About

The Hall Conservation Genetics Research Fund is specifically for graduate students conducting research that incorporates modern molecular approaches to address challenges in fields of ecosystem conservation, natural resource management, and restoration of biodiversity.

Examples might include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • population genetics of endangered or imperiled species
  • detection/tracking of invasive, harmful, or cryptic species
  • genetic and epigenetic approaches to environmental impacts and stress response
  • species resilience in a changing landscape
  • biodiversity of nontraditional ecosystems

Students and advisers should be able to demonstrate how the requested funding will be used to support a student-directed extension of a project in which the student is already engaged.  The work should clearly be original and created/designed and conducted by the student.

The project should be designed to be accomplished within the funding year, and a scholarly research product, ideally a manuscript submitted to peer-reviewed journal, must result from the work.

Proposals are limited to a maximum of $7,500.  Funding is available immediately upon award. To access funds, a budget will be set up in the student’s academic unit by the unit administrator. Fiscal oversight is the responsibility of the student, their advisor and the unit fiscal administration.

Funding restrictions

Funding can be put towards any legitimate research expense.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • travel to field locations to collect samples, or to work in the laboratory of a research colleague able to provide facilities not otherwise available locally
  • sample processing or other contract work that specifically advances the proposed student-directed research
  • materials and supplies the student will consume during the course of the proposed research

Funding may not be used for:

  • graduate student stipend or salary, benefits, tuition or quarterly fees associated with enrollment in the graduate program
  • shared equipment
  • travel to present results of research, for instance at a national meeting

Application

The deadline to apply for this opportunity will be in March 4, 2020. To apply, email the following required materials to the Dean’s Office (coenvaa@uw.edu).

Required content

Following is a list of required proposal elements. The choice of arrangement and formatting is yours. Your total proposal – exclusive of the cover sheet, budget spreadsheet, references and the letter of support from your adviser – must be no more than 3 pages, single-spaced, 11 point Calibri with one inch margins. If you have figures or tables, you will need to include them within this space limit. Failure to follow the guidelines relative to content and length will result in a proposal being returned unreviewed.

  • Cover Sheet

    Your name, academic unit (department or school), degree sought, year during the proposed research (i.e., your 4th year in a Ph.D. program); thesis or dissertation title; statement of good academic standing (i.e., you are making satisfactory progress towards your degree); adviser’s name.

  • Issue/Question/Hypothesis

    In two sentences (max) please state the specific question your proposed research will address.

  • Context

    Place your research within a literature or research context.  What work are you advancing with the proposed work?  Why will this work make a difference in conservation genetics?

  • Thesis or Dissertation Context

    How does the proposed work augment your proposed thesis or dissertation work?  Be specific in outlining your current graduate research work and the additional work you are proposing here.

  • Methods/Approach

    How are you going to carry out the proposed work?

  • Product

    What scholarly product will result from this specific piece of research?  If you are proposing a peer-reviewed journal article, what is your target journal?  If you are proposing a national scientific conference, what is the target society, meeting location, and date?

  • Timeline

    Create a simple timeline for the proposed work, from collection of samples/data, through laboratory analyses, to data synthesis, statistical analysis, and writing/presentation production and submission/delivery.

  • Budget

    Detail your proposed expenses so that a reviewer can easily understand how much each element costs, and how many things you are requesting.  For instance, if you are traveling to a field location, your budget could include mileage charges and total mileage to specific field locations, etc.  The best way to show a budget is in an excel spreadsheet.

  • Budget Justification

    Explain each line of your proposed budget so that a reviewer can understand why you need whatever you are proposing.

  • Unit Concurrence

    A letter from your academic unit agreeing to fiscal oversight of the award.

  • Letter of Support

    Your thesis/dissertation adviser must write a letter of support detailing:

    • How the proposed work augments and exceeds what the student is already doing
    • Why current research funding (for instance, grant funding already supporting the student) is not available
    • How the proposed work will result in a significant scientific advance
    • Evidence the student has the skills and ability to carry the proposed work to completion
    • Availability of faculty time and complementary lab resources (e.g., shared equipment, data) that will be needed for the project
    • Why the proposed scholarly product from the work is appropriate

Here are examples of an outstanding proposal and advisor letter of support. Please note that identifying information, including the proposal’s cover letter have been removed.

Proposal review

Proposals will be reviewed by faculty scientists who are experts in conservation genetics, and by faculty who are not experts in the field but who are natural scientists.  Please ensure that your language and explanations are general enough for non-experts to understand your meaning.  The majority of your proposal should focus on what you want to do and why, and how it extends what you are already doing, rather than on a review of knowledge to date.  At the same time, resist the urge to explain your methods in great detail – this takes crucial space you will need to explain your idea and its significance.

