IMS Student Research and Education Awards

Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS)
Open to UC Santa Cruz students only

The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), has committed funds to support both student research and education projects in the marine sciences. For student research in marine sciences, all geographic areas of study are considered. For marine science education, projects must be affiliated with public education programs such as The Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Awards will be made to both undergraduate students and graduate students (both masters and doctoral graduate students will be considered).

Awards are made possible from annual income on five endowed funds:

  • Jane McHenry Student Award
  • Lillian McPherson Rouse Student Award
  • Friends of Long Marine Lab Student Award
  • Ken Norris Marine Mammal Research Award (focused on marine mammal research)
  • IMS Packard Student Award

How to Apply

Follow the guidelines below. Email the completed proposal packet—including cover letter, proposal, and advisor’s letter—to by the deadline.                    

Deadline for Proposals:  May 6, 2024, 4:00PM

Successful applicants will be notified by May 13, 2024


  • Only one Student Research and Education Award will be given per student over the course of their UC Santa Cruz student career. Please do not apply if you have previously received this award.
  • Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.
  • Science education projects are eligible.
  • All geographic areas of study and field or laboratory research projects will be considered.
  • Special consideration will be given to thesis projects at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Maximum award is $500 for undergraduate students; and $1,500 for graduate students (undergrads and grads may team up on projects).
  • Travel to scientific meetings will not be funded; travel to carry out research will be considered.
  • Graduate students in their fourth year will not be considered for funding.
  • Proposals that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered.

Reviewers include both scientists and non-scientists. Write clearly and simply in 12-point font.

Before submitting your proposal, please read the requirements of awardees at the bottom of this page.


  1. One-page cover sheet that includes:
    1. Your name, student ID number, mailing address, phone number, and email address
    2. Title of project or thesis
    3. One-sentence description of the project (the way you would explain it to a non-scientist)
    4. Degree you are pursuing and year in the program
    5. Name of your advisor
    6. List any previous awards received related to this project/thesis and how you used them
  2. Two-page proposal that includes
    1. Introductory paragraph
      1. State the major thesis
      2. State the significance to the research or education community
      3. State the significance to the general public
    2. Details of your proposal
      1. What you are going to do
      2. How you are going to do it
      3. Where you are going to do it
      4. When you are going to do it, including the expected completion date
      5. What do expect to find
      6. What will you do with the results and why are the results important
    3. Budget
      1. Describe/list the item or service (e.g., chemicals, four large batteries, boat time)
      2. Cost of each item or service
  3. One-page letter of recommendation from your advising faculty member or research scientist discussing the significance of the project, an assessment of your progress to date, an assessment of the project’s feasibility, your promise as a researcher or science educator, and any financial support the advisor is providing.
  4. Optional: one-page list of scientific sources can be included but is not required.
  5. Email your complete proposal packet to by the deadline.