Graduate Student Research Grants

2019 Research
Grant Application
Now Accepting Applications

Deadline: 1 February 2019, 5:00 MST

Webinar:  GSA Research Grants - Steps to Success [2nd Offering]
Tuesday, 18 December 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (MST)
The current and former chair of the GSA Graduate Student Research Grant Committee will provide tips on how to write a successful grant proposal. The webinar will focus on the GSA Graduate Student Research Grant program, but many of the strategies discussed would be beneficial when applying to other grant opportunities, including GSA's Undergraduate Research Grants. Bring questions, and bring a friend! (This is a new, live presentation of the same content covered on 11/29/18.) Register now to reserve your spot.

Results of the 2018 Research Grant Program:

$778,594 was awarded to 381 graduate students (52% of the 730 who applied for 2018), with an average grant of $2,044.

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 2018, $778,594 was awarded to 381 graduate students (52% of the 730 who applied), with an average grant of $2,044.

ExxonMobil Student Research Grants
ExxonMobil will sponsor 10 research grants at US$5,000 per grant. All applicants in the GSA Student Research Grant Program are eligible for these awards, regardless of the topic or location of their research. ExxonMobil will select the top ten proposals based on merit as recommended by the GSA Research Grant Review Committee.

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. 1712071.


  • Eligibility is restricted to GSA members. How to Join GSA.
  • Applicants (US or non-US) must be currently enrolled in a North American 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 2019, 5:00 PM (MST).
  • Results will be sent via email in mid April and award checks will be mailed in late April or early May.


Appraisal Forms

  • Appraisal forms are due 4 February 2019, 11:59 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.
  • Appraisal Worksheet: Advisors may use this to compose their responses to all appraisal questions.
  • Advisors/appraisers may learn more on the Information for Advisors page.

Progress Report Forms

  • All 2018 grant recipients are required to submit a progress report by 1 February 2019.
  • 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)

Application Worksheet (Word format)
Students may use this to compose their responses to all application questions

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal; Essential Tips and Best Practices

Information for Advisors

Award Recipient Designation Form (Word format)
For grant recipients who want their grant money paid directly to their institution on their behalf.
Save the completed form to your computer, then send as an e-mail attachment to GSA

Progress Report Form (Word format)
Save the completed form to your computer, then send as an e-mail attachment to GSA by 1 Feb.., the year after you receive a grant (must also be included on current application form).

Address Change Form (Google form)
Grant recipients must submit this form by 1 Dec. to inform GSA if they have a new address to which their IRS Form 1099 should be sent between 1 Jan. - 28 Feb. (the year after they receive the grant).

2018 Graduate Student Research Grant Recipients

2018 Grant Recipients