Photo Sciences
Research Grants

The Photo Sciences department serves as the knowledge foundation for ZLI.
Without scientific attention to light, wildlife conservation is impossible and animal care is lacking.

ZLI Grants-in-Aid of Photobiology Research
Guidelines for Submission

Deadline for submission: May 1 2020

Anticipated Date of Awards: June 15 2020

ZLI Grants-in-Aid of Photobiology Research fund animal keepers of accredited institutions, students, and postdoc research in photobiology, insofar as such research aligns with the ZLI Framework and furthers our mission to support the sciences of life and light through the arts for animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

ZLI offers 9 awards of up to $500 USD to eligible graduate students and postdocs across three different sub-disciplines of photobiology:

    1. Photo-Physiology: BioPhoton/Biophysics Research
    2. Photo-Physiology: Endocrine Cycling
    3. Photo-Physiology: Bioluminescence
    4. Sensory Ecology: Animal Eyes
    5. Sensory Ecology: Animal Coloration
    6. Sensory Ecology: Cross-Sensory Modalities
    7. Integrative Biology: Phenology and Light
    8. Integrative Biology: Community-Resourcing
    9. Integrative Biology: Epidemiology and Light
    10. Broadening Photobiology Research Participation (the PhotoDiversity Grant).
Eligibility Requirements

Awards are targeted to undergraduate/graduate students, animal keepers of accredited institutions and postdoctoral researchers. Awards may fund preliminary and/or ongoing research. Awards may also fund an isolated research project completely, or a larger project benefiting from additional funding sources. Awards will be granted to the best proposal in each of the aforementioned sub-disciplines, and is open to studies across all animal classes and/or biomes. However, ZLI is currently pursuing several projects and campaigns related to bears, cetaceans, sharks, insects, sea turtles and birds. Research in these arenas is currently a top priority, but all photobiology proposals falling within the above sub-categories will be fully considered.

Awards are made payable to the individual recipients and no part of an award may be used for the payment of indirect costs to the recipient’s institution. All funds must be expended directly in support of the proposed investigation. Furthermore, funds can be used for direct costs of research (equipment, supplies, travel to research sites, etc.). Funds cannot be used for salaries (for either/or the principal researcher and technicians) nor for conference travel. Any equipment purchased will become the property of the proposal author. Awards are made in amounts of up to a maximum of $500 USD.


Proposal Directions and Funding Priorities

ZLI supports the sciences of life and light through the arts for animal welfare and wildlife conservation and thus the proposal will include three components: an abstract, a 90 second video highlighting value of the research to the mission of ZLI (posted to YouTube), and a condensed CV (2-page maximum).

The abstract can be no longer than 700 words and fit on no more than 2 pages (not including references but including all other text (i.e. figure legends). The abstract needs to include proposal title, proposal author and affiliation, host institution, specific grant topic (e.g. sensory ecology: Animal eyes), background information, hypotheses and predictions, methods, anticipated analyses and findings, and ethical statement of animal research (e.g. IACUC approval). Use of figures is encouraged but all figures must fit within the 2 page limit.

ZLI is committed to increasing diversity of both the researchers and research within photobiology and thus welcomes all proposals that aim to broaden participation within photobiology. We especially invite creative proposals that will increase the ability of all to participate in this crucial research. To apply for the ‘PhotoDiversity’ Grant, please include an additional 300 word maximum section on how your research/program will broaden participation within photobiology, and be certain to discuss this within the video by including up to an additional minute.


Check List

☑   2 page Abstract

      • Title; Authors and Affiliations; Host Institution
      • Grant Category (Photo-Physiology, Sensory Ecology, Integrative Photo-biology, also indicating sub-category as listed above.
      • PhotoDiversity Award Value Statement if Appropriate (add 300 word statement)
      • Background Information
      • Hypotheses and predictions
      • Methods
      • Anticipated analyses and findings
      • Ethical statement of animal research

☑   YouTube video no more than 90 seconds unless submitting broadening participation app

      • Provide link to YouTube-video in submission email

☑   Email Dr. Seymoure (ZLI Director of GIAR Program) at

          • Include Subject Header: ZLI GIAR Application and your name
          • Include a PDF-version of application and video link
  • ☑   Please send any questions via e-mail to Dr. Seymoure.


    Natural light is essential to all life
Let's light up the scientific path towards a brighter future!