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Doris O. and Samuel P. Welles Research Fund

Sam Welles
The late Samuel P. Welles, former museum scientist at the University of California's Museum of Paleontology, left a generous bequest to promote research on the Museum's collections, particularly those of Mesozoic vertebrates from the Colorado Plateau and others on which he worked. Preference is given to registered students and to those with no other sources of support (especially foreign colleagues). The Fund prioritizes work on UCMP's collection of Mesozoic vertebrates from the Colorado Plateau, but applications for other projects using UCMP collections are also encouraged.

Application information

We have three target dates for applications each year:

  • April 1 for summer visits

  • August 1 for fall visits

  • December 1 for spring visits

Please use our application form in Word (preferred) or RTF format. Do NOT use PDF format. Email your completed application to Kevin Padian ( with the subject line as specified in the application form.

Allowable expenses include travel and lodging; food and supplies are generally not provided except to visitors from countries with a highly unfavorable exchange rate. Most awards are less than $1000. More details are available on the Terms for Recipients page. If travel is associated with a conference in the western United States or is part of a multi-city tour of collections, the Welles Fund typically only funds the portion of added travel expenses incurred for the UCMP visit. Please list other sources of support for your work, as applicable. We like cost-sharing when possible.

The Museum's collections database can be accessed through our website at For questions about vertebrate specimens, please contact Pat Holroyd. For fossil plants, contact Diane Erwin; for all other specimens, Mark Goodwin.

Important note for foreign applicants: If you are traveling from outside the United States, allow ample time to obtain the proper visa. Visitors without the proper visa may be turned back at port of entry and may be ineligible to receive reimbursement by the university. The information linked below is provided by the University. The UCMP will not be responsible for any discrepancy or lack of clarity between this information and any information and updates provided by the US government.

Other Funding

If you are considering a visit to several West Coast museums, in addition to the Welles Fund there are funds for student support at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Burke Museum of the University of Washington. Check their websites for terms and deadlines.

Students who are doing field work on California geology or paleontology may wish to consider applying for support from the Northern California Geological Society. Their applications are usually due in December.

Further support for students visiting collections can be provided by the Albert E. Wood fund of the SVP. Check their website for terms and deadlines.