Research Mandate

The Grants in Biodiversity program supports research in biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, and related social science approaches that relate to flora, fauna and habitat in Alberta; all kinds of organisms are covered. Applications should focus on enhancing the understanding of Alberta's flora, fauna and habitat at any biological level, but research should be directly anchored in the real world. For example, an experimental laboratory study dealing with beetle chromosomes must have a direct linkage to that organism in nature. Impact-type studies, such as those involving human-induced environmental change and social science will be considered, but such manipulations must be process oriented and related to flora, fauna and habitat change.

Geographic Area of Focus:

Alberta Only


Typical awards average about $10,000, with the maximum award being $20,000. Efficiency in budgeting is viewed favourably by reviewers and adjudicators, and project approvals are evolving towards a higher number of lower budget awards.

Funding Period:

Grants are a one-time payment and are awarded for 2-year periods, commencing April 1 of the granting year. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by April 1 of the granting year. On expiry, any unspent funds are recalled by the Grant Program.

Specific Funding Conditions:

Funds may be used to pay direct costs of research such as employment of student assistants, travel support in Alberta, rental of equipment, field subsistence, purchase of supplies and incidentals, and other research-related expenses for the student engaged in the research. Funds cannot be used for salary for the grantee, or to purchase a single piece of equipment exceeding the value outlined in the Application Instructions.

The ACA Grants in Biodiversity will not pay overhead.

Capital Equipment Purchases are expected to become property of the ACA at the end of the student's graduate program.


Successful applicants are required to submit annual reports together with a digital photo related to the research.

General Assessment Criteria:

Applications will be adjudicated on the basis of: 1) research merit; 2) reasonable budget; and 3) ability of the applicant to conduct the proposed project.

Assessment Process:

Choosing recipients is straightforward, but competition for awards is keen. Applications are forwarded to three reviewers for assessment. Applications are adjudicated on the basis of scholarly merit, efficiency and impact of research problem, reasonable budget, feasible research and adherence to terms of reference. Final adjudication is made in mid to late February by the Grant's Adjudication Committee, which is comprised of professors from each of the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge, an industry representative, and representatives selected by the ACA.