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The North American Bluebird Society is enthusiastically searching for and considering worthy grant proposals relating to the study of bluebirds and other native cavity nesting species in North America. All interested individuals are encouraged to write to us at the email address indicated below.


Instructions for NABS Research Grant Application

Thank you for your interest in the North American Bluebird Society (NABS) research grant program. To be considered for funding, please prepare a proposal packet that includes all of the items listed below.

  1. Cover letter

  2. Grant proposal (required content):

    1. Project Title

    2. Name, contact information (phone, email, mailing address), and affiliation of applicant

    3. Introduction

    4. Project Motivation (e.g., what question(s) will this research project answer, what theory is being tested, or what are the expected results?)

    5. Anticipated benefit as it relates to the mission of NABS (please be specific)

    6. Research Protocol

      1. Methods

      2. Cavity nesting species of interest

      3. Study location

      4. Any permits required

      5. Timeline

      6. Literature Cited

    7. Detailed budget, including other funding sources and the amount requested from NABS.

  3. Letters of support (2 for students, 1 letter of recommendation for other applicants)

  4. Curriculum vita of the investigators


  • The proposal must be submitted by November 1 via email to

  • All items must be combined into a single pdf document. (Free conversion software is available online at If you do not have access to software to create a pdf, a single Word document is acceptable. In either case, your last name should appear at the top right corner of each page, and each page should be numbered at the bottom center.

  • Please restrict the file to a maximum of ten pages.

  • Projects to create or maintain small or individual bluebird nest box trails are not eligible for NABS grants unless they are being established for research purposes, or unless they are part of larger scale, longer term bluebird conservation effort (e.g., establishment of bluebird trails on golf courses or public parks) and if assurances can be provided that the project will continue to receive support and active supervision for multiple years after its completion. Such supervision would include assuring that proper nest box trail management and the maintenance trial productivity records. Likewise assurances must be given that all trails and boxes will be taken down if the project is terminated for any reason.

  • Grant recipients are expected to submit a report summarizing project results within 3 months of the project completion.

Background information:  The North American Bluebird Society Grants are funded by an endowment named for our founder, Dr. Lawrence Zeleny.  The Zeleny Fund was established to award educational, conservation or scientific grants or other grants which further the purpose and mission of the society: to promote the prosperity of bluebirds and other native cavity nesting species and engage in such pursuits as may be beneficial to the prosperity and well being of the three species of bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting bird species in North America.  NABS contributes a portion of Life Memberships directly into the endowment and encourages further donations earmarked to the Zeleny Fund in order to help finance worthy research.

Policy: The North American Bluebird Society accepts and reviews grants once a year. The deadline for submitting grants is November 1. The review process is usually completed by February 1. Priority is given to research regarding bluebirds but grants involving all native cavity nesting birds will certainly be considered on their merits. Since 2007, NABS grants have been awarded for research pertaining to Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Prothonotary Warblers, Barn Owls, American Kestrels, Purple Martins, Red-headed woodpeckers, as well as other species. The NABS grants have ranged from $500 to $5,000 and the average has been approximately $1,800. We are currently further refining our policy to limit the percentage that any entity takes for “overhead” to 2 percent.

Grant applications: Please email questions and grant applications to Anne Sturm, Grants Committee, Chair, North American Bluebird Society. To assist applicants who may be applying to multiple funding sources, NABS does not have a formal application form.

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Copyright © 2011 North American Bluebird Society, Inc.
Last modified: 11/10/12