Second Century Stewardship: Science for America’s National Parks
2021 Research Fellowship – Request for Proposals
Application Deadline: October 29 2020
Click here for a PDF version of the Request for Proposals.
The partners of the Second Century Stewardship: Science for America’s National Parks announce the availability of Research Fellowships to support research in Acadia National Park. Second Century Stewardship (SCS) was founded in 2016 and is a public-private partnership led by Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, the National Park Service (NPS), and the National Park Foundation, with generous support from the David Evans Shaw Family Foundation. SCS seeks to advance conservation and ecosystem science and support stewardship of park resources. The selected Research Fellows will contribute to strengthening and broadening public understanding of the importance of science for parks and society.
The Research Fellows will conduct research to help realize the vision of national parks as natural laboratories, tellers of science narratives, and exemplars of using science to manage natural and cultural resources and enrich visitor, local community, and employee experiences. The research will help NPS and other organizations adapt and respond to ongoing change and focus on long-term ecological and cultural integrity and viability in a dynamic and challenging future.
Goals of Second Century Stewardship
- Support stewardship of park resources through advancing conservation and ecosystem science.
- Strengthen public understanding of the importance of science for parks and society.
- Increase public engagement with science.
- Pursue solutions to critical conservation challenges.
Number of fellowships, award amount, and timing
We expect to award two to three fellowships. Each fellowship award will be for up to $20,000. Announcement of the awards will be made in spring 2021. Duration is for one to two years.
We recognize there is much uncertainty in regards to the future of COVID-19 and that research in Acadia could be affected in 2021. We will follow local, state, and federal guidelines for health and safety. We understand that projects may have to adjust to the realities of the pandemic and we will be flexible in regards to project scope, logistics, and timeline. In the application, please assume that you will be able to conduct your project as planned but be prepared to adapt as realities necessitate.
Relevant research topics
Relevant research topics may include, but are not limited to (in alphabetical order, not by priority): archeology, botany, citizen science, climate change, communication, conservation, cultural resources, ecology, economics, education, geology, historic preservation, natural resources, recreation, restoration, social science, sustainability, and projects that cross or combine disciplines.
Who should apply
We encourage early-career scientists, assistant professors, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students to apply. Applicants must be U.S. residents and at least 18 years in age. Employees of NPS and Schoodic Institute are not eligible to apply.
Evaluation of proposals
A committee consisting of representatives from Second Century Stewardship institutions will evaluate the proposals based on the criteria listed below. Additional technical and park experts may be called upon to review the scientific aspects of the proposals. Expect that some reviewers will be from outside the discipline addressed by your project.
Proposals will be evaluated based upon:
- 25% – Intellectual merit: advancing knowledge within and across disciplines
- 25% – Relevance to long-term stewardship of Acadia National Park and potential to inform resource management (broadly defined)
- 20% – Potential to contribute to education and science communication
- 15% – Potential to contribute or lead to long-term research at Acadia National Park
- 15% – Qualifications of the applicant—evidence of skills and expertise to carry out the proposed work as well as professional potential
Successful proposals will:
- Have high potential to increase understanding of and inform responses to change in socio-ecological systems.
- Address priority information needs specific to Acadia National Park, but in ways that can inform our understanding or management of systems in other locations.
- Be cost-effective, reasonable, and achievable in terms of scope and goals given the funding, expertise, and experience of the researcher.
- Provide evidence that the applicant is committed to connecting their research to management applications and communicating it to varied audiences.
Schoodic Institute and NPS will work closely with fellows to develop and implement appropriate communication, education, and public engagement activities, as well as activities to help translate research to management. Activities could include public talks, media interviews and stories, curricula development support, citizen science, informational exhibits, student mentoring, and work with educators, resource managers, and partner organizations. Fellows will also receive training in science communication. Proposals should not describe specific education and communication activities planned in association with the proposed research—we will develop these activities together after awarding the fellowships—but proposals must show evidence that the PI has strong interest and skills in connecting research with management and communicating to varied audiences.
Budget limit – Each proposal may request up to a total of $20,000 for research, including stipend, supplies, equipment, and/or travel for the full duration of the fellowship (1-2 years).
Housing – Housing for researchers and field assistants is expected to be available at Schoodic Institute. Housing costs at Schoodic Institute should not be included in the fellowship budget. Proposals should describe the anticipated housing needs (timing and number of people).
Timeline – The fellowship period may extend one to two years.
Communication and education – Fellows should plan to spend two weeks (80 hours) on communication and education-related activities. Fellows should also plan in their schedule for at least one 3-day trip to a paid training or workshop coordinated by Schoodic Institute and NPS. Overall, proposals should budget for the time spent on communication and education activities and training, but do not need to budget for travel or other expenses related to those education and communication activities organized by Second Century Stewardship.
Mentorship – Fellows will be paired with a mentor to support the project. This mentor could be an established scientist, resource manager, or communication specialist, and the mentorship may include connecting research with management and policy and communicating science to varied audiences.
Permits – Fellows will be required to get NPS research permits and must abide by the conditions and reporting requirements of permits. Please see the Acadia National Park Information for Researchers page for more information on the permitting process and requirements.
Documenting, managing, and sharing methods and data – Fellows must follow best practices for documenting, managing, and sharing research methods, data, and metadata. We suggest fellows follow the recommendations of DataONE.org for documenting workflow and archiving and sharing data.
