Graduate Student Research Awards

The Department of Biology offers several research and travel awards for graduate students made possible through donations and endowments from alumni and former faculty. Requests for proposals are circulated in early fall semesters. Awards are made once a year by a selection committee appointed by the chair. Inquiries should be directed to the Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Education: Dr. H. Gert de Couet, Department of Biology ( 

For more in-depth information, such as eligibility and application materials, for each award, please click here:

Please note: these are research grants, mostly for Zoology graduate students.

The Charles H. and Margaret B. Edmondson Research Fund- Grants in Aid of Research and Publication for Graduate Students in the area of Hawai`i marine invertebrate zoology.

The trust established in the will of long time University of Hawai`i Professor of Zoology and Bishop Museum Marine Zoologist Charles H. Edmondson and his wife Margaret B. Edmondson provides several awards for research and publication. Edmondson Grants-in-Aid are meant to enhance a research project by providing funds to enable a particular aspect of the effort that might otherwise be impossible.  This may include, but is not restricted to, purchase of special supplies or small equipment, research travel, access to special training or facilities (e.g., electron microscopes), or assistance with publication.  The research project must involve marine invertebrate animals and focus on Hawai`i.


2016 Recipients: 

Ariana Huffmyer
Project title: An interdisciplinary “head start” program: nutritional provisioning for juvenile corals and hands-on research experiences for first-generation college students in Hawaii

Becca Lensing
Project title: Exploring the gut microbiome of the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes

Claire Lewis
Project title: What is the adaptive significance of phenotypic plasticity in Pavona varians?

Lindsay Veazey
Project title: Investigating the origin and impact of sediment deposition on the health of Hawaiian mesophotic reefs

Rachael Wade
Project title: Algal diversity as a tool to explore the algal-herbivore interactions of the sacoglossan sea slug Plakobranchus ocellatus (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia)

Christopher Wall
Project title: Primary productivity as a driver of heterotrophic nutrition in reef corals of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands


Jessie D. Kay Memorial Research Grants in Hawai`ian Natural History, Zoology and Marine Malacology

The Jessie D. Kay Memorial Fund provides two research grants in the amount of $10,000 every year. Awards are “…to support the study of natural history with an emphasis on zoology and marine malacology, the study of marine mollusks.”  The trust document additionally stipulates that “.… the Fund may support graduate students in zoology, with the preference to those attending the University of Hawai`i, particularly with the interest in the natural history of the Hawai`ian Islands.”
2016 Recipients:

Mark Royer
Project title: Deep secrets of the scalloped hammerhead shark: Surviving dives into cold depths

Elizabeth Alison Kay Endowed Awards for students in Biology/Zoology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

This fund was established in honor of Prof. E. Alison Kay at the time of her retirement from the Department of Zoology in 2001.  Dr. Kay designated that income from the fund provide research awards to students in Zoology at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.  Specifically, E. A. Kay Research Awards are meant “ … to encourage and reward outstanding students who have an interest in the natural history of the Hawai`ian Islands [with] preference to students whose focus is whole organism natural history.”
2016 Recipients: 

Luke Campillo
Project title: Phylogenomic assessment of speciation patterns in an endemic Hawaiian radiation (Aves: Chasiempis)

Claire Lewis
Project title: Can micro-skeletal traits shed light on species boundaries in the morphologically diverse coral Pavona varians?


Dr. Charles and Sandra Guest-Van Riper Endowed Student Travel Award for Graduate Students

The purpose of this Fund is to provide travel and attendance support to professional meetings for graduate students majoring in Biology, with preference to students studying Ornithology at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa College of Natural Sciences.
No recipients in 2016