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Student Research Opportunities Grant

Student Research Opportunities Grants

The Oak Lake Field Station provides a small grants program offering support to students interested in conducting research on-site. Funding for these grants is provided from the Jon Haertel Endowment Fund, Charles and Marcia McMullen Endowment Fund, Oak Lake Field Station operating budget and the Department of Natural Resource Management. Students interested in submitting a proposal for one of these grants should read the guideline materials below.

Research Topics

Research should focus on topics directed toward the Oak Lake Field Station Mission - To increase the understanding and appreciation of the Northern Great Plains and to foster ecosystem stewardship. Example topics are provided below.

  • Surveys of Flora and Fauna
  • Natural Resource Management Practices
  • Understanding Linkages between Prairie Resources and Society
  • Baseline Studies of Ecological Processes in Prairie Environments
  • Evaluation of Environmentally Friendly Management Alternatives
  • Economic Valuation of Ecological Services in Prairie Ecosystems

Studies may be experimental or descriptive in nature. However, proposals should state explicit objectives, provide a detailed study design, and provide detailed methodology and analysis techniques to facilitate evaluation.


Research must be conducted at Oak Lake Field Station. All field and laboratory activities related to the proposed effort must be conducted at the Oak Lake Field Station. Proposals with significant field or laboratory activity at other locations (including campus laboratories) will not be considered.

Proposal Application and Guidelines

  1. A proposal should be submitted together with the application form (below) no later than April 10.
  2. Research must be conducted at the field station. No campus or offsite research will be considered for funding.
  3. Research funding will be awarded in May and will terminate one year from the award date.
  4. Students must be working on research through a university faculty advisor.
  5. A final research report with accompanying raw data must be submitted by April 1 of the following year.
  6. The student is expected to present their results during the annual Oak Lake Research Retreat, held at the end of October in the year of the award. Presentation of results at additional meetings and conferences is strongly encouraged.
  7. Copies of all published abstracts, presentations, and manuscripts resulting from this research must be submitted to the field station director.
  8. Utilization of funds from this grant may be directed toward stipends, supplies, and travel necessary to complete the project. One third of allocated dollars will be retained and distributed following completion of items (5) and (6) above.
  9. Grant requests will be limited to total amounts of $1,500 to $3,000 and must be justified within the proposal.

Available Awards

*Applications for each award may be accessed under Research on the Oak Lake web site

Proposal Due Date: Proposals are due by May 1st each year

Award Date: Awards will be made by May 10th each year

Contact for Information:
Dr. Charles Fenster, Director, Oak Lake Field Station
Dr. Bruce Eichhorst, Assistant Director, Oak Lake Field Station