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Grants to USA, Canada, and International IHEs and Institutions for Research Related to Trees and the Utility Industry

Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant Program

GrantWatch ID# 193775
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
Canada:Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;
International, Israel and Canada.

Important Dates
LOI Date: 03/01/23
Deadline: 03/15/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International universities and institutions for research that addresses tree-related utility damage. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to applying. Funding is intended for studies that will help utility companies mitigate tree damage to infrastructure and other concerns. Priority will be given to projects addressing employee, contractor, and public safety, service reliability, and regulatory compliance.

The TREE Fund and UAA are seeking Utility Arborist Research Fund (UARF) proposals guided by the prioritized summary of research topics polled from the wider membership, prioritized as follows, with equal consideration given to these topics:

  • Employee, Contractor and Public Safety (including training relevance and quality, and training frequency);
  • Service Reliability (including tree failure and tree worker experience); and
  • Regulatory Compliance (including training and process improvement).

While TREE Fund and UAA encourage applications that are aligned with these priorities, both organizations also understand that social, exploratory, and other research questions may arise. TREE Fund and UAA are thus open to evaluating any proposal related to vegetation management in the utility industry. 

Budget Elements may include:

  • Institutional Compensation, Stipends, and Benefits
  • Travel and Transportation
  • Equipment (e.g. Vehicles, Growth Chambers, Etc.)
  • Other Materials and Supplies (e.g. Paper, Ink, Etc.)
  • Contract Labor (Consultants, Speakers, Etc.)
  • Institutional Overhead (Maximum 10%)
  • Other/Miscellaneous
  • Cash or In-Kind Funding from Other Sources (Minimum 10%; unrecovered institutional overhead may be applied to meet this minimum).


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Universities or Institutions may apply.

TREE Fund does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or national or ethnic origin.

UARF may not be used to fund to following types of research:
- Grants to individuals;
- Projects that are primarily municipal tree surveys or assessments;
- Tree planting programs;
- Studies of individual tree species for the primary purpose of agricultural or timber/forest planting yield;
- Commercial tree- or soil-related product testing primarily for the benefit of the company that manufactures the product.

Current trustees of TREE Fund or any member of the family of any such trustee are ineligible to receive grants from TREE Fund.

Pre-Application Information
TREE Fund will accept completed applications only between January 15 and March 15, 2023.

To apply, send an email containing a brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI) of no more than 100 words describing your project title and concept to before March 1, 2023, ideally linking your concept to one of the defined 2023 priority areas. Your LOI must clearly identify the Principal Investigator and Institution who will be contracted for the work should your application be approved. Also note in your LOI that you wish to apply for the Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant program.

TREE Fund will evaluate whether your LOI concept meets all of the application criteria and is deemed to have a reasonable possibility of success given the year’s research priorities. If and only if your LOI is approved, TREE Fund will send you a numbered application form for your use. You may not apply without such a numbered application form, and the number of applications so provided each grant-making cycle may be limited. TREE Fund determinations on whether an LOI meets the application criteria are final and not negotiable.

Recommendations on grant awards will be presented by the Research Committee to the TREE Fund Board of Trustees for approval in May 2023, and grant recipient(s) will be notified in writing within one month of Trustee approval. A Grant Agreement form that includes a payment and reporting schedule will be provided with award notification. It must be completed within one month of notification, and returned to TREE Fund with all required supporting documentation.

Before submitting a proposal, applicants must contact cooperating partners, including but not limited to (as applicable) State natural resource agency personnel, utility companies, federal biologists and resource managers, and relevant local landowners, to discuss the proposed project and ensure that the work can be conducted if funded (e.g., utility rights-of-way may be accessed, necessary samples can be collected, required permits can be obtained, staff safety training can be conducted and certified as required by the utility, etc.) Affirmation of support of partners must be provided with the application. All necessary state, federal, and local permits, as well as landowner permission, must be received and documented prior to project initiation.

About the Tree Fund:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
One to five grants may be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant
The minimum award considered will be $10,000, the maximum $50,000.

Term of Contract
Work funded by UARF is expected to be completed within one to three years of award.

Contact Information
Submit LOIs to

Direct questions to (630) 369-8300 or the email address above.

Tree Fund
1755 Park Street, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563
Ph: (630) 369-8300
Fax: (630) 369-8382

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