Small Grants In Aid of Research (SGIAR)

The Small-Grants-in-Aid for Research is back!

This 2024 the program is back thanks to donations from Dolphin Quest, Chelonia Limited, and several members of our society. Thank you all for supporting this program that generates knowledge about the biology of marine mammals around the world and advances our common goal for an inclusive and diverse marine mammal society. 

The Small-Grants-in-Aid for Research Program (SGIAR)

In 1999, the Society for Marine Mammalogy established a program to help support marine mammal research in countries and regions where scientists have less access to research funds. The Society’s International Relations Committee and Committee of Scientific Advisors have defined all countries/regions except the following as eligible countries/regions*: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

Individual awards of up to $2,000 (U.S.) may be made annually. The awards are for one year only but successful applicants may re-apply in subsequent years provided they meet all the conditions of the prior award, including the annual report. Precedence is given to those who have not received funding in prior years. Recipients who subsequently have their SMM-funded research accepted for presentation at a SMM biennial conference will receive $500 toward travel expenses to the conference.

Support marine mammal science in developing countries and regions with a donation to the Grants-in-Aid of Research Program


Applicants must meet all three of the following eligibility requirements: 1. Be a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 2. Be a national of one of the countries or regions not in the above excluded list (preference is given to early career researchers such as students and researchers with less than 5 years post-doctoral experience) 3. Be conducting research in one of the countries or regions not in the above excluded list These grants are intended to support marine mammal field research directly. For example, funds are intended for the purchase of essential equipment, travel to field sites, or other fundamental components for conducting the research. Up to 25% of the total budget may be requested as stipend. Applications for conference fees, meeting attendance, or workshop travel will not be considered. The Society does not provide funding for indirect costs. In 2020, 17 of 55 applicants received funding from $793 to the maximum of $2,000. All publications resulting from work supported in full or in part by the Society must acknowledge such support with the statement: “This research was supported in part by a Small Grant in Aid of Research from the Society for Marine Mammalogy with funds provided by Dolphin Quest, Quelonia Limited, and private donors from the society.”

Applications are particularly welcome from scientists working in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Pacific Island states, and countries which made up the former USSR.

How to Apply

Applications are normally accepted annually during the month of June. They are reviewed by the Committee of Scientific Advisors between 1 July through 31 August and recommendations for awards are provided to the Board of Governors of the Society. Awards are announced in September. Funds will be distributed to grant recipients by the Society’s Treasurer.

Reviewing criteria: Significance, the importance of the project to the scientific understanding and conservation of marine mammals; Approach,  the appropriateness of the methods to acquire the information and the techniques to analyze the collected data; Probability, the likelihood of this project meeting its objectives; and Qualification, the ability of the applicant to conduct the project.

In preparation of your proposal, please review the NEW application template below and view winning grant applications from previous years. We thank Viviana, Clinton, and Taryn for adapting their winning proposal to the new format to serve as examples.

Reception of Applications for 2024-2025 is now open. Reception will close on on June 30, 2024.

Click here in June 2024 to apply for a grant in aid of research

Click here to check the status of your grant proposal


Former Recipients and Final Reports

Within one year of receipt of Society funds, grantees are required to provide the Society with a 250-word summary report on how the grant funds were used to support their marine mammal research and if the research findings have been or will be published. The summaries of each supported project will be published on the Society website.

View Small Grants in Aid of Research Recipients and Reports from prior years


For technical questions regarding the online application, please email

For all other questions about the grants, please contact:

Dr. Laura J. May-Collado
Chair of the Committee of Scientific Advisors
University of Vermont, Department of Biology
Room 120, Marsh Life Science, 109 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, Vermont 05405 USA
Phone: 802 6564138

* The following criteria have been chosen to establish this classification: (1) Using the most recent World Bank classification (, all countries/regions in the categories Upper Middle Income, Lower Middle Income, and Low Income are eligible; and (2) Within the High Income countries/regions, those countries/regions that spend less than US $50 million or less than 1% of their GDP on Research and Development ( are also eligible.