The Helen G. and Allan D. Cruickshank Research Awards are given to support projects dealing with wild birds in Florida.

Proposals submitted for research awards should be directed at improving knowledge of Florida birds and should propose work to be done in Florida. 

Proposals are due by February 15th of each year.

 The maximum amount awarded each year typically falls in the range of $2,000-2,500.

Multiple awards for smaller grants are occasionally provided.

Applications should be strong in one or more of these focal areas:

1) Basic biology (new understanding of bird biology in area(s) of specialization)

2) Conservation biology (new understanding of how populations, species, or communities (patterns, processes) are affected by humans such that this understanding could lead to designing better protection of avian biodiversity)

3) Management application (testing of management techniques that foster native birds: species, populations, communities)


Applications must contain 4 distinct parts:

1) An updated CV of the applicant with current contact information

2) A research proposal of up to 8 double-spaced pages (4 single-spaced; excluding references, figures, and tables)

3) A 1-page research budget showing total project costs, and what portion of the total this award will cover

4) A timeline indicating when work will be completed
Research proposals must be well-written and contain:

Introduction/Background section with Literature Review

Clear statement of Research Objectives, Study Design, proposed Methods and Materials that include information on the study area/species

Short Synthesis and Significance section at the end emphasizing why funding this project will enhance knowledge or conservation of Florida birds

All application materials should be put into a single PDF file, in order, and emailed to the Committee Chair with CRUICKSHANK PROPOSAL in the title line.

Proposals must be submitted by February 15th to be considered for the current grant cycle.

Students (undergraduate to PhD) are especially encouraged to apply.

Post-doctoral level scientists and non-profit organizations or their representatives may also be considered for funding. 

The recipient(s) will be announced at the spring meeting of the Florida Ornithological Society.

Proposals are due by February 15th of each year.

Submit an Application

If you are interested in applying for this grant, please submit your proposal below using our online form. If you have a question, please email the Committee Chair, Beth Forys.

Past Grant Recipients

Avian Biodiversity in Florida Rangelands: The Role of Pasture Type and Management Strategies

Recipient: Zachary Holmes

Role: MS Student, University of Florida

Influence of temperature on Least Tern egg and chick survival

Recipient: Connor O’Brien

Role: Undergraduate Student, Eckerd College

“Take it easy! Testing stress’ effect on the microbiome, health, and ornamentation of a wild songbird”

Recipient: Morgan Slevin

Role: PhD Candidate, Florida Atlantic University

History of the Cruickshanks

Allan Dudley Cruickshank was a nationally known ornithologist who has been described as “a modern Audubon with a camera.” Cruickshank, a lecturer and teacher, was on the staff of the National Audubon Society for 37 years. He wrote and illustrated many magazine articles and a number of books on ornithology, some with the aid of his wife, Helen.

Pocket Guides included Birds Around New York City, Wings in the Wilderness; Hunting With the Camera; Cruickshank’s Pocket Guide to Birds; 1,001 Questions About Birds; and Summer Birds of Lincoln County, Maine.

He was for many years the official photographer of the National Audubon Society, and his pictures appeared in more than 175 books and won awards in numerous exhibitions, including the the John Burroughs Medal for Flight Into Sunshine – a joint collaboration with his wife, Helen.

His interest began at the age of 10. He was on his way to West 23rd Street in New York City to get a newspaper for his mother when he spotted a strange bird—clearly not a pigeon, English sparrow or starling—perched low on a willow tree near Eighth Avenue. As the boy inched closer, the bird remained calmly on its perch and studied him. The bird, the boy was to learn, was a screech owl, as uncommon in the area as willow trees now are. Excited by the experience, the boy started going uptown to look for birds in Central Park. And when his family moved to the Bronx, then largely rural, he was ecstatic over the specimens he found in woodlands, gardens, and orchards.

It has been said of Mr. Cruickshank that he had “flown, climbed (and fallen), crawled and ridden into almost every corner of North America to study wildlife in its native habitat.”

He was born in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, on Aug. 29, 1907, to a Scottish father and a French mother. He came to this country at the age of two and lived mostly in and around New York City. He attended New York University, was former president of the Linnaean Society of New York, and a member of the Wilson Ornithological Club, the Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society and the Izaak Walton League, among others.


David Goodwin


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