Typical award amount: $8,500 (maximum of $10,000)
Estimated number of awards: 20-22 annually
Deadline: February 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. MST (Lab Letter and Supervisor Letter deadline is February 8 2024, 11:59 p.m. MST).

The AGeS-Grad proposal submission portal will open on the Grad-How to Apply page on December 1, 2023. The Geological Society of America provides key logistical support for the proposal submission process.

For more information about applying to the AGeS-Grad program, see the AGeS-Grad Info Session Video Recording from December 20, 2023 and the PDF of materials presented during that session.

    Goals of AGeS-Grad

    • Broaden access to geochronology data.
    • Educate users of geochronology data.
    • Promote synergistic science by fostering new relationships between labs and other disciplines.
    • Provide strategic, high-quality, scientifically valuable geochronology data for projects in which both users and producers of the data are intellectually engaged.

    Eligibility details:

    • Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories.
    • Students may only receive one AGeS grant during each graduate degree (MSc or PhD). Preference will be given to students who have not received a previous AGeS award.
    • Students may submit one AGeS proposal per funding cycle.
    • AGeS labs may support up to 4 proposals in an application cycle

    Desired Applicants:

    AGeS-Grad seeks a diverse applicant and awardee pool to meet our goals of broadening access to geochronology data and expertise. All applicants meeting the eligibility requirements listed above may apply, and all proposals will be reviewed based on the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts points system of the Review Criteria. The Broader Impacts criteria include the potential for the proposed project to build new networks for the student and to enable the student to acquire new geochronology skills. We encourage applications from students without previous geochronology experience, from graduate students at all universities (not only research intensive), and from graduate students belonging to historically minoritized groups. 

    AGeS is committed to advancing and supporting Belonging, Accessibility, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (BAJEDI) principles and values. We recognize that the future of geoscience will be strengthened by broad participation.

    Resources for Applicants:

    You can find helpful advice from past AGeS-Grad awardees on proposal writing and visiting labs on the Resources for Graduate Students page.

    Program Overview

    The AGeS-Grad program is a collaborative strategy for supporting community access to geochronology data and expertise. This micro-funding opportunity enables graduate students to develop the scientific rationale for projects involving geochronology and then provides them with hands-on experience acquiring data in labs, all while being mentored by geochronologists. AGeS awardees visit an AGeS lab for a week or more, participate in sample preparation and analysis, and learn fundamental aspects of the methods, techniques, and theory used in modern analytical facilities. Awards can be used to fund analytical costs, sample preparation, travel to the host geochronology lab, lodging, and other expenses.

    The $6–10k AGeS awards fill an important funding gap between small ($1–3k) student research grant opportunities and large (>$100k) grants. These moderate funding amounts are sufficient to finance publishable datasets, provide the foundation for future larger proposals, and/or enable piloting of unproven and in some cases “risky” ideas. Graduate students can work in any AGeS lab.

    AGeS awards do not go directly to the students nor to their institutions. Travel is generally reimbursed, although we also work with students for airfare purchased in advance, etc. to ease your financial burden. Lab and other processing costs are invoiced directly to ASU upon analysis completion. Awardees can spend up to their award amounts in analytical and other costs until the date specified in their award documents (typically within one year of the award).

    Types of Projects Supported by AGeS-Grad

    AGeS-Grad project study areas may be sited anywhere worldwide. AGeS supports projects that fall under the scope of the broader science supported by the Division of Earth Sciences of the National Science Foundation, which is aimed at "... improving the understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth, the life it supports, and the processes that govern the formation and behavior of the Earth's materials."

    AGeS Geochronology Labs

    AGeS currently includes a consortium of 69 geochronology labs and ~120 affiliated geochronologists, consisting mostly of individual-investigator based facilities that together contain the majority of the geochronology technical infrastructure distributed across the United States. Any lab in the United States or its territories can participate. If you are interested in working with a lab who is not yet part of the AGeS lab network, please encourage the lab to join the program. Labs can support up to 4 proposals in a given application cycle.

    How to initiate an AGeS proposal

    Students wishing to submit an AGeS proposal are responsible for initiating contact with an AGeS lab to propose a project and discuss potential timelines. If the lab director feels that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity, the lab will help the student refine and clarify their proposed research and provide a support letter for this specific project. Note that labs are under no obligation to collaborate on a project if approached by a student.

    Because one of the goals of this program is to foster new research collaborations, students may not request funds to work in labs they are already associated with, including labs managed or directed by their project supervisor(s).

    Students are encouraged to contact labs with plenty of time before the proposal deadline so that the lab has the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposal idea and the draft project description. Labs may support no more than 4 proposals in an application cycle, so approaching labs close to the deadline may mean that some labs have already reached their AGeS proposal limit.