Final Week to Apply for the 2022 Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship

Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship 2022

This is the final week to apply for the 2022 cycle of the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship

The Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship supports a research project that contributes to our understanding of either cetacean cognition and sensory perception (laboratory or field studies), or humpback whale behavioral ecology or communication. Work with other marine mammals that especially enhances our understanding of their cognitive abilities will also be considered. Eligible candidates include graduate students and those students who have completed their Masters or PhD within the past three years. The award is for a maximum of USD 5000 (~AUD6900; ~Mexican Peso 100,000; ~Fijian Dollar 10,000; ~EUR 4500). Details can also be found on the SMM website.

The application must include the following materials and be submitted by Monday, 7 February 2022, via the upload link here. (

Materials required

  • Cover Page (form)
    • Applicant Name
    • Email
    • Proposal Title
    • School/Affiliation
    • Degree (include date received or anticipated graduation date)
    • Total Project Budget
    • Project Location/Laboratory
    • Project Start Date
    • Project End Date
    • Project Abstract (300 word limit)


  • Project Abstract (300 word limit).  Briefly summarize your project.  (This should be the same as the language you enter in the form).


  • Project Proposal. Describe proposed project following the labelled sections below. Proposal should not exceed 3 pages in length (Times font, 12-point type, single-spaced, 1-in margins).
    • Background. Include overarching problem/challenge research will address and literature review
    • Project Importance and Relevance. What contributions or advancements will the proposed research make to marine mammal science?  In addition, what is the role of the proposed work in enhancing our understanding of cetacean (or other marine mammal) cognition and sensory perception or humpback whale behavioral ecology or communication. Please include how your project reflects or builds upon the research and interests of Dr. Herman and/or how your career has been influenced by his work.
    • Goals and Objectives. Statement of overall goals and measurable objectives
    • Methods. Include project design, location, field site or laboratory procedures, equipment, and analysis plan. If you are working in a laboratory setting, provide information on the research subjects, including their research experience (e.g., # of subjects, sex, age, years of research experience, etc.).
    • Outreach Plan. Please describe how you plan to share your research progress and findings (e.g., presentations, publications, social media, etc.)
    • Project Timeline. Include a time frame for all elements of the project.


  • References Cited.


  • Project Personnel. List each key person(s) conducting the research and their role (e.g., Project PI, Field Leader, etc., and make sure to list yourself).


  • Project Budget. A detailed budget, including itemized justification.  Please make sure to include:
    • Budget for the full project if it exceeds the award amount
    • How the award monies will be used specifically for the proposed project
    • Information on other funding applied for or already secured


  • Current Curriculum Vitae.


  • Letters of Reference. Two (2) professional letters of reference.
    • Letters should include the referee’s email address, phone number, and relationship to the applicant. For students, one of these letters should be from the student’s supervisor.


  • Research Permits. Verification of necessary research permits and/or authorizations.


  • Degree. Verification that the student is currently enrolled in a university degree program or proof of a graduate degree.

Evaluation Categories and Scoring

  • Importance and Relevance. Is this project likely to make a minor contribution/advancement to the relevant areas or a major one? How well does the project address the criteria of the award (above)? Is the proposal focused on a topic directly related to Dr. Herman’s research and findings and does the proposal specifically describe this relevance in detail?  (15 points)
  • Scientific Quality.  This criterion is meant to address whether the specific aspects of the proposal are appropriate to achieve the stated goals and objectives of the proposal.  Examples of project aspects to consider are the overall project design (is it well thought out and logical?),  field and/or lab methods (best practice? the right ones to use?), equipment and/or facilities or study site (right ones for the job?), study subjects if working in a laboratory setting (are these experienced or naive animals?), analyses (appropriate for the research design, rigorous, state-of-the art?) (15 points)
  • Quality of Writing and Presentation. Is the proposal well-written and clear? Are all required aspects of the proposal present and easy to understand? (5 points)
  • Likelihood of Success.  Considering Scientific Quality, applicant’s CV and other key personnel on the project, methods, timeline, funding, etc., how likely is it that the project will achieve its goals and desired outcomes. (5 points)
  • Outreach Plan.  Is the outreach plan appropriate and meaningful?  What kind of reach will these findings have and is it appropriate to the goals of the research?  (5 points)
  • Budget.  Is the budget appropriate and justified?  Does the funding play a meaningful role in the overall success of the project? (5 points)
  • References. Are the references strong, average, or below average in support of the applicant and the project? (5 points)

Award Recipient Notification
The award recipient will be notified by 16 April 2022 with an expectation that the awardee will submit to present their research project at the subsequent Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. We will award up to $500 to support travel costs contingent on an accepted submission and completed presentation.

Via email to the Awards and Scholarships Chair, Lindsay Porter (

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