2022 Research Grants

Committee members:

Susanne Masi, INPS Board Vice President
Connie Cunningham, INPS Forest Glen Chapter, Past President
Mary Ring, INPS Central Chapter, Native Plant Sale Committee Chair

For questions regarding the content of this program, contact: INPSGrants@gmail.com

Explanation & Guidelines

The Illinois Native Plant Society Research Grant was developed to promote the conservation of Illinois native plants and communities through scientific research.

Availability of Funding

Research grants are available for funds up to $2500 each.

INPS also acknowledges the Central Chapter’s contribution to the Research Grant Program to help fund a successful project to be implemented all or largely in the central Illinois region. (For a listing of the counties in the Central Chapter’s region, see https://illinoisplants.org/central-chapter-grant-info/).


1. Any person, institution or group conducting research on Illinois native plants can apply, with the exception of Illinois Native Plant Society State Officers and Board members. Only one Research Grant or Survey Grant award will be given to any applicant.

2. Eligible research projects may include studies on Illinois native plants and communities (including those that are threatened or endangered), such as life history, reproductive biology, demography, genetics, comparative site inventories, community ecology, ecological interactions, and threat impacts.

3. Laboratory projects involving native plants are eligible.

4. Projects focused on research relating to education about or restoration of native plants and plant communities, including the effects of management practices, will be considered. However INPS funds cannot be used for restoration projects, including seeds, plants, or plants, seeds, supplies or equipment, unless as an essential part of a research project).

5. Projects are limited to one-year; multiple year projects will not be funded.

Literature references or other reliable evidence must be included to demonstrate justification or need for the research project.

Special consideration is given to:

  • student research or projects that involve students
  • citizen science projects by qualified individuals
  • projects involving qualified volunteers (e.g. students, interns, or citizen scientists)
  • applicants who have not received funding in the prior three years through the INPS Research Grant Program
  • projects conducted by non-profit individuals or groups; however, applications from for-profit individuals or groups will be considered based on the merits of the application. For-profit group applications involving partnerships with non-profit groups or individuals are given preference.
  • projects having additional sources of funding, such as grants, although matching funds are not required

Consideration will be given to a geographic spread within the State among qualified projects. All projects must demonstrate how they support the mission of the Illinois Native Plant Society, as presented on the INPS Website: https://illinoisplants.org

Requirements for Projects Selected to Receive Funding

The project must be all or largely conducted in Illinois.

Projects which require a permit, e.g. scientific collector’s permit, endangered species permit, nature preserves special use permit, or permit to conduct research on federal, state, county, or local municipality properties, will not be considered unless copies of these permit applications or copies of permits already in place are included as part of the application. For private property, documentation permitting access is required. INPS will not submit permit applications.

NOTE: To facilitate the process of receiving permits from the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC), it is strongly recommended that applicants whose research will be conducted on an IL Nature Preserve or a Land and Water Reserve contact landowners simultaneously with submitting a permit application to INPC. INPC will not issue permits without landowner approval, for both public and private lands.

Expenditures on contracts cannot exceed Illinois standard rates for mileage, lodging and per diem as outlined in the Instructions below, Item 10.


Grant funds cannot be used to displace PI or other staff institutional salaries or for institutional indirect costs; however, up to $1000 is available, to the PI only or shared between Co-PIs, for compensation for time and effort over and above regular salary. However, if contractual services of a qualified individual or entity are needed for specific tasks the PI lacks the resources to perform, the stipend must be decreased accordingly so that a maximum of $1000 is applied toward stipend and contractual services combined. Funds apart from the stipend or stipend/contractual can be used for project assistants such as interns. The PI is responsible for distributing any funds to the Co-PI, contractor, or other assistants.

Matching funds are not required, but matching funds from other sources, such as grants, that support the project (excluding grantee salaries and institutional indirect costs) will merit extra consideration. Volunteer hours are not considered a monetary match.

Equipment purchases are limited to items with a value less than $100. Items of $100 or greater value must be specifically described in the application budget. The applicant must agree that such equipment may become the property of INPS following completion of the project.

Final grant funds will not be paid until the final report and detailed budget from the PI are received and approved. Receipts are not required except for equipment valued at $100 or greater.

Application Process and Funding Cycle

1. Proposals are due by January 31, 2022, and must include copies of any applicable permit applications or copies of permits already in place. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

2. Permits must be in place before funding is released.

3. Confirmation of receipt of application will be made by email upon submission.

4. Applicants will be notified by March 31, 2022 of the outcome of their application and 50% of grant funds will be disbursed to successful grant recipients by separate USPS mail after the contract has been signed by the grantee and the INPS President.

5. Recipients will be asked to confirm via email that they agree to accept funding, and will comply with the award criteria as outlined in the 2022 Guidelines and with the project proposed in their application. Approved projects are considered contractual arrangements between the Illinois Native Plant Society and the individual or group who submitted the application – the PI.

6. Following receipt of this confirmation email by INPS, recipients will be sent a contract to be signed and returned to INPS for the President’s signature. Applicants are asked to provide a Social Security number or an institutional Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) on the contract they can provide the name and address of the person or entity who should receive the funds, if not themselves.

7. INPS will issue a 1099-MISC federal tax form to grant recipients in January of the year following receipt of $600 or greater in the previous year.

8. Final reports are due to INPS by March 31, 2023 and are to be submitted here. Upon approval of the report, the remaining 50% of funds will be disbursed but not before January 2023.

9. The Principal Investigator is responsible for providing funds to any assistants included in the budget.

Final Report Requirements (upon completion and approval of which final funds will be released but not before January 1, 2023)

1. A final report must be submitted electronically to the INPS website by March 31, 2023 (Microsoft Word or PDF format only. Excel attachments acceptable). This report should take the form of a technical report or a manuscript for publication, and should include: Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion and Summary sections. If the project is a part of a thesis, dissertation, or publication in preparation, draft sections of these documents are acceptable as a stand-alone report, provided the draft includes a results section that demonstrates the grantee fulfilled all Research Grant requirements. A budget report must be submitted to demonstrate alignment with the budget submitted with the original application. Volunteers hours contributed should be reported.

2. At least five color high quality digital images depicting the study species, project site, project activities, or other aspects of the project must accompany the final report. Unless the grantee requests otherwise, these images may be used for INPS digital media and marketing materials, such as the INPS website, The Harbinger, or the INPS Facebook page.

3. Grantees must submit, within six months of project completion, a short, popular-type article to the INPS member newsletter, The Harbinger, or to an INPS Chapter newsletter, local newspaper or conservation newsletter. The article should describe the project, its results, the importance to native plant conservation, and how the project supports the INPS mission. Locations of listed species included in the project should not be included in these articles, or on any social media platforms such as iNaturalist. If the project is suitable, recipients are encouraged to submit an article to INPS’s professional journal, Erigenia, or another peer-reviewed journal.

4. Copies of or links to any publications resulting from the grant project research (apart from those appearing in The Harbinger or Erigenia) or popular articles about the project must be sent to the INPS Grant email INPSGrants@gmail.com. Unless the grantee requests otherwise, these may be posted or linked on the INPS Grants web page, with appropriate credits or permissions as applicable.

5. All publications and presentations must include a statement acknowledging that the project was funded or funded in part by the Illinois Native Plant Society Grant Program.

Grantees will be invited, as complimentary guests, to present their research project findings at the INPS Annual Gathering and are also encouraged to present to a local INPS chapter meeting or to another conservation group.

Download a copy of this Program Explanation and Guidelines

Final Report Submission – Deadline: March 31, 2023

Use the link below to submit your final report.

Submit Final Report