Entomological Society of America Grant Challenge

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Invasive arthropods are a global challenge that impose a massive economic burden for agriculture, conservation, and health. With rising tourism, international trade, and climate change, it is more important than ever to invest in innovative research that tackles detection, response, management, and prevention of these invaders.


The Projects

Browse the participating projects

Impacts of a new invasive aphid pest in North America

Through surveys, this project will delineate the expanding range of a new invasive aphid, Metopolophium festucae...

Evaluating visual preferences of allium leafminer to improve monitoring technology

Allium leafminer (ALM) is an invasive fly that attacks Allium plants (onion, leek, chives, garlic) in the northeastern...

Can we trap invasive weevils and protect the federally-threatened Pitcher's thistle?

Pitcher’s thistle is a rare native plant that is found only one place in the world; the sand dunes of the Great...

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More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
$1,500
Submission Deadline:
Jan 22, 2019
Campaign Launch:
Feb 01, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

This grant is for projects that address the GCAFE summit topics and that launch crowdfunding campaigns by February 1st, 2019. On February 21st, the project that ends with the most backers will receive an additional $650 grant. The runner-up projects will recieve $400, $225, $100, $75, and $50 respectively.

When will the grant be awarded?

On February 21st at 6PM ET, the project with the most backers will be awarded directly to their project. Additional prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

ESA Challenge Awards

The ESA challenge awards have been announced! ESA awarded additional grant funds to each project based on the number of pledges they had at 6 PM (PST) on February 21st.

Impacts of a new invasive aphid pest in North America - $650 grant

Evaluating visual preferences of allium leafminer to improve monitoring technology - $400 grant

Can we trap invasive weevils and protect the federally-threatened Pitcher's thistle? - $225 grant

Monitoring the small-but-mighty planthoppers and their potential impacts on plant health in Florida - $100 grant

Evaluating biocontrol techniques against the South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, an invasive pest worldwide - $75 grant

Pathogen screening of the invasive longhorned tick using metagenomics - $50 grant

ESA Challenge Description

In partnership with Experiment (a mission-driven company), the Entomological Society of America is calling for research proposals that focus on the 2018 Grand Challenge Agenda for Entomology (GCAFE) topic: Invasive Arthropods.

At the conclusion of the GCAFE summit (Addressing the North American and Pacific Rim Invasive Insect and Arthropod Species Challenge) in Vancouver, Canada (November 9-10, 2018) participants and interested researchers are invited to collaborate on and submit research projects for funding via Experiment’s crowdfunding platform. Projects should address the key areas of focus identified at the summit to tackle the problem of invasive arthropods in North America and the Pacific Rim. Researchers do not need to have attended the summit in order to submit a campaign. Learn more about the summit and its outcomes here.

The world is more interconnected than ever, and with rising global tourism and migration, internet commerce, trade, and unintentional transport of invasive insects from one region to another, this is a problem with no simple solutions in sight. 

Proposals must:

  • Involve invasive insects or other arthropods of economic or ecological significance to North America or the Pacific Rim. Other study areas will be considered, but they should have applicability to this geographic range.
  • Identify clear objectives and measurable outcomes for the project in one or more of the identified challenge areas: (a) prevention, (b) detection, (c) response, or (d) policy.
  • Seek ways to minimize the threats and impacts posed by invasive arthropods.

ESA will be reviewing all projects prior to their joining the challenge, and reserves the right to reject projects that they feel do not meet the Grand Challenge criteria.

What to expect:

  • Don't worry about the short call time as crowdfunding campaigns are quick and easy to prepare. It typically takes researchers about 2 hours from start to finish to get their campaign submitted. Experiment reviewers will then work with you to make your page as crowdfunding-friendly as possible.
  • Crowdfunding works best with a strong outreach plan run by the researcher. Experiment staff will help you develop an outreach strategy that will meet your goals and get the world excited about your research.
  • Not sure about this crowdfunding thing? Have a look at our crowdfunding basics and learn generally how Experiment works.

Project Eligilibity

Any research project addressing the project priorities and summit topics is welcome to submit. ESA will be reviewing all projects prior to their joining the challenge, and reserves the right to reject projects that they feel do not meet the Grand Challenge criteria. Researchers do not need to be at the summit to submit a campaign. It is expected that successful applicants will provide appropriate feedback on the outcomes of the work for dissemination to funders and ESA.

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