Jim Smith Endowment Fund

 2021 Proposal Guidelines 

The Ohio Cichlid Association’s Jim Smith Endowment Fund is dedicated to supporting those who do work furthering cichlid or catfish research, education, or conservation.  It was founded in 2003 to honor the late Jim Smith, a beloved and long-time OCA board member, to continue the good work he did during his life.  Recipients are announced at the OCA’s yearly Extravaganza, an aquarium hobbyist convention, which is always held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Award amounts are based on a simple formula, as described in the OCA Constitution, and have been averaging about $2000, sometimes split between 2 applicants.  (See information about past grants here: https://www.ohiocichlid.com/jim-smith-fund/about-the-jim-smith-fund ) This year we expect to be able to give more than that, as all proceeds from the 2020 Virtual Extravaganza went to the Jim Smith Fund. The following guidelines are meant to give anyone interested in applying for the 2021 award an idea of what is expected.

Here are features that should be included in your proposal, which should be approximately 500-750 words:

  • Include a thorough, but concise, project description.  Please remember that we are an organization of hobbyists, not scientists or academics, so use terminology appropriate for scientifically literate lay persons.
  • Explain how your project will benefit cichlid or catfish research, education, or conservation.
  • Tell us how much money you need.  If it’s a small project, maybe we can fund it completely.  If it’s a large project, maybe we can contribute part of what you need.
  • Explain how you will report your results to us and to others.  (see below) 

Proposals that were submitted, but not chosen for the award in past years, can be resubmitted this year.  Proposals for projects that were partially funded by the JSF in past years can be resubmitted for further funding.

If you are chosen as a recipient, you will be expected to submit a report of some kind, announcing your results.  The nature of the report will depend on the type of project.  The report may be a copy of a scientific paper that has been published in a peer-review journal, an article about the project for our e-publication (the Buckeye Bulletin), or an informal, but detailed, explanation with photos.  If the project is long-term, an annual progress report will be expected.  These results will be posted on our website and in the Buckeye Bulletin.  Full photographic credit will be given as appropriate, and Copyrights may be added to photos and explanations. 

Ideally, the recipient should be present at the Extravaganza, which is held in the Greater Cleveland area.  The award will be announced at the Extravaganza (if in-person*), on November 20, 2020.  If circumstances are such that attendance would not be practical, we’ll understand.  

To be considered for funding in 2021, proposals must be submitted by September 15, 2021. 

Please email proposals and any questions to Lew Carbone, lewcarbone@gmail.com .  For proposals, include your full name, position/organization, and phone number.  Use an email account that you monitor frequently. 

*Note: There is still no guarantee that there will be an in-person 2021 Extravaganza. Government directives, venue policies and other justifiable cautionary considerations relating to COVID-19 may again force its cancellation. If the in-person Extravaganza is cancelled, we’ll do an online version again, in which case the grant winters will be announced on November 21.

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