Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) Ernst Mayr Travel Grants 2020/2021 in Animal Systematics

Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) Ernst Mayr Travel Grants 2020/2021 in Animal Systematics

Deadline: October 15, 2020

Applications are open for the Ernst Mayr Travel Grants 2020. The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University awards travel grants for research in animal systematics, known as the Ernst Mayr Grants. The principal objective of these grants is to stimulate taxonomic work on neglected taxa.

These include taxa with numerous poorly described species, genera and families known to have many undescribed species in institutional collections, taxa for which it is unknown what proportion of the nominal species are synonyms and difficult genera without keys. It is not the aim of these grants to support largely phylogenetic studies of taxa in which the species are reasonably well known, or to support biogeographic studies.

The study of type specimens and their correct identification is the greatest need in poorly known taxa. This typically requires visits to other museums, which is what the Ernst Mayr Grants program tries to facilitate. Preference is given to studies that use the MCZ’s collections, although applications to work at other museums will be considered. There is enough demand for this support for taxonomic work to make it impossible to also support phylogenetic and other evolutionary studies from the Ernst Mayr Grants.


  • Typical expenses that may be paid from these grants include travel, lodging, and meals for up to a few weeks while conducting research at the museum(s), reasonable services purchased from the host institution and research supplies.
  • Awards average about $1,000 each and may not exceed $1,500. Recipients will receive a check from the Bank of America, sent by FedEx. Alternatively, checks can be picked up at the Museum of Comparative Zoology.


  • The grant is open to all.
  • Brazilian researchers please note: The MCZ has established Material Transfer Agreements with multiple institutions in Brazil which allows them to exchange loans. This may impact your proposal by making travel to the MCZ unnecessary. To find out if your institution is eligible to receive specimen loans from the MCZ, please contact Melissa Aja.


The applications must be written in English, and include:

  • A short project description and explicit statement of research goal
  • Itinerary
  • Budget
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of support
  • Letter or email from each collection to be visited

Download the application form and send it via email to [email protected].

For more information, visit Ernst Mayr Travel Grants.