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Werner and Hildegard Hesse Research Award in Ornithology

The Werner and Hildegard Hesse Graduate Research Award for research in field ornithology.


The UBC Biodiversity Research Centre and Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences share the honor of administering the Graduate research awards endowed via a generous bequest by Werner Hans Herman Hesse in support graduate students engaged in ornithological research on wild birds. Werner and Hildegard Hesses’ passion for wild birds was sparked in night classes on the ecology and conservation of birds at UBC and led them to become leaders in amateur ornithology. The Hesses conducted bird surveys in the Canadian arctic, compiled BC’s Christmas Bird Counts for over 20 years, and developed a special concern for the harmful effects of human development on bird habitats and populations. The Hesses delighted in funding ornithological research and, particularly, contributing to the long-term monitoring of population change in seabirds of the Pacific Coast. The UBC Zoology Department is responsible for administering the Hesse Undergraduate Research Award.

Werner and Hildegard Hesse


Graduate students of the University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus) that will conduct field research on the conservation, ecology or evolution of wild birds. **The UBC Zoology Department is responsible for administering the Hesse Undergraduate Research Award.**

Application Deadline

Feb 15th. Announcement of Awards: by March 15th. 
All supporting materials should be submitted as a single file in PDF format to by the application deadline.

Application Guidelines for Awards

A complete application will include:

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1. Proposal 

Two pages maximum, double-spaced, 11 pt. type including: 

  • Title
  • Introduction (identify questions to be studied and current state of knowledge)
  • Description of Research (describe approach to research, including hypotheses, logic and design of experiments/observations, materials and methods, sample sizes and statistical approaches)
  • Significance of proposed research (how will the proposed work advance applied, empirical or theoretical issues in ornithology?)
  • Literature Cited (short format citations including author, date, journal issue and page numbers)
2. Budget 

(1 page maximum)

To a maximum of $12,000 for Graduate Awards, and $6,000 for Undergraduate Awards. Itemized costs of overall research project, specifying known and potential sources of funding, and identifying in bold expenses requested from the Hesse Fund. Hesse Funds can be used for expanses related to student travel, stipend support, attendance at meetings, and capital or expendable equipment and supplies. 

3. Curriculum vitae 

(2 page maximum) 

  • A CV detailing educationa, research and laboratory experience relevant to the proposed research, current and previous awards, conference presentations and peer-reviewed papers
4. Letter of recommendation from the applicant's supervisor 
  • Supporting letter detailing the merits of the candidate and proposed research, and verifying the additional sources of cash and in-kind support available directly or indirectly to the candidate.