Raymond D. Semlitsch Research Award

rsemThe Herpetologists’ League is initiating a competitive research award for assistant professors and others in equivalent positions at research institutions in memory of Raymond D. Semlitsch, a consummate field ecologist and experimental biologist who dedicated his life’s work to understanding the ecology and evolution of amphibians and reptiles.  Ray Semlitsch spent the last 20 years of his career at the University of Missouri-Columbia examining ecological questions that could offer management solutions for the conservation of amphibians, and our understanding of amphibians is richer from his efforts.  The Raymond D. Semlitsch Research Award will support research on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, with particular interest in research on contemporary questions that helps bridge disciplines and that incorporates manipulative, experimental approaches.  Funding for this award was initiated by one of Ray’s early mentors in his research career, Dr. James R. Spotila. The award will be accompanied by a $5,000 research grant to be administered by the recipient’s university or equivalent research institution.


  1. An inaugural grant of $5,000 will be awarded to one applicant yearly.
  2. Proposals must be received by 5 PM Eastern Standard Time on MAY 15 yearly.
  3. Send a completed application as a single PDF electronically to Michelle D. Boone at boonemd@miamioh.edu. Please put “Raymond D Semlitsch Research Award” in the subject line.  You should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours.
  4. Proposals will be reviewed by the review committee before the annual JMIH meeting.
  5. Funding will be disbursed and the winner of the award will be announced at the opening ceremony.


  1. The applicant must be a member in good standing of The Herpetologists’ League.
  2. This award is intended to support early-career faculty and researchers in permanent positions (for example, tenure-track Assistant Professor at a university or Assistant Research Biologist at a research institution).
  3. Projects must be original proposals that are authored by the applicant to be conducted within her/his lab. Proposals that help support the research efforts of graduate students and undergraduate students are encouraged.
  4. One proposal per applicant per year.
  5. Previous winners are NOT eligible for the award in subsequent years.
  6. A 1-2 page report summarizing research findings and expected publications or other outcomes of the project, as well as a financial statement from the host institution, are due to the secretary of HL one year after receipt of the award. Award recipients are asked to acknowledge “The Herpetologists’ League Raymond D. Semlitsch Research Award” in all publications arising from work supported by this grant.

Preparation Guidelines:

  1. A completed proposal will consist of a cover page (1 page), project description (4 pages), citations, budget and budget justification (1 page), and a CV (<5 pages) as a single PDF document.
  2. Cover page should include the title of the project and the applicant’s name, mailing address, email address, institutional affiliation, position title and years at the institution.
  3. The project description should include the following headings: Introduction, Objectives and Hypotheses, Methods, and Expected Significance. The project description is limited to 4 pages, not including citations, budget, cover page, and CV.
  4. A 1-page budget and budget justification should indicate how funds would be used, and any additional sources of funding requested, pending, or current. This award will not cover indirect costs.
  5. Include a curriculum vitae, up to 5 pages, with educational and professional background, publications, funding, and any other relevant information.
  6. Use single spacing, 12-point font, and 1-inch margins.
  7. Name the file with your last name and first and middle initials (e.g., SemlitschRD).
  8. Evaluation: Complete proposals will be evaluated based on merit of the proposal, likelihood of success, potential to impact the field of amphibian and/or reptile ecology, evolution, and conservation, and the credentials of the applicant.


If you are not eligible for this award, but would like to help support the research of early career professionals in herpetology, please send donations for the Raymond D. Semlitsch Research Award to:


Laurie Mauger, HL Treasurer
Southern Utah University
Department of Biology
351 W. University Blvd
Cedar City, UT 84720

Thank you for your support!