AMS Student Research Awards

The American Malacological Society (AMS) has established two funds to provide financial research support for students working in malacology. The sponsored research is expected to result in a peer-reviewed publication. Funds from the Melbourne R. Carriker Student Research Award in Malacology and Richard E. Petit Student Research Award for Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics of Mollusks are intended to support thesis or dissertation research involving mollusks conducted by students enrolled in an advanced degree program, although undergraduate students are also eligible to apply. More information about these funds and application instructions are given below.

Melbourne R. Carriker Student Research Awards in Malacology

This grant supports student research in malacology and is named in honor of a leading malacologist, former President of the AMS, and mentor of innumerable students of malacology. Professor Melbourne “Mel” R. Carriker served as research director of 28 doctoral and master’s students and sat on the research committees of over another 150 graduate students. But his professional insight, malacological expertise, and good will touched so very many more. These grants will help carry on his legacy of dedication to future generations of malacologists and are only available to students. One or more grants will be awarded each year, subject to availability of funds; awards will typically not exceed $1,500.

Richard E. Petit Student Research Award for Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics of Mollusks

    The award honors Richard “Dick” E. Petit (1931-2013) and recognizes his taxonomic and systematic accomplishments in malacology and contributions to the Society. Dick served as President of the Society (then AMU) in 1988 and in various other capacities and was named an honorary life member in 1997. The award will be given each year to support student research that focuses on revisionary taxonomy and systematics of a molluscan taxon. One grant of $500 will be given each year, subject to availability of funds.

    Conditions of Awards

    • Awardees are encouraged to present the results of their research at an annual meeting of the American Malacology Society.
    • The applicant must be a current member of the American Malacological Society. To join, please visit:
    • Institutional overhead is not permitted.
    • For the Carriker Award, the research must focus on a topic in malacology (e.g., parasite studies should focus on the molluscan side of the interaction).
    • For the Petit Award, the research must include an explicit focus on revisionary taxonomy and systematics of a molluscan taxon.

    Recipients of research awards are expected to submit the following to AMS's Student Awards and Education Committee within one year of the award date: (i) a report that describes how funds were used and (ii) a brief summary of the research and results to be published in the AMS Newsletter. Awardees may apply for additional awards only after these written reports have been received.


    Applications for the above awards must be received by AMS's Student Awards and Education Committee by March 31st.


    Applications must include:

    1.     A two-page summary of the proposed research, including a title, goals, methods, timetable, plans for publication, and a budget specifying the need for the grant. If necessary, the Literature Cited section may occupy a third page. Possession of any necessary permits should be noted.

    2.     CV of applicant.

    3.     Indication of whether the application is for the Carriker Award or Petit Award. [This can be simply included in the subject line or body of the email to which the application information above is attached.]

    4.     One letter of recommendation. The letter must be written by the student’s advisor and must specifically indicate that the student is currently enrolled in an accredited college or university.


    All application materials must be sent via email to the chair of the Student Awards and Education Committee, Tom Duda. Applicants should attach a single electronic file (Word document or pdf) containing the summary of the proposal and their CV. Please title the filename with the applicant’s last name underscore “AMS” (e.g. Jones_AMS.doc). The letter of recommendation must be received directly from the letter writer via email.

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