NPER » Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does "flora" apply to lichens, mosses, and cyanobacteria as well?
Yes, 'flora' is being defined broadly and includes plants cryptogamic crusts, lichens, mosses, algae, cyanobacteria, etc.

2. Do I need to have my Ph.D. before the application deadline or just before the start date of the research?
You must have completed your Ph.D. before the start of the research project. Each applicant defines the start date for his or her research. Projects can start as early as April of the award year and should not start later than August/September of the award year. Only individuals who have completed their Ph.D. within three years prior to the start date of the Fellowship are eligible for this award.

3. Would it be acceptable to list two PI's or would it be preferable to list a single CO-PI?
It is acceptable to have multiple PI's. Applicants should list one individual (and host institution) as the primary co-PI for the project.

4. How strong does the emphasis on flora need to be? Do the projects have to focus solely on plants, or can they study plant communities as habitat for animals?
The RFP indicates that the project should 'focus on flora', that can include the community response to and need for maintenance of other organisms. The link to the plant component should be clearly stated.

5. Does the sponsoring institution have to be a university, or would another research organization be an appropriate sponsor as well?
Any type of research organization is fine. The program is not limited to universities to allow for more options in the affiliation of the sponsoring co-PI.

6. Does the research need to be conducted in a National Park?
Research must be conducted in a National Park or at other sites administered by the National Park Service (, but areas outside of the Park can also be included in the research if appropriate. The proposal MUST highlight the value of the Park natural resources or ecological features to the proposed research (in other words, why is the Park an appropriate/ideal site to conduct the research?).

7. How should I submit my application cover sheet (original and electronic submission)?
As noted in the Announcement, you must submit an electronic version of at least the first six sections of your application (cover sheet, proposal text, references, budget, program management, and biographical sketches), in addition to sending originals by mail. You will find links to two versions of the application cover sheet on this website, one PDF and one in Microsoft Word. You may use the Word version for electronic submission and to save a copy of your cover sheet on your own computer. For submission of originals through the mail, you may use the pdf version. Please note that when you complete the fillable PDF version of the cover sheet, you will be able to print the cover sheet with your changes, but you will not be able to save the cover sheet with your changes on your own computer. Therefore, you may wish to fill out the Word version first so that you may save all of your information, then cut and paste into the PDF version. If you do not have the latest version of Acrobat Reader, you may download it here.

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