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                                   Garden Club of America

Coastal Wetlands Scholarship


  • Must be enrolled in a graduate program at a university within the U.S.
  • Field-based study must be in coastal wetlands in the U.S., defined as tidal or nontidal wetlands within the coastal states, including the Great Lake states.
  • A student may apply to only one GCA-sponsored scholarship per year.
  • Must be either a US citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.
Answers to your FAQ's

How to Apply:

The four items listed below must be submitted by midnight EST, January 15.  

1.  Application Form - The online application form (button at the bottom of this page) includes basic contact information and a short summary (500 character max) of the project in layperson's language.

Submit parts 2-4 by email as a word document or pdf to gcawetlands@vims.eduPlease include the name of the applicant and “GCA” in the subject line of email messages.

2.  Project Information - No more than 5 pages including references.  Use 12 point or larger font.   Include:

  •    Statement of Work
  •    What portions of work have already been completed (if any)
  •    How the study benefits coastal wetlands
  •    How funds would be used
  •    Plans or opportunities for sharing research results with a larger audience

3.  Vita - No more than 2 pages.  At a minimum include:

  • Relevant education, work, and volunteer experience
  • Publications and presentations
  • Career goals
  • Names and contact information for 3 references 

4.  Letter of Endorsement from Applicant's Major Professor/Advisor - The advisor should email this letter directly to the GCA Award Committee with the name of the applicant and "GCA reference letter" in the subject line.  The letter should: 

  • Identify the student 
  • Indicate the status of the student in the graduate degree program 
  • Evaluate the student’s ability as an independent researcher

The selection committee will consider all complete applications received on or before midnight Eastern Standard Time January 15.  An application packet is not considered complete until the letter of endorsement is received.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure all components have been submitted by following up with his/her advisor.

Selection Criteria:

  • Technical merit of proposed work.
  • Degree to which the work is relevant to the Garden Club objective of promoting wetlands conservation.
  • There is a preference for students who are early in their degree programs.

The committee forwards its top selections to the Garden Club of America by the end of February for their annual meeting in New York.  The Garden Club of America makes final decisions regarding the number of awards to be made each year according to available funding.  The Garden Club of American officially notifies the award recipients via letter.  All applicants are typically notified of the selection process outcome by early April.

Funding and Acceptance of Scholarship Terms - It would be preferable that funding from the Garden Club of America Scholarship be used for expenses related to support of field work or lab analysis (e.g., supplies, outside lab analysis, transportation, field technician assistance, etc.)  However, the GCA does NOT require a detailed expense report for these funds.  Once the funds are received by the scholarship winner, they belong to the recipient and not to the university.  Award recipients will be expected to provide project reporting materials upon request.