About the Society Awards Dawson Grant

The Mary R. Dawson Predoctoral Fellowship Grant recognizes and supports graduate student research excellence. This award recognizes research excellence and promote a successful career in Vertebrate Paleontology by supporting the recipient’s dissertation research travel, data collection and analyses. Learn more about Dr. Dawson.

      © Michael Skrepnick



Eligibility Requirements

  • Current membership in SVP is required. You will not be able to apply for the award unless your membership is current in the system.
  • The applicant must be a PhD candidate (i.e., completed qualifying exam or equivalent) at time of application. 
  • The successful applicant will be chosen on the basis of scholarly contribution of the proposed project, excellence in student professional activities, and leadership and promise of a productive and important professional role in Vertebrate Paleontology.

How to Apply                                                                 

Please utilize the SVP online award submission system to apply. Any materials sent by e-mail, fax or mail will NOT be reviewed. Once you click "submit" the award application is complete so be sure to double check that all fields and uploads are exactly as you wish BEFORE clicking "submit". Be sure to name all uploaded documents with your name and a description of the attachment (ie John Smith Photo). Have the following items ready when you submit your application:

  • Detailed description of dissertation research project (three pages, single-spaced maximum)  Include the hypotheses you aim to test and proposed methods, the intellectual merit of the proposed research and its broader relevance to advancing the field of Vertebrate Paleontology, and a brief outline of organization of the research, the timetable and logistics of your proposed project. Proposals that exceed the page limit will be automatically rejected.
  • Budget and Justification Document (one page maximum) Include a breakdown of how the award would be used and a list of other research support (current and applied for), travel expenses, permit costs, professional expenses, supplies, additional expenses.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Literature Cited
  • Advisor Letter of Support with full contact information and a statement that the applicant has been admitted to candidacy for a PhD (or equivalent).
  • Non-Advisor Letter of Support with full contact information
  • Nominee Photo


for Successful Structure and Content of Applications

  • Please follow the guidelines for content listed under the first bullet point for “How to Apply”
  • Successful applications for this award must present a hypothesis that the project will test.
  • Successful applications for this award must describe the methods that will be used in the project sufficiently to allow their evaluation.
  • Successful applications for this award must articulate the broader significance of the project and its potential results for the field of vertebrate paleontology and the broader community (scientific and/or public).
  • To ensure your application addresses the critical points noted above, delineation of the project under subheadings is encouraged, based on the following (or a similar) model:
        Objective(s) and Hypotheses
        Methods (including Timetable and Logistics)
        Broader Significance to Vertebrate Paleontology and Other Fields


2016 award submission is now OPEN. Click here to apply.

Submission deadline has been extended until 11:59 pm Eastern time (US), on Monday, April 11, 2016.

You may now view the approved 2016 award amounts HERE.


Dr. Richard Blob
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Clemson University
Clemson, SC, USA
Email: rblob@clemson.edu

View past award winners



The poster may not exceed the dimensions given in the meeting guidelines (usually: 231.14 cm wide and 114.3 cm high) and a landscape orientation is preferred.