JARS v56n1 - Announcement of ARS Research Grants

Announcement of ARS Research Grants
Dr. Harold E. Sweetman
Chairman, ARS Research Committee
Devon, Pennsylvania

The Research Committee of the American Rhododendron Society wishes to announce an annual award competition for research on rhododendrons and azaleas. The deadline for receiving submitted applications is March 1, 2002, and awards will be made by August 1, 2002, for those applications deemed to be most deserving of support.

ARS research grants are awarded to support projects that either yield practical benefits for growing and enjoying rhododendrons or yield new insights into the biology, geographical distribution or history of species and hybrid rhododendrons.

The Research Committee will consider grant application requests for amounts up to $5,000. The funds may be used over a period of one to three years, at the discretion of the recipient, except that funds may not be used for institutional overhead.

Information about the format for applications and a list of research topics of interest to the American Rhododendron Society can be obtained at the website: http://www.rhododendron.org/researchgrants.htm or directly from Dr. Sweetman.

Grant funding is provided by the Research Foundation of the American Rhododendron Society with the understanding that research results will be published in the Journal American Rhododendron Society, a refereed publication. Those applicants unfamiliar with research already reported in the Journal may also benefit from reviewing back issues of the Journal, which is available in many horticultural libraries.

Proposals are evaluated the ARS Research Committee as regards their potential interest to the membership of the Society and the probability of successfully accomplishing the goals of the project.

Grants Awarded in 2001
The ARS Research Foundation awarded four grants in 2001. They are as follows:

  1. Dr. Mark C. Starrett, University of Vermont, "Use of an Ericoid Mycorrhial Fungus to Improve Rooting and Acclimation of Difficult To Grow Cultivars of Rhododendron ." $3,909 for 2000.
  2. Gary Harris, Wellesley College, "Cold Acclimation and Freezing Tolerance in Rhododendron maximum ." $5,000 in 2001.
  3. Dr. Gary J. Keever, Auburn University, "Nursery Production and Landscape Performance of Azaleas." $5,000 in 2001.
  4. Ms. Danielle Blundell, CSIRO Plant Industry, "Collection of Rhododendron, section Vireya , in Sulawasi, Indonesia." $3,585 in 2001.

August E. Kehr, First Research Committee Chair
Dr. August Kehr, who passed away Sept. 27, 2001, was the first chairman of the ARS Research Committee, established in 1970 by ARS President Carl Phetteplace. In a report at the ARS annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Phetteplace said the committee members would represent all regions and have "special knowledge and scientific ability in the problems of growing rhododendrons" (JARS 24:3).

The ARS Research Foundation was founded in 1976 during Kehr's term as ARS president. The purposes of the Foundation were "to promote and finance research projects relating to the cultivation, introduction, production, maintenance, improvement, propagation, protection, and dissemination of azaleas and rhododendrons" (JARS 55:2).