Research Proposal Guidelines

Thank you for your interest! The request for proposals is now closed. Watch for the announcement of new research awards in the near future.

Deadline Extended!

Submission of pre-proposals has been extended to January 31, 2024.

Request for Research Proposals

The Britton Fund is pleased to announce a request for proposals for its 2023-2024 Research Awards Program. Dedicated to advancing the field of arboriculture by championing research and education initiatives tailored to the interests and needs of WCISA members, The Britton Fund offers important financial support for qualified projects, extending up to an approximate limit of $30,000.

January 31, 2024 is the NEW submission deadline for pre-proposals. 

Please carefully review the 2023-2024 RFP guidelines for important information. Direct questions and inquiries to James Downer, PhD, Chairman, Research Committee at

Submission of Proposals

Proposals are required for all projects considered by the Research Committee.  Proposals must clearly describe the project and research team.  Information to be provided includes:

  1. Project Title
  2. Investigator (name, title, address, phone)
  3. Statement of problem and objective of project
  4. Significance of proposed project to the arboricultural industry
  5. Brief description of what is currently known about proposed research area, or currently available for education projects.
  6. Research plan or outline of education project
  7. Budget (minimum funding requested, estimated completion date, how funds will be used, matching funds, other funds contributing to project)
  8. Relevant citations by investigator

Proposals are limited to five pages.  Proposals must be received by the date indicated in the current RFP to be considered for funding in the following year.  Awardees are typically determined at the January-February Board meeting, and announced by March 1.  Grants are initiated in March.  Projects are to be completed within 2 years time.  If the project cannot be completed within that time, grantee will submit a progress report and request for extension. Grant deadlines and initiation dates can be extended by the board when necessary.

Proposals for sponsored grants are limited to the size specified in the RFP.  The schedule for submission of proposals and awarding of grant is dependent on the individual project.


For large projects, the Research Committee may elect to use a pre-proposal phase.  Pre-proposals are brief outlines (2 pages or less) describing the project, methods (including personnel, equipment, and facilities) to be used to complete the project, time schedule and a preliminary budget of anticipated costs.  Pre-proposals will be reviewed by the Research Committee.  Full proposals may be requested from those applicants with the highest rated pre-proposals.


Applicants submitting unsolicited proposals will be advised to resubmit the proposal for consideration Oct. 31-Nov. 30, if the proposed project is consistent with the interests of the WCISA.   Unsolicited proposals may be reviewed by the committee when timelines is a concern.

For general research ideas or concepts the following procedures are followed:

  1. Concept statements are submitted to the Research Committee.
  2. Suitability of the idea for development into a project is evaluated.
  3. The applicant will be directed in one of the following ways:
    1. Submissions that are not applicable for the WCISA will be returned to the sender
    2. For applicable projects, the researcher will be invited to submit a full proposal and provided with appropriate application
    3. For ideas the Britton Fund cannot fund alone, the Committee may recommend trying to match the possible project with a sponsor. Procedures would then follow the Sponsored Grants program.
  4. To protect the proprietary rights of the applicant, the Committee may not develop a project from a concept statement or idea, or undertake the RFP process without the knowledge and consent of the applicant.

Criteria for Project Selection

Projects funded through the WCISA must be scientifically based, meet the research priorities of the WCISA, and provide accurate and unbiased information.  The Committee will consider a wide range of project types: basic research, applied research, technology transfer, education, innovative demonstrations (if strong technology transfer component)

Projects will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. Approach – Is the project feasible and scientifically sound? Are the proposed methods and existing resources appropriate for successful completion of the project? Is the project creative in its approach to the problem?
  2. Performance – Is it likely the project can be completed in the time frame planned? Are the outcomes of the project realistic? How will the information be disseminated? Do investigators have necessary qualifications to accomplish the project?
  3. Funding – Are requested funds sufficient to complete the project?  Are there other funds to be used on project? Is there adequate explanation of how funds will be used? Is the potential cost/benefit ratio for this project appropriate?
  4. Impact/Appropriate topic – Does the project address a problem/issue within the Fund’s priority research/technology transfer areas? Will this project be useful for the arboricultural industry? Will this project have application to a broad international sector?


A contract must be written between the grantee and the Britton Fund which delineates the scope of the project, schedule for progress reports, deliverables, review period, completion date, phased payment schedule (if any) and total project cost.  Projects involving multiple funding sources will require all parties reaching agreed upon terms regarding copyrights, source codes and patents.


The Britton Fund encourages research partnerships to enhance industry involvement, increase interdisciplinary interaction and provide broader funding potential. 


The Britton Fund Research Committee is charged with the following tasks and responsibilities:

  1. Identifying research needs of the Western Chapter that are not being addressed by other granting agencies;
  2. Developing requests for proposals (RFP) for research and education projects of interest and value to its members;
  3. Evaluating proposals submitted to the Fund for scientific soundness and applicability to research priorities;
  4. Funding projects deemed appropriate, desirable and feasible, and monitoring their progress;
  5. Facilitating distribution of information generated from research projects grants.
  6. Maintaining records of active and completed projects.
  7. Submitting committee reports to the Britton Fund Board of Directors.

Questions?  Direct questions and inquiries to James Downer, PhD, Chairman, Research Committee,