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Usage Policy

The BCCS Sinking Creek Grant Program

Checking fluorescein dye in stream.

The Sinking Creek Grant Program is a new science initiative of the Butler Cave Conservation Society, Inc. (BCCS). Its purpose will be to provide small monetary grants, typically on the order of a few hundred dollars, to help defray costs associated with carrying out cave and karst science research in and around the Burnsville Cove, Virginia.

Interested parties are invited to submit a proposal to the Sinking Creek Grant Committee detailing the nature of the research they would like to do, the amount of money they are requesting, how the grant money will be spent, and how this would further understanding of the caves and karst in and around the Burnsville Cove. Applicants do not need to be members of the BCCS. For example, we anticipate that university students might make proposals for research to be conducted in the Cove in the furtherance of their degrees. There is no prohibition on repeat grants to the same individual; however a person may only receive one grant at a time.

Sinking Creek Grants will typically be disbursed directly to successful applicants, rather than through institutional channels, in order to minimize red tape and overhead expenses. These are small grants and we want to ensure that recipients derive maximum benefit from them. Grantees will retain ownership of any equipment and supplies purchased with their grant money. Use of Sinking Creek Grant money for travel expenses, lodging or food is discouraged unless the proposal demonstrates that travel-related expenses are a primary limiting factor for undertaking the project. Grant money is generally intended to be applied directly to the research at hand in the form of equipment, supplies, and services such as analyses, spectra or tests. Grant recipients must follow all applicable ethical and legal standards in pursuing their research, including obtention of any necessary permits. The BCCS can often aid in gaining access to caves and properties of interest, most of which are private. Lodging may be available free of charge at our field station.

We intend to keep the application requirements for a Sinking Creek Grant as simple and open as possible. We anticipate that proposals would be one or two pages long. As long as the points listed above are addressed (who, what, how much, what for and why), we will judge applications by their merits. Tell us a compelling story! We can always ask for more details if necessary.

There is no specific timetable for applying for a grant; however all awards must be approved by both the Sinking Creek Grant Committee and the BCCS Board of Directors, so applications must be received with sufficient time for review. Awards will typically be made following the BCCS annual meeting, which currently takes place in October.

Grant recipients must provide a written report stating how their grant money was used and the results of their research to the Sinking Creek Grant Committee at the conclusion of the project or annually for longer-term projects. The Committee should also receive a copy of any publication resulting from the project, whenever that may appear. The BCCS should receive acknowledgment for the grant in any such publication or presentation of the research. The BCCS reserves the right to publish abstracts of funded proposals as well as final reports in any outlets or formats it chooses. Arrangements can be made to protect proprietary information, as necessary.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Mark Minton
Chair of the Sinking Creek Grant Committee
Butler Cave Conservation Society, Incorporated

sinkingcreekgrant@butlercave.org