The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) Grants, Harvard University, USA

The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) is a global network of forest research plots committed to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. The multi-institutional network comprises more than thirty forest research plots across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, with a strong focus on tropical regions. CTFS monitors the growth and survival of about 3.5 million trees of approximately 7,500 species.

The CTFS Grants Program provides opportunities for senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to use existing CTFS plots to conduct research with scientists affiliated with them. Social scientists and natural scientists are encouraged to apply.

Who is eligible to apply?

The CTFS Grants Program is open to all researchers, from graduate students to senior scientists. In some cases, advanced undergraduates will also be considered. Preference will be given to scientists in the countries with CTFS sites and to all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Applicants of all nationalities are welcome to apply.

What should be included in the application?

  • Cover Sheet. Include project title, name, contact information and nationality of principal investigator(s), duration of project, and status of PI(s). Please indicate study site(s) and whether the proposal is a repeat submission.
  • Research Proposal.(not to exceed 1500 words; strictly enforced). The proposal must describe the proposed research, indicate its relevance to one or more CTFS plots, and explain the significance of the work to a broader discipline. The general format of the proposal should include: introduction, description of research project with clearly stated hypotheses, significance of research, detailed methods, anticipated outcomes, and bibliography/references. Note: Bibliography should not be counted as part of the word limit for the proposal.
  • List of Collaborators. Provide a list of collaborators on the project. For graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, an advisor is also necessary. Host-country collaborators are strongly recommended. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they have contacted plot directors BEFORE submitting a proposal.
  • Curriculum Vitae. An applicant’s CV should include contact information, educational background, current and previous fellowships and grants, and research interests. Note: CV should not exceed two pages.
  • Proposed Referees. Please provide a list of three people that could review the proposed research but who are not current collaborators or advisors.
  • Detailed Budget and Timeline. A budget should include all costs related to carrying out proposed research. Please see above for expenses that can be included in the proposal. A budget justification is also suggested. A chronogram with the schedule for all research activities proposed should be included.

How will applications be evaluated?

Applicants are pre-evaluated by plot directors of proposed study sites and then evaluated by a panel of scientists associated with the CTFS network. Larger grant proposals will also be reviewed by outside scholars. Awards are made on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed research, the likelihood that the research can be carried out in the proposed time frame, and the extent to which CTFS plots contribute to the proposed research.


Submissions will be accepted annually. The next deadline for applications is APRIL 1, 2011. Decisions will be made approximately three months after the deadline.

Proposals can be sent electronically (preferred method) or by mail to the addresses listed below.


CTFS Grants Program
Attn: Sara Lischynsky
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

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