SICB GIAR and FGST Programs Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

I am a graduate student enrolled in a degree program at a university, am I eligible to apply?
If you are a current member of SICB, then you are eligible to apply. International students are also eligible to apply. You can become a member of SICB by visiting

I can't decide whether to apply for the FGST or GIAR. Do you have any advice on which one is more appropriate?
We award more GIAR grants, but they are for less money. The competition in terms of number of applicants per available grants varies each year, so it is difficult to predict which grant is more difficult to get. If your proposal is fundamentally about traveling to a field site, chances are that you should try for the higher funding offered by the FGST. If you are just trying to get sufficient funds to get your research going, then it's probably a good bet to go for the GIAR.

May I apply to both a GIAR and FGST grant?
No, you may not. If we receive two applications from one individual, neither application will be reviewed.

Are letters of reference required for this grant?
No, however, you will need to provide the contact information for your advisor.

What are the criteria by which these grants are evaluated?
A panel of faculty and one student member review these grants based on a pre-defined set of criteria:

  1. Is the background sufficient for you to understand the study and the appropriate literature cited?

  2. Is there a clear statement of the primary research goal that links to broader issues in Biology, and has the applicant stated an explicit hypothesis to be tested?

  3. Is the experimental design clearly explained, justified, and appropriate given the stated goals and hypothesis?

  4. Is the approach for interpretation of the data clearly described and justified?

  5. Is the grant well-structured in terms of writing clarity, organization and proofreading?

  6. Did you find the proposal creative and interesting or especially likely to address an important issue in Biology?

  7. Is the proposed research feasible (e.g., realistic, likely to yield interpretable results)?

  8. Are the funds requested reasonable and sufficient to perform the proposed work?

In addition, each proposal is ranked as being in the 1st (top 25%), 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (bottom 25%) quartile. The scores from the above questions combined with the quartile scores and ancillary information (e.g., adequate budget justification and description of resources available to you) ultimately are used to determine which proposals are funded.

When will I find out about the awardees and when are the funds disbursed?
The awards are announced at the January SICB meeting and the funds are distributed shortly thereafter. Please check that the information in your member profile is correct, especially the address for correspondence – this will ensure that the funds are sent to the correct place.

May I have comments on my grant so I can improve next time? You will receive your scores via e-mail from the committee chair. At this time, no written reviews are provided.

I have questions that aren't answered, who do I contact?
Please read the accompanying tabs that describe the grants and the rules. If you still can't find what you're looking for, you may contact the Chair of the Student Support Committee, Prof. Ryan Earley,