Grants main content.


Portrait of Frank M. Chapman
Dr. Frank M. Chapman, October, 1928
Image no. 110999, AMNH Library





Joel Cracraft, Chairman

George F. Barrowclough, Edwin Morgens, Michael J. Novacek, Robert F. Rockwell, Nancy Simmons, Brian T. Smith

The Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund of the American Museum of Natural History was set up by Ms. Elsie M. B. Naumburg in memory of Dr. Chapman, a long-term Chairman of the Department of Ornithology at the Museum. Grants for research in several aspects of ornithology are supported by the Fund. A Committee composed of Curators in the Ornithology Department at the Museum, along with the Museum's Richard Gilder Graduate School and other representatives of the Museum and non-Museum communities, handles the administration of the Fund and the grants.

Three categories of grants are available from the Fund, based on a competitive evaluation of the nature and quality of the proposed research.

  1. Chapman Grants: Modest short-term awards for research in ornithology are available to advanced graduate students (and occasionally to post-graduate researchers) for expenses associated with their research. These awards are highly competitive (recent success rates are approximately 30 percent; they average approximately $1,000, but occasionally are as large as $2,000-$3,000. Salaries and stipends are not funded. Wildlife management and other applied proposals are rarely funded. There is one competition per year with a submission deadline of November 15th. Awards are normally announced in early to mid April.

    2020 grant program information and application forms will be posted soon
    Deadline 15 November 2020


  2. Collection Study Grants: Collection Study Grants are awarded, competitively, to avian systematists without other funds who wish to perform research on the specimens in the Ornithological Collections of the American Museum of Natural History. There is no deadline for application for these grants; they are considered when they are received. However, it normally takes a month or more to evaluate and process the applications; so grants should be submitted at least two months prior to when the researcher would like to visit the Collection. These grants are for expenses only, no stipends, and cannot exceed $1,500. If a larger sum is required to complete a project, then a researcher must apply under the Chapman Grants program with the once per year, November 15th deadline.


  3. Chapman Fellowships: One and two year Fellowships are awarded for research in avian systematics, evolution, and biogeography to be performed in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. These grants include a stipend and a budget that depends on the nature of the research. These Fellowships are highly competitive and normally only one or two are awarded per year. The single yearly competition has a submission deadline of November 15th. Normally, an applicant to this program must have prior discussions with one or more members of the Ornithology Department concerning the research project; successful applicants to this program will work with one of the Curators in the Department of Ornithology as a mentor. Chapman Fellowships are normally awarded to recent recipients of a doctoral degree in avian systematics. However, such Fellowships are also occasionally available to senior researchers on sabbatical leave from their home institution. Contact should be made with a Museum Curator to discuss such circumstances. The Fellowships are awarded in early to mid April.