Black and Indigenous Scholars Award in Mammalogy

This was award developed through the efforts of leadership in Black Mammalogists Week, which was created in 2020 to raise awareness of the global community of Black mammalogists, to illuminate the historical and present-day contributions of Black mammalogists to the field of Mammalogy, and to provide opportunities for current and aspiring Black mammalogists across the Diaspora to form conscious, fruitful, forward-viewing connections.  The ASM shares with originators of Black Mammalogists Week a vision of a future where young people of all backgrounds will realize that they are not only welcome, but indeed are needed and vital parts of a fully grounded science of mammalogy.  Reflecting our shared desire to realize this goal, ASM and Black Mammalogists Week leadership have worked closely to help promote this vision – to ensure that a future of equality and inclusivity is the only future for us all.

Terms of award.

The Black and Indigenous Scholars award is targeted at research and activities related to mammals. There are no thematic limits to this award; research on ecology, behavior, biogeography, genomics, physiology, taxonomy, or any other arena is acceptable. The only taxonomic limit is that this is not intended to support research on humans (although research on how humans impact non-human mammals could be acceptable). Applicant will be a current, potential, or aspiring Mammalogist from or residing in North or South America who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous, as outlined in the United Nations guidelines for identifying Indigenous peoples.

Individuals at any level of experience may apply, including high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, early professionals (within 5 years of terminal degree), and established professionals. High school-level applicants are invited to apply, but must be asking for funding for a formal course, program, or training related to Mammalogy. To maximize the gains of this award, applications from students and early-career professionals will be given priority over established professionals.The award may be used to support the cost of equipment or supplies; field assistants; travel to/from research sites, museums, or other venues for research or coursework; meeting registration cost and travel to meetings; publishing costs; course or training fees; or per diem, as justified by the applicant. The award may not be used for “pay to play” or other exploitative “volunteer” opportunities. Applicants do not need to be affiliated with academic institutions. Applicants do not need to be current members of the American Society of Mammalogists

Selection criteria.

The review committee will emphasize the quality of efforts and impact of the applicant over more traditional quantitative measures. The following general themes will be emphasized:

  1. The applicant will be a scholar from or residing in the Western Hemisphere who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous. 
  2. Career status of high school level and above; there is no age limit.
  3. Ability to speak to how the award will help the applicant professionally. It is implicit that this will relate to the field of mammalogy in some way.
  4. Ability to speak to how the applicant’s identity has contributed to their career goals, interests, and hopes. 
  5. Proposals that have broad impacts and where the funds can go further than the applicant’s specific project.


In recognition of the innumerable contributions that Black/African American, African, and Indigenous mammalogists have contributed to Mammalogy in the past, present, and future, the American Society of Mammalogists and Black Mammalogists Week are collaborating to offer awards of up to $1500 to support the further development of Mammalogy by Black/African American, African, and Indigenous people.

Application Process

  1. Name, email, address, and phone number of the applicant.
  2. Application materials shall include:
    1. An itemized budget of proposed activities (including matching funds, if appropriate), ranging from $200 to a maximum of $1,500. Indicate whether you are applying for other funding, and the sources you are applying to.
    2. A supporting statement with responses to each of the questions listed below. Responses should be 100-500 words each. Responses should be compiled into a single document (PDF or Word document acceptable), with 1” margins, single-spaced, and Arial/Times New Roman/Calibri fonts.
      • What are your goals, interests, and hopes for your future career?
      • How will this award help you to achieve your career goals, interests, and hopes?
      • How has being Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous brought you to where you are now, and how do you see your identities influencing your future career?
      • How do you see this award benefiting you, as well as your colleagues, friends, mentees, discipline, or community?
      • If you receive partial funding from this grant that is lower than your submitted budget, how will you use the partial funding?
  3. A reference letter from a professional who can speak to 1) the applicant’s current and future work in Mammalogy, 2) how much the applicant has been pursuing alternative funding sources, and 3) how the funds from this award would benefit the applicant’s lab, department, or discipline more broadly. A reference letter is required, and should be submitted by 11:59 pm PST on the day the application is due. 


Awards are solicited each fall. Autumn applications will open on September 1 and close at 11:59 pm PST on October 15; award recipients will be notified by November 15. Any questions about the application process or the award itself can be directed to Rhiannon Jakopak at

Your reference will receive an email requesting submission of the letter. You do not need to provide one now.
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Allowed types: pdf.
This file is automatically generated to combine your documents and the reference letter. Please leave blank.
One file only.
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Allowed types: pdf.