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Cofrin Grant recipients and faculty.
Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Student Research Grants


We will be accepting proposals for the 2021/2022 academic year until Monday May 17, 2021.

Apply Now

Not sure how to get started? Check the list of project ideas and then contact a faculty member at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity or at

Grants are available to support independent student research projects by UW--Green Bay students conducted within the Cofrin Arboretum and the UW-Green Bay Natural Areas, including Toft Point and Peninsula Center in Door County, Point au Sable in Brown County, and Kingfisher Farm in Manitowoc County. An additional grant is available for research at other natural areas in the western Great Lakes area. Undergraduate and graduate students in any major are eligible although preference will be given to undergraduates.

Successful applicants will carry out a field project in collaboration with a UW-Green Bay faculty member and must submit a final report, copies of all data, and any specimen vouchers. Grantees will present their results in an Annual Research Symposium, held during the spring semester. Funding for each project typically ranges from $500 - $1000 and can be used for travel costs, field equipment, and research supplies. Depending on availability of funds, a small stipend is sometimes included. Individual or collaborative proposals (up to two students) will be considered.

Why apply for a Cofrin grant?

Independent research is fun. You get to work on a question that you think is of particular interest to you. In other words, the project is a chance to see what it’s like to do conservation based research. You are making a contribution to science. Many of the projects provide important information that helps us make better decisions as we manage our natural areas. Some students publish their results in national and regional journals. You are building your future. A Cofrin project will provide you with research experience that you can use in your future career. Many of our participants have commented that their Cofrin Grant experience helped them to decide what field they wanted to go into and was an important piece in their resumes.

Application Guidelines

Students interested in applying should contact a faculty member in the area of interest and design a brief (2-5 page) proposal containing the following information:

  • Descriptive title
  • Introduction including a literature review
  • Objectives of the study
  • Proposed methods: The methods section must explain clearly the sampling procedure, expected data analysis, location of study, as well as project schedule and duration. Include how many hours you expect to spend doing field or lab work.
  • Anticipated outcomes of the work
  • Proposed budget: be specific about prices for equipment and supplies; mileage will be billed at current state rates
  • Do not include a stipend request as that will be determined by the grants committee.
  • Proposals must include phone number and email address.
  • Proposals should be saved as a .doc, .docx, or a .rtf files and be less than 16 MB in size

See an example proposal for more guidance on writing the proposal.

Looking for ideas? Browse a list of projects suggested by faculty in NAS and see the list of completed projects to see what other students have done.

Proposals must be submitted and proposal document uploaded using our online form. If you are having trouble uploading your file, you can email it to

Cofrin Grants

Thanks to a generous endowment from the family of Dr. David Cofrin and the late John Cofrin, annual grants are awarded for student research on the Cofrin Arboretum and UW-Green Bay natural areas. These include The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, Kingfisher Farm, Peninsula Center, Point au Sable, and Toft Point and at the Wabikon Lake Forest Dynamics Plot. Students carry out a research project in collaboration with a UW-Green Bay faculty member and will present results at our annual research symposium. The grants are competitive and must contribute to improving our understanding of ecology on one or more of the UW Green Bay Natural Areas. Since it was founded in 1989 this program has supported over 100 graduate and undergraduate researchers at UW-Green Bay.

Krischan Grant for Botanical Research

This grant is named in memory of Thomas Krischan, donated by his widowed wife.. This grant supports students conducting botany related research that support management and conservation of Toft Point Natural Area. Projects must strive to increase botanical knowledge of plant species at Toft Point as their major goal. Acceptable topics include plant biodiversity surveys, invasive plant control, plant population genetics, microbial and mycorrhizal associations with plants, pollination, plant predation, plant competition, and plant pathology. Cofrin Center staff will consider other appropriate topics related to botany.

Friends of Toft Point Grant

This grant supports research that is not strictly limited to botanical topics. This grant supports students conducting traditional ecological research, as well as research or activities that support the human dimensions of conservation at Toft Point Natural Area. Acceptable projects include traditional research in ecology, conservation biology, or biodiversity research, sociology, and archaeology. Projects related to environmental history, literature, or art that support the management, history, aesthetic appreciation of Toft Point Natural Area.

Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award

This student research award commemorates the important contributions to conservation and environmental education by Roy and Charlotte Lukes, two of Wisconsin’s most influential and beloved naturalists. The award was created by a generous endowment from West Bend philanthropist Ron Horn.

Student applications for the Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award will be administered by the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as part of its ongoing Cofrin Student Research Grants Program. The Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award is available to support conservation research in Door County, Wisconsin by a student enrolled or employed by UW-Green Bay. Preference will be given to student research at the Toft Point Natural Area and the surrounding Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands, designated in 2015 as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Students carry out a research project in collaboration with a UW-Green Bay faculty member and will present results at our annual research symposium.

In addition to fostering original research on the natural history, ecology, and biodiversity conservation of Toft Point and Door County, this annual award is intended to provide valuable hands-on research opportunities for students. Past recipients of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Student Research Grants have demonstrated the effectiveness of faculty-guided student research in helping shape successful careers in a wide variety of professions. By combining science, conservation, and education, the Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award will extend the legacy and unselfish values that these two important Door County leaders have championed for more than half a century.