The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University periodically awards travel grants for research in animal systematics, known as the Ernst Mayr Grants. The principal objective of these grants is to stimulate taxonomic work on neglected taxa. These include taxa with numerous poorly described species; genera and families known to have many undescribed species in institutional collections; taxa for which it is unknown what proportion of the nominal species are synonyms; and difficult genera without keys.
It is not the aim of these grants to support largely phylogenetic studies of taxa in which the species are reasonably well known, or to support biogeographic studies. The study of type specimens and their correct identification is the greatest need in poorly known taxa. This typically requires visits to other museums, which is what the Ernst Mayr Grants program tries to facilitate. Preference is given to studies that use the MCZ’s collections, although applications to work at other museums will be considered. There is enough demand for this support for taxonomic work to make it impossible to also support phylogenetic and other evolutionary studies from the Ernst Mayr Grants.
Typical expenses that may be paid from these grants include travel, lodging, and meals for up to a few weeks while conducting research at the museum(s), reasonable services purchased from the host institution and research supplies.
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Funder: Harvard University
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