Each proposal will receive three independent reviews.  Reviewers will score each proposal on:

  • Impact, innovation and significance to the field
  • Impact on the thesis or dissertation work of the student
  • Likelihood of successful completion

A panel of reviewers will discuss all proposals and reviews, and select a maximum of two awardees.  All proposals will receive written feedback.

Project requirements

Any publication or presentation of the work must explicitly acknowledge the Hall Conservation Genetics Research Fund. One year after the transfer of funds, a one-page report must be submitted to the Dean’s Office (coenvaa@uw.edu). The report should detail:

  • Expenditures
  • Remaining funds
  • Work completed
  • Scholarly product (including in process and expected date of completion)
  • Brief (2-3 sentences) description of results, including impacts of research

Unspent funds will be returned to the Dean’s Office unless a specific proposal for extension (work plan and timeline for extension; reason needed) is submitted and approved.

Hall Award recipients are also eligible to receive up to $500 for publication costs (page charges) stemming from the research supported by the Award.  At the time of billing, recipients must submit to the Dean’s Office:

  • An invoice indicating award recipient, faculty adviser, and amount requested
  • The article being published, which must include acknowledgement of the Hall Conservation Genetics Research Fund

About the funders

During his 38 years in genetics, UW Professor Emeritus of Genome Sciences and Biology Benjamin (“Ben”) Hall made many key discoveries, including the patented invention “Expression of Polypeptides in Yeast” which the UW-licensed for the production of vaccines against Hepatitis B Virus and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), as well as Human Insulin and other recombinant proteins.  Hall’s more recent research has focused on understanding the speciation and evolution in the genus Rhododendron. Margaret Hall received her Ph.D in History from the UW, doing important thesis work on women in academia, and subsequently devoting herself to teaching.

Recipients of the Hall Conservation Genetics Research Fund

2019

The College is pleased to announce the 2019 Hall Fund recipient:

  • Victoria Fox

    School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (advisor, Jonathan Bakker)
    Project: Understanding the Microbiome of Pacific Northwest Prairies

2018

  • TAYLOR GANZ

    School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (advisor, Laura Prugh)
    Project: Wildlife Whodunit: Forensic Identification of Predators to Improve Wildlife Conservation

  • Marta Gomez-Buckley

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Luke Tornabene)
    Project: Assessing biodiversity, community ecology, and reef connectivity of cryptic coral reef fishes in two central south Pacific archipelagos

  • Lila westreich

    School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (advisor: Patrick Tobin)
    Project: Conservation of Native Plant Genetic Variation to Understand Native Bee Foraging Behavior

2017

  • YAAMINI VENKATARAMAN

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Steven Roberts)
    Project: Characterization of Physiological Effects of Multiple Stressors and Identification of Biomarkers for the Pacific Oyster, Crassostrea gigas

  • LAURA SPENCER

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Steven Roberts)
    Project: Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of environmental stress response in Ostrea luridas

2016

  • Martin Arostegui

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Thomas Quinn)
    Project: Adaptive Genetic Variation in Rainbow Trout with Alternative Nonanadromous Life Histories: Informing Conservation of Intraspecific Diversity with High-density Genotyping

  • James Dimond

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Steven Roberts)
    Project: Phenotypic plasticity and the delineation of coral species: can epigenetics account for incongruence between conventional and molecular taxonomy?

  • Korena Mafune

    School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (advisor: Daniel Vogt)
    Project: Creating a genetic database of fungi in canopy soils of rainforest canopies of the Olympic Peninsula

2015

  • Tyler Dann

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: James Seeb)
    Project: Improved understanding of the genetics of Pacific salmon advances management of commercial fisheries

  • Shannon Kachel

    School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (advisor: Aaron Wirsing)
    Project: Snow leopards, wolves, and the ecology of fear in Central Asia

  • Wesley Larson

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Lisa Seeb)
    Project: Transforming conservation genetics theory into practice: using adaptively important genes to conserve discrete populations of economically important fishes

2014

  • Meryl Mims

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Julian Olden)
    Project: Conservation genetics of a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the cryptic dryland amphibian Hyla wrightorum (the Arizona treefrog)
    More information about Meryl Mims’ project

  • Charlie Waters

    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (advisor: Kerry Naish)
    Project: Reducing Genetic Risks to Wild Populations: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Managed Gene Flow to Reduce Adaptation in Captivity in Supportive Breeding Programs
    More information about Charlie Waters’ project