Grant Applications

The Purple Martin Conservation Association's Research and Conservation Grants

The Purple Martin Conservation Association is an incorporated nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation, management, restoration and enhancement of the Purple Martin (Progne subis).

The Purple Martin Conservation Association offers annual research grants to students, professionals and individuals engaged in Purple Martin research. Projects are supported on a one year basis as determined by the availability of funds. One or more grants will be offered annually, with support ranging from $500.00 to $2500.00, depending on the quality of the proposals received.

Purpose of Grants

The Purple Martin Conservation Association's Research and Conservation Grants are offered for the purpose of promoting and facilitating research on, and conservation of Purple Martins. However, under certain circumstances, we will consider funding projects on other species of New World swallows, especially if the species is threatened or endangered. We will not fund projects testing martin house design preference (we are conducting such research at our headquarters), nor will we fund the placement of housing for strictly aesthetic or humanitarian purposes. We will, however, consider funding the placement of housing for conservation purposes. PMCA Research and Conservation Grants are provided to defray the expenses incurred in the course of scientific research and conservation. Grants may cover travel, supplies, and equipment, but shall not include salaries or overhead charges to institutions or agencies.

Administration of Grants

PMCA Research and Conservation Grants are administered by the Purple Martin Conservation Association's Research and Conservation Committee. The Research Committee is selected by the Executive Director of Purple Martin Conservation Association and consists of four to six, Purple Martin authorities. These committee members will review all the application proposals for the grants and make their recommendation to the committee chairman. Names of grant applicants are withheld from committee members by the committee chairman so as to provide an unbiased evaluation of proposals. Committee members numerically rate each proposal on a point scale determined by a maximum value, parenthesis below, for each category with the following criteria (100 representing the highest score):

1. Relevance of topic (30)
2. Project design and presentation (30)
3. Ability of the applicant (20)
4. Need for financial assistance (20)

Individual ratings of the committee are combined by the committee chairman who selects the grantees for each category with the highest scores. If, by the Research Committee standards, no worthwhile application proposals are received, no grant or grants will be awarded that year.

Application Procedures

Applications should be mailed directly to the Research and Conservation Grant Committee Chairman at PMCA headquarters in Erie, PA. Applicants must complete a Research and Conservation Grant Application Summary Form (download below) providing all pertinent information. Beyond this, no formal application forms are provided. Instead, we request two copies of a brief proposal that should include the following:

1. Summary: a one page, or less, review.

2. Title: a brief and descriptive designation of your project.

3. Justification: a concise statement of the importance of the proposed research and the ways in which the anticipated results may contribute to Purple Martin (or other species of swallow) conservation or understanding.

4. Objectives: a concise statement of the specific objectives of your project.

5. Background: a brief summary or discussion covering previous research on the problem, both yours and that of other investigators, the status of any current project you may have ongoing on martins (or other species of swallow), and related projects that may bear on your own.

6. Methodology: an explanation of how you plan to carry out your project. Outline the stages of your project, where the work will be done, and what facilities and equipment are available.

7. Schedule: time period required to complete the study.

8. Budget: a detailed outline of all anticipated costs.

9. Institution: the college, university, agency, or other affiliation.

10. Cooperation: What kind of approvals or work permits are necessary for you to perform the work? Have you obtained these approvals and permits (such as banding permits)?

Your name must not appear on any pages of the proposal except the Research Grant Application Summary. Care should be taken to keep the proposal as brief and concise as possible.

Acceptance Procedures

All grant applicants will be notified by mail whether or not their application was funded. An announcement of the Research Grants selection will be published in the Purple Martin Update, the quarterly membership journal of the Purple Martin Conservation Association.


Successful applicants will be required to sign a Grant Acceptance Form prior to the award of a grant. The acceptance includes the following stipulations:

1. An itemized budget with a breakdown of expenditures must be submitted to the Research Chairman by January 31 of the first year after funding and each additional year until the funding is exhausted or the study is complete.

2. A report of progress and accomplishments during the past year after funding must be submitted to the Research Committee February 15th of each year until the study is complete. During the first year of research, photos will be submitted with the progress report depicting various aspects of your research and a photo of the investigator(s). A final report will be submitted by February 15th of the year after completion.

3. Plans for publication of results of the study must be submitted to the Research Committee for review. The Purple Martin Conservation Association will have the first option of publishing the appropriate results of one article in the Purple Martin Update. This can be a "popular" or semi--scientific paper for the lay readership of our membership magazine.

4. Proper credit for financial support by the Purple Martin Conservation Association shall be given in all publications using information obtained from PMCA funding.

5. Three reprints or copies of each publication or report resulting from research aided by PMCA will be sent to the Research Committee Chairman.

6. Any portion of the grant which is not used for the intended research shall be returned to PMCA, unless the Research Committee consents to some other disposition.

7. The grantee understands that the award of a grant does not constitute any employment by or formal affiliation with PMCA.

The Research Committee may elect to waive or modify any or all of these stipulations.


Deadlines for submission of application material is February 15, prior to field season. Funding awards will be announced by March 15.

Submit two copies of your research proposal to:

Purple Martin Conservation Association
301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 6
Erie, PA 16505


Download the grant application here: PMCA Grant Application