Ecology Institute to hold pitch slam for funding competition

January 28, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Ecology Institute announced a funding competition for its annual Flower Grant for Ecological Research. The events, which will take place as virtual pitch slams, will occur from noon to 1 p.m. on March 9 and 10. The Ecology Institute is inviting researchers who are seeking funding to participate.

Additionally, general audience members are encouraged to attend to provide their feedback on the pitch submissions. Both presenters and general audience members must register for the pitch slam. Those pitching must also apply through InfoReady.

Pitch slams are fast-paced, idea-sharing events where presenters have four minutes to explain their ideas to a selection committee as well as a general audience. The competition is open to tenured, tenure-track and fixed-term Penn State faculty members who hold an appointment of half-time or more at any Penn State campus.

“The idea is to craft an engaging and concise presentation that describes the project idea in terms that are understandable to a general audience,” said Erica Smithwick, director of the Ecology Institute. “Being able to share your ideas in four minutes or less is a valuable skill set, and in this case, may provide your research project with funding.”

Smithwick said that awards will range between $500 to $4,000 and that approximately 10 grants will be awarded.

All presentations should justify the need for financial support and provide a clear connection to the core themes of the Ecology Institute:

  • Resilience and adaptation
  • Provision of ecosystem goods and services
  • Ecology at the interface
  • Rapid evolutionary change
  • Ecological foundations

In addition to the core thematic areas, the Ecology Institute is interested in topics related to the ecological dimensions of COVID-19, such as ecology of infectious disease, wildlife-human interactions, and diversity/equity/inclusion in interdisciplinary ecology research.

Winners will be announced at a live, virtual event at noon on March 17.

The Ecology Institute is supported by the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences and the Institutes of Energy and the Environment.  

Last Updated January 29, 2021