"Take a Chance" Grant


The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) offers support of up to $1,000 to help defray costs for innovative conservation research or projects that may not otherwise be funded. The “Take a Chance” fund was established in honor of Carolyn Rose, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History and internationally recognized leader and educator in conservation, who died August 29, 2002 at the age of 53.
Throughout her career, Carolyn Rose often remarked that she was able to investigate ideas and pursue unconventional lines of research because she had the backing and support of a major research institution. As a teacher and mentor for many conservators working today, she encouraged creativity and broad thinking in her students. She also recognized that few people have the opportunity she had to follow an idea either to a successful outcome or perhaps a dead end, and wanted to be able to give others the opportunity to “take a chance” (her words) on an idea, even if it came to nothing. In honor of Carolyn’s spirit of encouragement and of her career, the “Take a Chance” Grant has been established to support unorthodox projects.

An important component of this grant is dissemination of the project results, regardless of the project outcome. By definition, not all risks will be successful. However, even negative results may be helpful for future projects and research.

Applicants must be current members of AIC. The grant is intended to encourage imaginative and innovative projects; therefore, funds may be used for any purposes that are relevant to the project. Since other FAIC scholarships and grants are available for attending courses, workshops, and seminars, applications for these types of projects are unlikely to be considered for funding.

Criteria for Review

  • Imaginative or innovative project
  • Clearly articulated goals and timeline for the project
  • Usefulness to the participant and/or the conservation profession
  • Ability of applicant to accomplish the project
  • Lack of other funding sources for the project
  • Reasonableness and completeness of budget information
  • Effective plan for dissemination of the project results (whether project is successful or not) 

 Application Process

The "Take a Chance" Grant guidelines and criteria have not changed, however, the process of applying will be managed entirely through an online system, which we hope will be simpler, more reliable, and more convenient than our previous system of emailed forms and attachments. 

You will be prompted to enter your email address to see if you already have an account in the system (this should be the case if you are an AIC member). If you have an email address in our system, you will then be asked to enter your password (the same password you use to log in to the site). If you do not have an account in our system, you will be asked to set one up before you begin your application.

The online form will take you through three pages of the application:
  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information, project details)
  2. Budget Information (total costs and FAIC funding request)
  3. Supporting Documentation (resume/CV, project description, etc.)
You may save your application and return later to complete it.  When you are satisfied with your responses and have uploaded your supporting material, click the "Save and Finalize" button. Once the application has been submitted, you cannot return to edit or upload addition documents.

If you experience any difficulties please contact Sarah Saetren by email at faicgrants@conservation-us.org or by phone at 202-661-8071.


The application deadline is February 1. Applications will be reviewed and a recommendation will be made to the FAIC board for final approval. Notification of awards will be six - eight weeks after each deadline. Projects should take place six weeks to twelve months after the application deadline.

Letters of support may be submitted, but are not required. References will upload letters directly to the application portal. Applicants should enter the names and email addresses of their references as soon as possible during the application process. Once an applicant moves on from the first page of the application, references will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter of support. Please ask references to use FAIC’s
Letter of Support Form. Letters of support in other formats are acceptable only if the author’s signature is included.

Please submit any supporting materials as a PDF (portable document format) if possible.

Apply for Funding

Click here to access the application

Final Report

A final report consisting of a two page narrative and at least two images is due within 30 days of completion of the project. Final reports should be sent to faicgrants@conservation-us.org and are required to be eligible for future funding. Reports may be published in part or in full by FAIC, including posting on the FAIC website.
If you experience any difficulties, contact:
Sarah Saetren, Education Coordinator
(202) 661-8071