Marcia Athey and Botany Fund

The Kentucky Academy of Science Foundation makes available through the Marcia Athey Fund and the Botany Fund monies for research in science. Research may be supported in any of the physical, biological, behavioral, or engineering sciences. The research is to be conducted within the general boundaries of the Commonwealth recognizing that some field investigations may transcend political boundaries.

The funds are for research planned and conducted by students of Kentucky secondary schools, colleges, and universities under the supervision of a faculty member. If funds are available, consideration will also be given to support faculty research projects.  Application for a renewal of support may be considered for a second year. Applicants must be members of the Kentucky Academy of Science.

Awards normally are in the several hundred dollars range, though in extraordinary circumstances some higher awards may be possible. All awards are made to the institution of the faculty supervisor/researcher.  Funding recommendations will be made by the Committee to the KAS Board after the winter Board meeting.
Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for all KAS Grants.

2024 Grantees

Contributions of Host Use and Geographic Distance to Phenotypic and Genomic Population Variation in Tephritid Flies
    Sophia Anner, University of Louisville

Snakes in the City: What Slithering Reptiles Call Local Parks Home
    Mallory Harmel University of Louisville

2023 Grantees

Predicting How Climate Change Will Influence Plant-Pollinator Mutualisms
    Alissandra Ayala, University of Louisville
Anthosphere Microbiome Effects on Floral Volatility Production
    Noelle Visser, University of Louisville
Comparing stress and disturbance effects on wetland plants
    Shannon Walker, University of Louisville

2022 Grantees

Bryophyte Assemblages at Cave Entrances Across a Range of Anthropogenic Disturbance
Morghan McCool, University of Louisville

Assessing the effect of man-made reservoirs on gene flow of stream-breeding salamanders
Anna Favalon, Western Kentucky University

2021 Grantees:

Predatory Effects of Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) Tadpoles on Freshwater Invertebrate Communities.  
    Brady Parlato, Eastern Kentucky University

Effects of fire on arthropod communities in a temperate deciduous forest.
    Kane Lawhorn, University of Louisville

  Archive of KAS Research Grant past recipients 2006-2021

Applications should include:
  1. Project abstract (250 words)
  2. Project description (1000 words) sufficient for evaluation by those not especially informed with your area of endeavor. This should include:
  • a review of pertinent literature
  • rationale for doing the research
  • hypothesis if appropriate
  • research methods including experimental techniques and statistical analysis
  • roles of students and. faculty and any connection to previous research in the same area
  • facilities and equipment required and availability
  1. Detailed and justified budget- uploaded as attachment. Subdivide the budget into stipends, travel, equipment, supplies and expendables, and other costs. Travel should be further subdivided into direct costs of travel and subsistence. “Other” costs should be itemized.
  2. Collaborative arrangements, where appropriate, brief curriculum vitae, of the applicant and the faculty sponsor. Vitae should list all relevant positions held during the previous ten years, a history of all research awards received, and a list of pertinent publications (up to five). The applicant Vitae should also include previous KAS funds, if applicable, and indicate if results of previous KAS funds have been presented in scientific meetings and/or published.
  3. Endorsements and letters of support are encouraged
Athey / Botany fund allowable costs include:
  1. Nominal annual stipend for work by student(s) in accord with policies and amounts normally approved at the institution of the principal investigator(s).
  2. Research connected travel within the Commonwealth, including travel, lodging, and meal expenses where necessary.  Amounts for travel will be reviewed by the Committee.
  3. Small equipment directly associated with the project and normally not available at the sponsoring institution.
  4. Supplies, expendables, and other materials not normally found at the sponsoring institution.
  5. Support toward page charges for publication of research results generated from support of this fund when such research is published in a refereed journal. Publications from supported research in the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science or other refereed journals are encouraged, either in the form of abstracts or articles.  Accepted publications must acknowledge KAS Marcia Athey or Botany Fund support.

Grant Period: The date shown on the award letter is considered the start date.  All awards end one year after the date indicated on the letter. Grant recipients must be members of the Kentucky Academy of Science.  All awards are made to the institution of the faculty supervisor/researcher. At the close of the grant period, any unspent funds must be returned to the Kentucky Academy of Science. KAS Grant funds do not provide support administrative overhead or other such costs not directly associated with the conduct of research. 

Final Report: A project for which an award has been made is not complete until a written final report has been submitted and approved.  This report shall detail objectives of the research as actually executed, general description of methods used, results obtained, and a summary of the disbursements made by budget categories listed in your proposal. The report should not exceed six pages, exclusive of papers submitted for publication and abstracts for meetings.

Three copies of the report shall be filed to the following KAS officers, not later than April 15 of the year following the award: KAS Executive Director (; the Chair of the Research Grants Committee, and the KAS Treasurer. Contacts for current Research Grants Chair and Treasurer are available at the KAS website. The approval of future applications by the student researcher or the faculty sponsor will not be granted if a complete final report is not on file.

All Applications will be evaluated based upon:

  1. Significance of the proposed project within academic discipline, justification for the project, innovation, advancing educational quality, and problem-based focus (30 points)
  2. Feasibility of the project given available resources and major objective(s), methodology, plan of operation, timetable, expected products and results (30 points)
  3. Qualifications of the student and faculty sponsor who will develop and carry out the project objectives (15 points)
  4. Institutional support, equipment, and/or materials available to carry out the project objectives (15 points)
  5. Budget and cost-effectiveness. Elements considered include the degree to which the project maximizes the use of limited resources and educational value of the dollar (10 points)