The North American Dipterists Society is planning to institute a Grants and Awards program to further education in dipterology, stimulate research activities and field work, recognize important contributions to dipterology, and promote scientific study and dissemination of knowledge about flies. All grants and awards are focused on furthering the purposes and goals of the organization and supporting our tax-exempt status.
Following are types of grants and awards the Society will be providing:
Broadly, eligibility will based on demonstrated interest in Diptera (e.g., as demonstrated by research activities, publications, field work or other criteria). Some grants may be specifically for members of the North American Dipterists Society, but others will be open to all dipterists. In all cases, grant proposals must demonstrate a focus on Diptera with a clear plan to achieve the goals elucidated.
For those grants that are student-specific, there may be further subdivisions of eligibility by academic level. Student-specific grants will also require a support letter from a mentor or other school representative to verify academic status of the applicant, and to give a general statement of support.
For merit- or accomplishment-based awards, the same eligibility requirements apply, but are usually not based upon application, but rather upon nomination to and evaluation by the board of directors or an assigned committee.
The purpose of our grants and awards program is to further the goals of the organization and support our tax-exempt status by facilitating research and field work, enabling participation in scientific meetings to present and disseminate information to other dipterists, entomologists and the public, providing students opportunities to learn about flies, providing the means for students and non-students to perform meaningful research activities, and rewarding outstanding efforts by students and non-students in publications about Diptera and activities in dipterology. Across these purposes, a further goal is to provide for those recipients who would otherwise not have the means to perform these activities or participate in such Diptera-related events.
Until there is a stable budget available to fund such grants and awards on a regular or scheduled basis, these grants and awards will be announced based on availability of the necessary funds. Although we will start with only a modest number of grants and merit-based awards, our intention is for this grants and awards program to become a regular and important function of the organization when there is financial security enough to justify this expense on an ongoing basis.
Across the entire grants and awards program, eligibility and selection will be determined without regard to someone’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, familial status, disability, military or veteran status, medical condition, or genetic information.
Historically, the first grants program of the Society was the Dipterology Fund, which ran from 1995—2010. That program was established from funds left over from the 3rd International Congress of Dipterology, held in Guelph, Canada in 1994. Unlike subsequent congresses, the Guelph congress was managed by the organizing committee and a team of volunteers. This avoided the hefty fees of a professional congress organizer. After all the bills were paid, a surplus of over $20,000 remained. Steve Marshall (University of Guelph) proposed that these funds be used to support dipterological research, and the Dipterology Fund was born. A committee was formed and an application process was put in place. Each year up to four grants were awarded, usually to students, to a maximum of CAD $1000 each. The funds ran out in 2010 and the Dipterology Fund was dissolved.
The purpose of our Travel Grants program is to facility the travel necessary for various dipterological activities for students and non-students, including participation in scientific meetings and educational opportunties such as identification workshops and field courses.
The purpose of our Research Grants program is to facilitate research and field work, providing students and non-students the means to perform meaningful activities to address research questions in dipterology, including study of important specimens in insect collections, and collecting and making observations of target taxa in the field.
The Society currently has only one merit-based award, the C.P. Alexander Award, established in 1994, and conceived “to recognize the greatest living North American dipterist.” As a lifetime award, this can only be held by a single dipterist at a time, currently Stephen A. Marshall.