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Deadline 15 Sept: IAPT Biodiversity Challenge

Application Deadline: 15 September 2022

Maximum Award Amount: $10,000 USD


The IAPT Biodiversity Challenge seeks to catalyze interdisciplinary research and promote small herbarium collections (< 100,000 specimens) that enhance our understanding of biodiversity. It also seeks to encourage revisionary systematics and innovative research based firmly on botanical collections. The IAPT Biodiversity Challenge welcomes proposals that focus on groups of organisms that are understudied, or for which taxonomic expertise is limited or vanishing and that include the exploration of poorly collected or threatened areas.


Today, we face a rapidly accelerating loss of plant and animal species driven by human-led activities. It is estimated that a million species may face extinction. Alongside the loss of biodiversity we are also observing the loss of regional collections, often due to financial hardship. Since the taxonomists of tomorrow will be critical stewards of biodiversity, all funding proposals should include opportunities for training young taxonomists, or contemplate new opportunities for sharing gained expertise and fostering independent research or other creative work.

The IAPT Biodiversity Challenge welcomes proposals that focus on groups of organisms that are understudied, or for which taxonomic expertise is limited or vanishing and that include the exploration of poorly collected or threatened areas.

Applications will be accepted under one of the following two initiatives:

Small Collections (with <100,000 specimens) with funding that will enable them to:

  1. Maintain or upgrade collection infrastructure to best-practice standards, including basic curation, pest management, georeferencing, and digitization.

  2. Enable botanists worldwide (with an emphasis on developing countries) to fill the most substantial geographic gaps (based on review of distributional records) in our understanding of biodiversity through field expeditions and collection development, all in support of documenting local floras.

  3. Develop specimen repatriation initiatives.

  4. Curate significant orphan collections otherwise in danger of being lost.

Innovative Taxonomic and Systematic teams committed to collections-based work with funding that will enable them to:

  1. Lead collections-based research aimed at filling gaps of knowledge to test hypotheses of the processes underlying the assembly of biodiversity (How many species are there and what do we know about them? How is biodiversity distributed in time and space?) as well as refining understanding of plant relationships.

  2. Broaden the systematic and taxonomic expertise of researchers, students, and trainees focusing on understudied groups of algae, fungi or plants, or where taxonomic expertise is limited or vanishing.

  3. Promote the results of their research through publication and broaden outreach activities.

For further details see the Grants page on the IAPT website: https://www.iaptglobal.org/grants

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