2024 Research Grants

Application Deadline: January 31, 2024

Committee members:

Susanne Masi, INPS Board Vice President
Connie Cunningham, Illinois Natural History Survey, Retired Botanist
Eric Ulaszek, Illinois Natural History Survey

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 $3000 each.

INPS 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 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, 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 documentation 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 organizations; however, applications from for-profit individuals or organizations 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

Project Requirements

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 permit applications or copies of permits that are already in place are included as part of the application. For private property, documentation such as an email or letter 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 for Completing the Application, 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 with a  Co-PI, for compensation for time and effort over and above regular salary. If, however, 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 services 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 with a value of $150 or greater must be specifically described in the application budget. (Technically equipment purchases of this value would be the property of INPS; however, upon request of the grantee, the equipment is usually allowed to stay with the grantee.)    

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 $150 or greater.

Application Process and Funding Cycle

1. Proposals are due by January 31, 2024, and must include copies of any 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. Automatic confirmation of receipt of application will be made by email upon submission.

4. Applicants will be notified by March 31, 2024 of the outcome of their application – whether successful, successful providing certain conditions are met, or unsuccessful. 50% of grant funds will be disbursed to successful grant recipients by separate USPS mail, upon fulfilling the conditions described in # 5. and # 6. The PI is responsible for providing funds to any Co-PIs or assistants included in the budget.

5. Recipients will be asked to confirm via email to inpsgrants@gmail.com that they agree to accept funding, and that they will comply with the award criteria as outlined in these Guidelines and with the project proposed in their application.

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. Approved projects are considered contractual arrangements between the Illinois Native Plant Society and the individual or group who submitted the application – the PI.

 On the contract, recipients are asked to provide a Social Security number or, if applicable, an institutional Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), and also to provide the name, address and phone number of the person or entity who is to receive the funds. When the contract is completed and fully signed by the President, it will be resent to the grantee and a check for half the grant amount will be issued by the Treasurer.   

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, 2025 and are to be submitted only to the 2024 Grant portal. Upon approval of the report, the remaining 50% of funds will be issued, but not before January 2025.

Final Report Requirements

1. A final report must be submitted electronically through the INPS website via the portal provided by March 31, 2025 (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 separate budget report must be submitted to demonstrate alignment with the budget submitted with the original application. Volunteer hours contributed should be reported. All files submitted must be titled with the PI’s last name followed by a descriptive phrase.  

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 as separate files. 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 an INPS Facebook page.

3. Grantees must submit a short, popular-type article to the INPS member newsletter, The Harbinger, or to an INPS Chapter newsletter, local newspaper or conservation newsletter within three months of project report submission. The article should describe the project, its results, its importance to native plant conservation, and how the project supports the INPS mission.  Locations of Endangered or Threatened species 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, to fulfill the publication requirement. In the report, grantees must provide the name of the publication, whether the article has been submitted, or when the article is expected to be submitted.

4. Links to any future publications or popular articles resulting from the grant project (apart from those appearing in The Harbinger or Erigenia) must be sent to the INPS Grant email inpsgrants@gmail.com. Unless the grantee requests otherwise, these may be referenced or linked on the INPS Grants website or social media sites, with appropriate credits or permissions given.

5. All publications and presentations resulting from the project funded by an INPS Research Grant 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.  Grantees are also offered a complimentary membership in INPS for the year after their project is completed and final report approved.

Download a copy of this Program Explanation and Guidelines

Submitting a Research Grant Application

To apply for one of the Research Grants, download the 2024 Research Grant Application Instructions and Application using the links below. The Research Grant Application is a Microsoft Word form and the completed application must be submitted as either a Word document or a PDF file through the link in the Grant Application Submission section below.

2024 Research Grant Application Instructions

2024 Research Grant Application (Check your downloads folder)

Research Grant Application Submission – Deadline: January 31, 2024

Use the link below to submit your completed Research Grant Application and other attachments.

Submit Completed Research Grant Application

Final Report Submission – Deadline: March 31, 2025

Use the link below to submit your final report.

Submit Final Report