Approval Date: August 17, 2013; revised January 9, 2016; revised April 7, 2018

Authority and Responsibilities

The Desert Tortoise Council (Council) encourages activities and research that benefit desert tortoises and/or their habitats, provide information or service to the public, or address other appropriate conservation issues in manners consistent with the goals and objectives of the Council as provided in the bylaws, including:

  • Bylaws, Article II, Section 2, c. To support, and be an advocate of, such measures as will contribute to ensuring the continued survival of desert tortoises and the maintenance of their habitats in a natural condition;
  • Bylaws, Article II, Section 2, d. To stimulate and encourage studies on the ecology, biology, management, and protection of desert tortoises;
  • Bylaws, Article II, Section 2, e. To gather and disseminate information on the desert tortoise and its habitat, and to be an advocate of science-based management;
  • Bylaws, Article II, Section 2, f. To maintain active public information and conservation education programs; and
  • Bylaws, Article II, Section 2, g. To support conservation actions for the protection of other tortoises, turtles, and ecosystems, as appropriate.

Consistent with the Council’s interest in conservation activities and research, the Council, through its Board of Directors (Board), will consider Grant Requests from qualified individuals or organizations for research or other activities on topics related to the biology, conservation, or management of desert tortoises; the development and dissemination of educational material about desert tortoises; or in support of other imperiled tortoises, turtles, and ecosystems. All Grant Requests are evaluated and awarded as funds are available, at the sole discretion of a majority vote of the Board. Guidelines for submitting a Grant Request for funding by the Council follow.

Instructions for Submitting Grant Requests

Submissions: All Grant Requests must be submitted electronically in portable document format (.PDF) to: grants@deserttortoise.org. Each Grant Request must be accompanied by the Grant Request Cover Form.

Timing of Submissions: Grant Requests may be submitted at any time; however, because the Board of Directors requires at least 30 days to review requests prior to voting, and because voting only may be accomplished at Board meetings (held three times per year), response times may vary. The Grants Committee Chairperson will notify the applicant of anticipated response time at the time of submission.

Grant Request Format: The format for Grant Requests is flexible to allow for a variety of project types and circumstances. In addition to the Grant Request Cover Form, the following information is required:

1. A detailed description of the proposed research or activity. The description must include the following information:

  • Goals and objectives.
  • Geographic location.
  • The specific design of the study or action, including a detailed list of tasks to be performed, the sequence of tasks to be completed, personnel required for each task, methods of analysis, and overall timeframe for conducting the work, completing the project, and reporting of results.
  • If the Grant Request is for a research project, the hypotheses to be tested should be included in the introductory description along with the project objectives. A thorough literature review is to be included and anticipated results identified. Study methods (e.g., study area; data collection techniques; data analysis and statistical testing) are to be clearly presented. The project schedule should present a timeline for field studies, preparation of draft reports/manuscripts, peer review, and final product completion.
  • Specific criteria for measuring the progress and success of the project.
  • A schedule for publishing the results of the research and/or reporting the results to the Board and Council. Awardees may be expected to provide the results of the project or action in report(s) to the Board and presentation(s) at the Annual Symposium.
  • Any permits or governmental or non‐governmental authorizations required for the project, and the current status of obtaining those permits and/or authorizations. Final approval of a Grant Request is contingent on all required permits being issued.
  • A description of how the project or action will benefit desert tortoises, their habitats, or other specific conservation objectives.

2. A detailed budget that itemizes funds to be used for labor and non‐labor expenses must be included. Nonlabor materials or items are to be identified by unit cost (e.g., per diem, mileage, supplies, and travel). Labor costs should be identified by individual, their hourly rates, and the number of hours proposed for each individual by task. Any sub‐consultant or sub‐contractor costs must be identified consistent with the requirements of labor as noted above.

The budget should also include:

  • The total amount of funding requested, and a description of other funding needs and/or funding sources that may be required for successful completion of the project.
  • A specific timeline for submitting requests for payment or disbursement of awarded funds.

3. Names and contact information for three professional references.

4. Résumés of all key participants, highlighting current and past relevant experience. Submission of a Grant Request implies that all key participants have reviewed and approved the request and will be working on the project.