Gaige Awards are presented annually in honor of Frederick (Dick) and Helen Gaige, both of whom lived during the years 1890–1976. Dick Gaige, an entomologist, was also an avid herpetological collector and was director of the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan from 1928–1945. Helen Gaige was a herpetologist with an interest in Neotropical frogs. She served as herpetological editor of Copeia from 1930–1937 and as editor-in-chief from 1937–1950. This unsurpassed editorial service earned Helen the title of Honorary ASIH President for Herpetology in 1946. The Gaiges showed a lively interest in colleagues and students and, through their helpfulness to others, were a major influence in biology in the United States and on herpetology in particular.
Applications are solicited for grants to be awarded from the Gaige Fund. These funds are used to provide support to young herpetologists for museum or laboratory study, travel, fieldwork, or any other activity that will effectively enhance their professional careers by contributing to the science of herpetology.
Applicants must be members of ASIH and should be enrolled in an advanced degree program. Individual awards are typically in the range of $400–1000 and will be awarded on the basis of both merit and need. Because of limited funds, previous awardees requesting additional funding for the same or a similar project will be given lower priority than students who have not received Gaige funds.
Students will be notified of the status of their application by 1 May 2021, and the award checks will be issued by the Treasurer. Certificates and checks will be mailed to the winners before the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and will be announced at the Business and Awards Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona during the Annual Meeting of the ASIH.
Applications for the Gaige Award and letters of recommendation should be sent as PDFs (email attachments) to the Gaige Award Chairperson, Dr. Sara Ruane (sara.ruane [at] rutgers.edu). The application should consist of no more than two single-spaced, typewritten pages (12-point font, reasonable margins) and must include the following:
- Name, email address, mailing address, and telephone numbers of the applicant (if this information is not included, you will not be eligible for an award);
- Institutional affiliation;
- Academic degree being sought and the year of its expected completion, or highest degree and its date of award;
- Name of the applicant's current or most recent major professor;
- Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of two persons who have agreed to recommend the applicant and proposal (see below);
- Title of the proposed research;
- Concise description of the proposed investigation including the general research objectives, hypothesis/question, and methods of study (see below);
- Sources and amounts of partial support for the research and pending applications for support and amounts from other sources;
- Prioritized budget outline not exceeding the range of typical awards;
- Short statement of the way in which the award would be used to enhance research.
A Literature Cited section should be appended (this section does not count as part of the two-page limit). In recent years, successful proposals were carefully prepared, well written, and complete with two letters of recommendation. Award-winning proposals had one or more clearly described central hypotheses/questions that were likely to be answered, at least in part, by completing the proposed research. Importantly, proposals that framed their specific questions within a broader biological context were consistently highly ranked.
Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant and his or her research must be solicited by the applicant. One of these letters should be from the current major professor. Both letters should be from reputable scientists, preferably herpetologists, and should include statements concerning the following:
- Competence of the applicant;
- Significance of the applicant's research;
- Desirability of and need for the funds being requested by the applicant.
The applicant should request that each letter be sent directly to the Gaige Award Chairperson (Dr. Sara Ruane, sara.ruane [at] rutgers.edu) in electronic form (PDF).
The application and letters of recommendation must be received by the committee chairperson by midnight of 1 March 2021. Incomplete applications or lack of ASIH dues payment by this date disqualifies the application.