Bergstrom Award Application Form

E. Alexander Bergstrom (1919-1973) was Vice-President of the Northeastern Bird-Banding Association (now the Association of Field Ornithologists) and the Editor of Bird-Banding (now the Journal of Field Ornithology) for 21 years. These awards honor his memory and dedication to bird research. The purpose of the award is to promote field studies of birds by helping to support a specific research or analysis project. In judging among proposals of equal quality, special consideration will be given to those that:

  1. focus on avian life history
  2. use data collected all or in part by nonprofessionals, and/or
  3. employ banding or other marking techniques.

Research in both the U.S./Canada and Latin America is supported. If possible, awardees, especially those from the U.S. and Canada, are expected to present the results of their research at an annual meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists. All awardees are also encouraged to consider publishing some of their findings in the Journal of Field Ornithology.

The applicant and/or their primary research supervisor must be a member of the Association of Field Ornithologists prior to the application deadline. To become a member, please visit

U.S./Canada awards are aimed at people beginning their research or those with limited or no access to major funding. They are restricted to non-professionals, undergraduates, and Masters degree candidates working in the United States or Canada. Ph.D. students studying at U.S. and Canadian institutions, regardless of their nationality or geographic region of investigation, are NOT eligible to receive a Bergstrom Research Award.

Latin American awards are restricted to individuals based AT Latin American institutions (individuals from Latin American that are studying or working at a U.S. or Canadian institution are eligible for U.S./Canada awards only). Non-professionals, undergraduates, Masters and Ph.D. candidates are all eligible for the Latin American competition.

Frequency and value:
Approximately five awards (maximum $1500 US each) are made to applicants working in the U.S. or Canada annually. Approximately five awards (maximum $1500 US each) are made to applicants based in Latin America. Individuals may wish to consider using some of their award to purchase mist nets and other supplies used in ornithological research from the AFO. A list of supplies available can be found at:

Language of, deadlines for, and submission of applications:
U.S./Canada applications should be submitted in English. Latin American applications may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. All margins on attachments must be ≥ 2 cm wide, and the font size must be ≥ 11 pt).

U.S./Canada applications are due 15 January. Latin American applications are due 15 July. Applicants can apply by filling out the form below, attaching the required forms, and clicking ‘Submit’. Applicants must arrange to have one letter of reference e-mailed directly from the referee to Valentina Ferretti, Chair of the Bergstrom Awards Committee at:  Please contact the Chair if you have further questions about the Bergstrom Award.

Review of applications:
Applications are reviewed and scored by professional ornithologists from throughout North, Central and South America. Reviewers are instructed to consider the following in scoring proposals:

  1. Degree to which proposed research meets the award criteria – Bergstrom Awards are intended to support field research on birds. As such, all else being equal, studies that involve extensive field work to increase knowledge and understanding of avian life histories, ecology, behavior, and conservation should be rated higher than proposals in which the field work component is limited to collecting blood or tissue samples for analysis in the laboratory.
  2. Significance of the proposed research. Are the questions being asked relevant and important? Are the results likely to advance our knowledge of avian biology and/or have important applications to avian conservation and management? Will the results be publishable?
  3. Quality of the proposed research – Is the research well-designed, i.e., are the methods appropriate to answering the questions being asked? Are sample sizes adequate? Has the applicant considered how their data will be analyzed and do proposed analyses seem appropriate?
  4. Quality of the proposal itself – Does the proposal contain all required/critical elements? Is the proposal well-written and easy to comprehend? Is the proposal largely free of grammatical errors and does it appear to have been carefully proof-read? Attention to quality and detail when preparing the proposal suggests that there will be attention to quality and detail when completing the research (both from the applicant and


  • Not to exceed $1,500 USD for U.S./Canadian applicants or $1,500 USD for Latin American applicants
    Please enter a value greater than or equal to 0.
  • Attachments:

  • A curriculum vita no longer than two pages in length summarizing academic degrees, relevant employment history, current position, and any publications
  • A research proposal, not exceeding three single-spaced pages, which describes the purpose of the study and its significance, contains a brief description of the methods to be used, and includes any critical, supporting citations
  • A budget itemizing total costs for the proposed project and indicating the amount you are requesting in the form of a Bergstrom award (not to exceed $1,500)