students and undergraduates. For more than three decades, payout from that endowment has provided a unique, critical, and ongoing source of research grants to students. The following information explains the application requirements and process.

Eligibility — Funds are available to Stanford undergraduate and graduate students from any department or program for approved studies conducted at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.   Proposals describing new studies in the Preserve can be reviewed simultaneously for grant support and for the appropriateness of the research.

Proposals — Students interested in obtaining support should submit a proposal consisting of 1) abstract, 2) project description, 3) literature cited, 4) timetable, and 5) budget for the funds requested.  The project description should not exceed five pages. 

Funds -- Funds may be requested for equipment, supplies, field assistant, or other expenses directly associated with field research at Jasper Ridge.  Budgets up to $7,000 will be considered.  Funds may be used only for purchases made after the approval date, not for reimbursement of earlier expenses.  Any unexpended funds at the end of the project or after completion of the Stanford degree revert back to the grant program.

Equipment Requests — Requests for equipment should not duplicate items already available from the Jasper Ridge equipment library.  After completion of the study, any equipment purchased with grant funds will become part of the Jasper Ridge equipment library.

Submission and Review — For any questions on the process or to submit a proposal, please contact Adriana Hernandez (  Proposals will be reviewed by one or more Stanford faculty members other than the student’s advisor. 

This program has been managed with the goal of taking full advantage of the unique, vital, and long-term benefits of an internally managed grant program. We emphasize open submission of proposals, efficient and independent review, and oversight in financial accounting, with the goal of fostering independence in student research as well as experience in writing and managing a grant. To sustain this role over the long term, the award limit has tripled over the three decades, an average increase of 4% per year.  A majority of Stanford students who have conducted independent research at Jasper Ridge since 1987 at the level of a thesis or dissertation have received grants. Supplemental grants are allowed and require a progress report, justification, and a budget. Roughly 20% of grant recipients have received supplemental grants. Administrative support including financial accounting and hiring of hourly assistants has been handled by staff of the Biology department and Jasper Ridge.

The grant program has benefits beyond the individual funded projects. Equipment purchased with a Mellon grant reverts to the Jasper Ridge equipment library after the research is completed, and this has expanded the suite of equipment available to all researchers. 

Past Awardees

Award Year                 Awardee Name                 Advisor

  • 2023-2024          Mel Guo                                Elliot White
  • 2022-2023          Teso Coker                          Scott Fendorf and Devaki Bhaya
  • 2020-2021          Lisa Couper                         Erin Mordecai
  • 2019-2020          Lisa Couper                         Erin Mordecai
  • 2019-2021          Emily Morgan Lacroix      Scott Fendorf and Devaki Bhaya
  • 2019-2022          Kate Marie Lagerstrom    Liz Hadly
  • 2019-2023          Stephanie Grace Sila        Liz Hadly
  • 2019-2024          Julian Tattoni                      Rodolfo Dirzo
  • 2018-2019          Julian Tattoni                      Rodolfo Dirzo
  • 2017-2018          Glade Dlott                           Kabir Peay
  • 2017-2019          Sergio Redondo                 Liz Hadly
  • 2015-2016          Ben Bravo                             Rodolfo Dirzo
  • 2015-2016          Brendan Palmieri              Kabir Peay and Rodolfo Dirzo
  • 2015-2016          Grayson Badgley