APPLICATIONS FOR BPQ GRANTS
As part of our charitable mission, Bird Protection Quebec provides funding of up to $3000 per annum for approved projects supportive of our mission and which concern ornithological research or conservation activities within Quebec. In exceptional circumstances larger grants will be considered.
Projects which have been funded in the past have covered a wide range of research and other activities, from doctoral theses to long term migration and banding studies to less formal habitat inventories. We are open to proposals involving such subjects as environmental and biological education activities, habitat restitution and management, conservation projects and other similar matters. Applications will be accepted from any interested persons or organisations resident in Quebec, regardless of educational background and will be evaluated on their merits and ranked in accordance with other applications received. Formal qualifications in biology are not necessarily required from the applicant – but an enquiring mind and a well-developed protocol are.
We are particularly interested to hear of projects requiring longer term funding for periods of from two to five years duration.
Applications may be submitted at any time of the year, but note that the BPQ Grants Committee normally meets only once a year, in March (deadline for submissions is February 28) and will announce the successful applicants on or before 15 April. In exceptional instances applications may be considered outside this period, subject to available funding.
Applications submitted in English must be accompanied by a French abstract and vice versa. Some guidance notes to help candidates formulate their application follow this introduction.
Applications from individuals should be accompanied by a brief CV and two letters of reference from people familiar with the work of the applicant and able to comment on its importance.
Applications from an organization should include a description of that organization’s activity (i.e. newsletters, publicity material) and its relevance to Bird Protection Quebec’s mission.
- For income tax purposes, a social insurance number or charitable organization registration number must be supplied on all applications. This is a requirement of the tax authorities as individual recipients of grants in excess of $500 will receive a T4A form from our treasurer for their personal tax return. This number will be treated in strict confidence and not divulged to any third party.
- To facilitate distribution to the members of the assessing committee, submissions, including supporting documents, should be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Files should be in PDF format and no longer than eight pages in length. Printed and mailed applications will not be accepted.
The deadline for completed applications is February 28 of each year.
Guidance notes for writing your application:
Send all materials appropriately collated in a single PDF file. The entire file should not exceed 8 pages, including the proposal statement, budget, and the applicant’s CV. Use the following format (which is adapted from that employed by the AOU) to assist you in preparing your application:
- Proposal Statement
- Length: 5 pages or less (including references and tables and/or figures)
- Include the following in the body of the proposal:
- Include at the top of the first page your name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation (if any), and the title of your proposal
- No more than 150 words.
- Provide relevant background information and explain the significance and uniqueness of your project and what information your study will provide that is not currently available?
- Clearly state the specific objective(s) of the project.
- Methods and experimental design:
- Explain how the study will be carried out and, where necessary, explain why this approach, and not others, was chosen. Justify your choice of methods.
- Given the varying backgrounds of members of the grants committee, write this section for reviewers who may know little about the specific methodological details in your particular field.
- If the project involves capturing, manipulating, or collecting animals, or otherwise requires permits, make it clear that you have obtained, or have at least initiated the process of securing, the necessary permits. Any study that involves collecting (killing) birds must be thoroughly justified, performed according to state and federal permits, and approved by appropriate Institutional Animal Care Committees.
- Timetable: Dates for completion of project, graduation (if applicable), and publication of results
- Facilities: Describe the available facilities (e.g., specialized equipment, labs, and study sites) required for the proposed project. Indicate the extent to which you have made arrangements for the use of facilities.
- Term: If applying for funding for a period in excess of one year you should indicate the estimated period for which you will require funding and the milestones that you have established for the completion of each year’s work. Funding for long term projects is welcomed and encouraged but brief annual updates of achievements are required by us to trigger the release of funds for each year in order that we may monitor progress. Finding for subsequent years will, once agreed, only be withheld in exceptional circumstances, usually if progress towards the agreed goals is not being maintained.
- Length: 1 page only
- Be reasonable and specific, and remember that the maximum request is (normally) $3000 per annum.
- Appropriate budget item requests include:
- Essential research-related travel (e.g., to and from a study site)
- Expendable supplies and equipment
- Living expenses in the field for the applicant and, if essential, field assistants
- Requests for salaries for assistants are appropriate only if you can convince the committee that volunteers are not available and that the applicant is unable to conduct the necessary work alone.
- Inappropriate requests for budget items include:
- Routine living expenses
- Stipend or salary for yourself
- Travel to meetings
- Supplies and overhead expenses normally provided by your institution
- Most requests for permanent equipment (e.g., binoculars, scopes, and camping equipment) unless these are to become the property of the applicant’s institution or will revert to BPQ
- Include the following in the budget:
- List budget items: For each item, indicate clearly whether you are requesting it from BPQ or another source. The budget list should be arranged according to actual or potential funding sources. You may need to indicate “Pending” for some items.
- Statement of justification and need: In some cases, it may be necessary to explain briefly why you need certain items. Include a brief statement summarizing how the project may have to be modified if BPQ funding is not granted.
- Multiple Applications to Granting Agencies: Applicants are encouraged to apply to other agencies besides BPQ for funding the same research project and even for the same items. Applicants must not, however, accept more than one award or grant for the same budget item.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Length: 2 pages or less
- Individual applicants should include information about their:
- Educational and research background
- Employment history
- Papers and posters presented at meetings
- Do not send reprints or thesis proposals
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Significance and originality of the scientific question
- Clarity of the objectives
- Feasibility of the plan of research
- Appropriateness of the budget
Other characteristics of a good proposal include necessary background information, alternative hypotheses (if appropriate), relevant citations and figures, and clear, concise writing.
All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application on or before 15 April of the application year.
Reporting and Accounting
Successful applicants are required to write a brief report summarizing their accomplishments at the completion of their project, or by one year after receiving the award, whichever comes first. Successful applicants are required to keep records of their expenditures and to submit a table and receipts to the current Committee Chair at the end of their project or by the end of a year following award receipt. Successful applicants also must acknowledge their BPQ award in any publications resulting from the funded project. One copy of any such publication (or thesis abstract) should be sent to the current Chair as soon as the publication is available.