Graduate Student Research Grants

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Application Status

The deadline for 2017 applications has passed (1 Feb.).

The primary role of the GSA research grants program is to provide partial support of master's and doctoral thesis research in the geological sciences for graduate students enrolled in universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. In 2015, $723,570 was awarded to 391 graduate students (50% of the 784 who applied), with an average grant of $1,851.

Specialized Awards: The Committee on Research Grants selects recipients of special awards from applicants to the general research grants program. A student may not apply directly for a specialized grant, however may indicate on the application if he/she would like to be considered for an award. These are generally recognition awards only with no additional funding. However, some specialized awardees may be funded for an amount greater than US$2,500.

GSA strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to participate fully in this grant program.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.1354519.


  • Eligibility is restricted to GSA members. How to Join GSA.
  • Applicants (US or non-US) must be currently enrolled in a U.S., Canadian, Mexican or Central American university or college in an earth science degree program (with a geologic component).
  • Students may receive a total of two GSA graduate student grants in their entire academic career, regardless of what program currently enrolled in.


  • All applications must be submitted by 1 February 2017, 5:00 PM (MST).
  • Results will be sent via email in mid April and award checks will be mailed by the end of April.


Appraisal Forms

  • Appraisal forms are due 3 February 2017, 5:00 PM (MST).
  • One appraisal from the primary advisor is required with each application. Advisors do not have to be members of GSA or come from the same institution as the applicant.
  • The Appraisal Forms must be submitted by the advisors electronically through the online application system.
  • Applications missing the appraisal form will not be eligible. The applicant is responsible for ensuring their advisor submits the appraisal form.

Progress Report Forms

  • All 2016 grant recipients are required to submit a progress report by 31 March 2017.
  • A progress or final report (MS Word format) for any previous GSA research grant must be included with a current proposal regardless if one has already been submitted to GSA.


  • The Geological Society of America is required to issue 1099 forms at the end of each calendar year according to rules set by the IRS. Issuance of a 1099 does not necessarily mean the income is taxable to the recipient. You need to make that determination which may require professional advice. GSA cannot offer such advice.
  • It is the student's responsibility to forward any change in address to GSA to insure timely delivery of 1099 forms.


Matt Dawson
Geological Society of America
P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
Phone: +1-303-357-1025

Thank you for your interest in our program.

Complete Policies and Procedures (PDF)

Instructions (PDF)

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal; Essential Tips and Best Practices

Information for Advisors

Award Recipient Designation Form

Progress Report Form (Word format)
Save the completed form to your computer, then send as an e-mail attachment to GSA (must also be included on current application form).

2016 Graduate Student Research Grant Recipients