Graduate Student Research Program

Joshua Tree National Park Graduate Student Research Grant

Since 2003, Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) has encouraged independent field research by graduate students enrolled in accredited institutions. Each year, the Joshua Tree National Park Association (JTNPA) provides over $20,000 in grants to assist students with field study expenses, including data analysis, lodging, transportation, field supplies, and research equipment. Research proposals should focus on some aspect of the natural or cultural resources of Joshua Tree National Park. To learn more about research needs and the permitting process, visit our Science and Research webpage.

The Graduate Student Research Grant benefits the student researcher by providing an opportunity to demonstrate how their research can apply to land management issues. In addition, it provides park staff with a better understanding of the resources at Joshua Tree National Park.

More than 25 independent research projects have been conducted with the help of this program to date, adding significantly to the knowledge of the park and its natural and cultural resources. The grant program is coordinated by the park’s Science and Resource Stewardship program and the funds are administered by JTNPA. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of scholars and JOTR subject matter experts. Award amounts generally range between $2,000 - $5,000. Awardees will have free lodging at the park’s field station (Dr. Luckie Study Center) and free park entrance once you obtain your research permit. If you cannot utilize the field station for lodging, be sure to justify your lodging requests. You can also receive free camping, upon request. Please review the guidelines for obtaining a scientific research permit before applying.

How To Apply:

The application period for the Graduate Student Research Grant opens every fall. Contact the Grant Coordinator to be added to the email list for announcements. Applications are due mid-December and awards will be announced by mid-February. Download a copy of the application here.

A complete application includes the following items:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Your current curriculum vita
  3. References cited within the proposal description
  4. Any diagrams or figures referenced within the proposal
  5. A letter of confidence from your faculty advisor

Grant recipients are required to:

  • Provide summary updates twice per year and a final report to the Grant Coordinator. Preferably, some material provided in these reports will be suitable for interpretive or educational materials, in which case we may ask permission to utilize them for this purpose.
  • submit an article to be published in our Joshua Tree Science series;
  • present their work to a suitable public forum, such as the Joshua Tree National Park Association's Desert Institute Lecture Series; and
  • when research is complete, awardee will provide the park with copies of any final publications, thesis work, and/or any pertinent information that applies to the research conducted in the park.

All awards are administered through a reimbursement program. Recipients are expected to complete all of the requirements of the grant within two years of receiving the award.

Questions? Contact the Grant Coordinator.

Last updated: January 10, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

Contact Us