Reporting – Fellows will be required to submit a) brief annual updates due January 30 each year; b) a final report expected within 90 days of completion of fieldwork; and c) notification of all related reports and publications. The updates and final report will note any modification to objectives, will include summaries suitable for publication by Second Century Stewardship partners, and will include progress made on:
- The research timeline and milestones
- Data management
- Educational and outreach activities and measured impacts
- New, additional funding sources, if any (other funding is not required)
- Funds spent
- Other aspects to be defined
Deadline: Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. Eastern U.S. time on October 29, 2020.
How to apply: Proposals will be accepted through the Second Century Stewardship Fellowship online submission site, accessed through the Second Century Stewardship apply page. The online application components are included in the following Application Requirements document.
Informational webinar: An overview of Second Century Stewardship, the Research Fellowship, the application process, and park research priorities will be held on Monday, September 14 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will be recorded and available here for those unable to attend.
Notification of Awards: Recipients will be notified by March 1, 2021. We expect to award two to three fellowships in 2020.
Deadline: October 29, 2020, 11:59 pm (Eastern Time)
Please submit application materials through the Second Century Stewardship Fellowship online submission website, accessed through the Second Century Stewardship apply page. All parts of the application are required and must be submitted by the announced deadline to be considered eligible. The online application components are described below.
- Home institution
- Institution address
- Applicant’s principal advisor/supervisor (name and title)
- Project title
- Abstract: 250-word project summary of proposed research, suitable for a non-scientist audience. The summary should be self-contained and provide specific descriptions of the goals, research activities, and relevance to park management.
Communication narrative – 350 words
- Evidence of applicant interest in connecting research with park stewardship and communicating research to varied audiences
Project narrative – not to exceed three pages (single spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font)
- Anticipated start and end dates
- Brief background (including related citations)
- Methods and measurable results
- Research timeline with anticipated milestones
- Data management plan
- Other funding sources, if any (other funding is not required)
- Housing requirements (timing and any other needs, or specify if housing not required)
- List of project collaborators, if any, and their contact information
Project budget and justification – not to exceed two pages
- How project funds will be spent—e.g., stipend, travel, supplies, etc.
- Fellowship funds cannot be used for institutional overhead.
Curriculum vitae – not to exceed four pages, please include a one-paragraph bio. Graduate students, additionally include a copy of your graduate school transcripts.
References – provide names and email and phone contact information for two references.
How to apply
Additional Terms and Conditions of Application and Participation in the Research Fellowship
- Liability: Second Century Stewardship (SCS) and Schoodic Institute do not endorse any submission or any opinion, recommendation, or advice expressed therein, and expressly disclaim any and all liability in connection with submissions.
- Intellectual Property Rights: SCS and Schoodic Institute do not permit infringement of any intellectual property rights and will disqualify any submission if properly notified that a submission’s contents infringe on another’s rights. In connection with submissions, applicants affirm, represent, and/or warrant that they own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to use and authorize SCS and Schoodic Institute to use all patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights in and to any and all submissions to enable inclusion and use of the submissions in the manner contemplated by SCS and these Terms and Conditions.
- Third Party Material: Applicants agree that they will not submit material that is copyrighted by a third party, protected by trade secret, or otherwise subject to third-party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless the applicant is the owner of such rights or has permission from their rightful owner to submit the material.
- Legality: By submitting an application, applicants warrant and confirm that the applicant is in compliance with all laws applicable to the application and the work proposed.
- Publicity: By entering the Research Fellowship, applicants acknowledge that they may be featured in publicity without further consent. Such publicity may include without limitation the applicant’s name and/or likeness, voice, photographs and/or video footage of the applicant, biographical information provided by the entrants/winners and/or any statement made by them concerning the competition and/or the prizes. Applicants agree that any or all such elements may be used by SCS, Schoodic Institute, and partner entities in any and all media in perpetuity throughout the world. Nevertheless, SCS, Schoodic Institute, and partner entities shall have no obligation to include an entrant in any publicity whatsoever.
- Plagiarism: By applying for the Research Fellowship, the applicant certifies that materials submitted in the application are the original work of the applicant. No application containing plagiarized writing will be funded under this competition.
- Lost or Damaged Materials: SCS accepts no responsibility for applications lost, delayed, misdirected, damaged, or undelivered. Incomplete, non-compliant, and/or illegible entries will be disqualified. SCS and Schoodic Institute shall not be responsible for technical errors in telecommunications networks, Internet access, or otherwise, preventing entry to the competition.
- Agreement of Terms and Conditions: By submitting an application, the applicant agrees to all of the rights, permissions, and terms and conditions as contained in this document.
- Dissemination: SCS and Schoodic Institute reserve the right to publicly disseminate general information about submissions. Such information may include: the number of proposals received; the names of applicants and applicant organizations; titles of proposed activities; and sector(s) in which the work is proposed. For individuals receiving prizes, SCS and Schoodic Institute reserve the right to publicly disseminate descriptions of proposals funded, as well as reports about progress and outcomes. All finalists will be expected to provide SCS and Schoodic Institute with reasonable assistance in communicating the outcomes and impacts of their work to the public.
- Acknowledgements: All publications resulting from research supported by the fellowship should include an acknowledgement of Schoodic Institute, NPS, and Second Century Stewardship: Science for America’s National Parks.