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The Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund

The Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund promotes the transfer of knowledge with projects that advance forestry through new and ongoing research, enhanced technological applications, and diverse continuing education activities to benefits the professional and the public further facilitating science-informed management decisions. 

The 2024 Grant Cycle is now closed. For questions, please email [email protected]

About Kurt Gottschalk: Kurt W. Gottschalk, a research scientist with the USDA Forest Service, was passionate about making the connection between applied research and forest management. He had long service to SAF and mentored many young professionals, helping to develop a next generation of leaders. Kurt Gottschalk passed away in 2015 and the SAF Science Fund was re-named in his honor.

Give to the Science Fund  

Goals of the fund are to:

  • Conduct and/or support continuing education activities and the transfer of knowledge
  • Promote collaboration and relationships among SAF entities and with external groups
  • Recruit and engage diverse leadership in forestry and natural resource professions
  • Conduct and/or support applied forestry research that has potential to inform management practice

Types of Awards

All proposals must meet at least two of the KGSF fund goals.

  1. Applied Forestry Research Awards: Awards of up to $5,000 to individuals or groups proposing forestry research projects meeting KGSF goals. Funds requested may supplement existing project funds to address an additional research question, provide seed funding, or be sufficient to complete an entire project.
  2. Outreach, Continuing Education, and Leadership Awards: Awards of up to $5,000 to individuals or groups proposing outreach and/or professional development projects meeting KGSF goals. Funds requested may be used for any activity type.

Science Fund is not designed to fund:

  • Professional salaries (e.g., university faculty summer salary, graduate student stipends, consultants)
    • Summer or academic year field crew or lab technician student stipends are appropriate requests.
  • Office supplies or overhead
    • Research supplies and research travel expenses are appropriate requests.
  • Publication page charges 
  • Fund will support up to 50% of the cost for technical/analytical equipment (e.g., computers, field equipment, software).

Awards Funding

The number of proposals funded in any given year will be dependent upon the budget. Proposal submitters are encouraged to contact SAF prior to submitting a proposal to inquire if a project would be appropriate. A maximum of $5,000 can be requested. Typical awards range from $500 to $5,000. Award amounts are dependent upon available funding and number of proposals received; proposers may be asked to accept partial funding.


  • Any SAF member, representing either an SAF unit or an external entity, who is the designated project manager is eligible to submit a proposal.
    • A grant secured in the first year of a multi-year project is not a guarantee of future grants for the remaining years of the project.
    • Projects that have already been completed are not eligible.

Grant Completion

Projects should be completed within 18 months of the application date.  

Decisions and Fund Dispersal

Grant funds must be received and managed by an appropriate entity – e.g., a university/department grants office, State Society treasurer, or agency fiscal office. Requests for exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  Approved grant funds will generally be made available within 60 days of notification that the proposal has been accepted and funds awarded.

Proposal Elements

Proposals must include full explanations of the following:

Summary of Project

A brief project summary that captures the goals, purpose, and outcomes of the project. 200 words.


A brief and clear statement of the background for the project and why it is important. 400 words.


A clear statement of the specific objectives of the project and how they meet two or more goals of the KGSF. 400 words. 


A detailed description of the specific steps that will be used to accomplish the stated objectives, including a timeline. 400 words. 

Anticipated Results/Impact and Final Products

Briefly state anticipated results and impact of the project followed by the anticipated final product(s) of the project, including one mode that disseminates results to SAF audiences. 200 words.  


A description of how SAF will be credited for funding the project. 50 words.

Evaluation (Outreach and Development Awards Only)

Describe how you will measure what the audience has learned as a result of the project. 200 words

Target Audience (Outreach and Development Awards Only)

Describe the types of people or group the project seeks to benefit from and the specific steps you will take to reach the audience. 200 words


Provide an overall project budget and detailed list of items or services for which the requested funds will be spent.  Project collaborators or in-kind support should be listed.

Project Duration

Projects should be completed within 18 months of the application date.  

Review Criteria

Grant proposals will be evaluated against a variety of criteria, including:

  • How well the project meets the fund goals.
  • Completion of application and narrative includes adequate context.
  • Budget is appropriate and leveraged support is clearly identified.
  • Project engages partnerships, collaborations, or diverse audiences.
  • Project outcomes are achievable within the timeline identified.


Proposals due March 19, 2024.

How to Submit Your Proposal

Submit proposals using the online form:

To submit an Applied Forestry Research Awards proposal, click here. 

To submit an Outreach, Continuing Education, and Leadership Awards proposal, click here.  


For more questions please contact the Science and Technology Manager at [email protected].


(Adobe PDF File)