Photo Credit: Susan Fawcett

Paul Silva Student Research Grant

Revised April 2024

The California Botanical Society will award one or several research grants of up to $600 to qualified students working on projects to help achieve the Society’s goal of “advancing Western American botany.” This award is named after Paul Silva (1922 – 2014), a phycologist and Curator of Algae at the University Herbarium, UC Berkeley, whose bequest to the Society has made this award possible.


Student members of the California Botanical Society who are conducting or proposing to conduct botanical research within western North America are eligible for this award. Collaborative applications are welcome. Undergraduates are encouraged to apply. This award is not limited to United States citizen status.


Funds for research travel, supplies, and minor equipment may be requested. Requests for salary or per diems will not be considered. Projects should be designed to produce a professional publication in a scholarly journal, preferably Madroño. The proposed budget should not exceed $600. Land transportation in private vehicles should be stated in mileage, using the IRS business rate per mile.

How to Apply

Application Materials:

  • Application
  • Resume or CV
  • Project Proposal (500 words max, not including figures, tables, and references)
  • Budget and justification (2000 characters max or ~ 300 words)
  • The budget should use the categories of travel, supplies, and other, with a brief description justifying the expenses in each category.
  • Verification Letter from your faculty advisor (use template provided in application)

Review Process

A panel will review completed applications using the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit (70%). This includes the feasibility of the study, including the acquisition of necessary permits, the adequacy of methods for addressing the key hypothesis or study question, and applicability to western American botany.
  • Broader impacts (30%). These include outreach/mentoring, involvement of underrepresented groups, broad dissemination of results, and conservation implications.

All applicants will receive decisions on their proposals within 2 months of the application deadline. Limited comment from the review panel will be provided via email.

Award Acknowledgement

Recipients of grants should acknowledge the Paul Silva Student Research Fund of the California Botanical Society in any publications or presentations that result from research, travel, or equipment supported by the grant. Awardees are asked to contribute a short summary of their proposal to Nemophila, the Society’s online newsletter. Recipients are also encouraged (but not required) to publish their results in Madroño and to present their work at a California Botanical Society Graduate Student Symposium.


If you have any questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions About Grants page.

Photo by Susan Fawcett
Photo by Susan Fawcett
Photo by Susan Fawcett

 ©2024 California Botanical Society

c/o Jepson Herbarium 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building Berkeley, California 94720-2465



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