With generous support from Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan and other donors, the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at UC Santa Cruz is pleased to accept applications for the Kathryn D. Sullivan Research Impact Award in Earth and Marine Sciences. This program supports research projects in Earth and planetary sciences, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, ecology and evolutionary biology, chemistry, or related disciplines as they pertain to Earth and marine sciences. Research teams must comprise one undergraduate, one graduate student mentor, and one faculty mentor. The project must also address an important problem in the chosen discipline. The project must be well planned and integrated across the team members, and the proposal must include a clear explanation of what each member brings to the project.

Amount & use
Number of grants to be awarded: 3 team awards will be made this year
Award amount:
~$18,500 (this amount will vary depending on the GSR rate and the budget request)

  • The undergraduate in each team will receive a $4,500 stipend.
  • The graduate student in each team will receive a 50% summer GSR.
  • The team may request up to $1,500 in additional funds to cover costs associated with conducting research or presenting research results, such as lab fees, supplies, equipment expenses, travel associated with field work, and costs associated with presenting research at conferences; please create this budget in consultation with your faculty sponsor.

How the funds may be used: Teams may use their award for any purpose associated with conducting or presenting the results of their research. Funds must be used by the end of the quarter of summer 2023 (it is possible to request an extension on funds intended for presenting at a conference).

  • The team members must be associated with a department in the Science Division and must be registered and enrolled at UC Santa Cruz, in good academic standing, and will not graduate before the project is completed
  • You must propose a research project relating to Earth and marine sciences
  • You must have a team including an undergraduate student, graduate student, and a faculty mentor for your research project

This award is one of several science division summer research awards. You can view each of these research awards and their various eligibility criteria here.

**All award recipients will be required to provide a handwritten or typed thank-you note and complete a questionnaire for donor stewardship purposes and may be asked to participate in other recognition events. If for any reason you would be unable to participate in the recognition activities outlined above, we will work with you on an alternative.


For projects starting in summer or fall of 2024.

  • Student applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15.
  • Faculty recommendation forms are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1.
  • Awards will be announced the week of April 29th.
Selection criteria
  • Strength of research proposal (e.g., quality of writing, feasibility of project)
  • Strength of faculty recommendation
  • Student qualifications (e.g., prior experience, relevant coursework)
  • Strength of mentoring plan provided by the supervisor and graduate student
Past recipients


Dr. Eric Palkovacs, Faculty Adviser
Katie Kobayashi (Graduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Raymond Hunter (Undergraduate, Environmental Studies)


Dr. Margaret Zimmer, Faculty Adviser
Amanda Donaldson (Graduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Christopher Causebrook (Undergraduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)


Dr. Gary Griggs, Faculty Adviser
Dr. Patrick Limber, USGS Research Adviser

Schuyler Smith (Graduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Kyle Bergerson (Undergraduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)

How to apply

Applications open November 1. Complete the application form by the stated deadline above. The application should be completed by the undergraduate and graduate students. Upon completion of the application, a faculty recommendation form will be sent to your faculty mentor. Read the deadlines above carefully.

Application form

Your gift supports an academic merit based award for an upper division student majoring in Earth and Marine Sciences. This award helps power student research projects and offset increasing educational and living costs. Make your impact today.