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Hansjörg Eichler Scientific Research Fund

photo: Hansjorg Eichler
Hansjörg Eichler (1916-1992)

Applications for an Award from the Hansjörg Eichler Research Fund are welcomed from all current financial members of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society. The project must contribute to Australian systematic botany (including cryptogams); must be carried out within Australia; and the applicant must be attached to an Australian research institute (in the broadest sense)
The maximum grant awarded will be $2000. Large capital items will not be considered.

Students, recent graduates and newly-established botanists will be given preference. Applications will be assessed on the quality of the applicant and the proposed project. The project should be clearly defined in scope and preferably result in a publication.
Submissions already received may be resubmitted if so desired.

Both the Selection Criteria and a Grant Application Form are available.
The closing dates for applications is March 14 and September 14 each year

From 1997 to 2009 ASBS has distributed $50,332 to 40 recipients, almost all of whom were students.

Selection Criteria

Timeline for Each Year

First Round:
March 14 – Applications close
April 30 – Assessment of applications completed
End of first week in May – Letters mailed to all applicants
June Newsletter – Formal publication of successful applicants

Second Round:
September 14 – Applications close
October 31 – Assessments completed
End of first week in November – Letters mailed to all applicants
December Newsletter – Formal publication of successful applicants

General Notes

  1. The Scientific Committee may decide to make no awards in a particular round.
  2. The maximum award will normally not exceed $2000.
  3. The maximum amount available for all grants in any one year will be determined by ASBS Council before applications are called.
  4. No large capital items (e.g. computer components) will be funded by the Eichler Grant.
  5. The Australian Systematic Botany Society Inc. achieved Approved Research Institute status on the 7th July 1998. Under this ruling gifts ($2 and upwards) made to the Society for scientific research are tax deductible. Scientific Research is defined as any activity in the fields of natural or applied science for the extension of knowledge. The words "extension of knowledge" are interpreted by the Australian Tax Office as meaning an addition to the sum total of knowledge and not the informing of people about existing knowledge. On these grounds the publication of journals and books, and the attendance at research conferences are specifically excluded as items for consideration by the Eichler Research Fund.
  6. For those applicants applying for funding for work which is part of a larger project, such as a Ph.D., preference will be given to those applications which specify a particular, well-circumscribed part of the project which will be wholly funded by the Eichler Award.

Essential Criteria

  1. The project contributes to Australian systematic botany (including cryptogams)
  2. The project is carried out within Australia.
  3. The applicant must be a current financial member of ASBS
  4. The project is approved by an appropriate manager/director, and in the case of students, also by a supervisor.
  5. The applicant is attached to an Australian research institute (in the very broadest sense, including herbaria, universities, government agencies) They need not be on staff but the institution must support their application.

Guidelines for completing your application

The Hansjörg Eichler research grants are competitive. Proposals are viewed against other proposals submitted both for the current round of funding and previous rounds. If no proposal is of a suitably high standard, no grant will be made in that round. Therefore applicants should prepare their proposals carefully and completely, giving brief personal details, academic record (undergraduate as well as postgraduate, and level of honours awarded, if applicable), and institution where project will be carried out. Apart from the academic standing of the applicant, the following will be taken into account in assessing proposals:

  • Evidence of applicant’s ability to carry out the project, such as relevant experience with the techniques, previous experience in carrying out research and any publications (published or accepted only) In cases of excessive completion times for previous projects and/or study programmes, or failure to achieve reasonable outputs (e.g. publications) justification should be provided.
  • The scientific and/or theoretical merit of the proposal and the likelihood that it will make a worthwhile contribution to Australian systematic botany.
  • Identification and proper budgeting of the particular aspect of the project that funding will make possible, rather than a request for partial support of a large project. Preference will be given to applications that request funding to enable the extension of a project into some new and worthwhile area.
  • The feasibility of the project being carried out within the proposed timetable and with the available resources.
  • The soundness of the proposed methodology and planning of the work schedule. Without becoming exhaustive or voluminous, briefly justify the selected method and provide sufficient detail of it to allow assessment of its suitability and your appreciation of its strengths and weaknesses.

An example proposal which meets all the criteria is available < example >. For details of other types of research project that have been funded in the past, consult reports on these grants published in the Australian Systematic Society Newsletter.

Requirements of Successful Applicant

Brief summary of project for the Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter within 12 months of grant being issued.
Provide statement to ASBS Treasurer of how money was spent (within 12 months of grant being issued)

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Application Form

Grant Application Form (40kb Word document)

PLEASE NOTE: For those applicants applying for funding for work which is part of a larger project, such as a Ph.D., preference will be given to those applications which specify a particular, well-circumscribed part of the project which will be wholly funded by the Eichler Award.

This grant application form or a reasonable facsimile must be completed in sufficient detail to provide a 'stand alone' proposal.
References and publication list may be attached to provide additional information.
A copy of their undergraduate record is required from those applicants who are recent graduates or who have no publication list.

Completed applications can be submitted either as pdf files by email (preferred) or in hard copy to the Secretary of the Society.

The closing dates for applications are March 14 and September 14 each year.

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Past Award Recipients

September 2010 Award Recipients

$4000 was distributed

  • James Ingham (The University of Queensland) Multi-locus species delimitation of the Macrozamia plurinervia complex (Zamiaceae)
  • Caroline Puente-Lelièvre (Australian Tropical Herbarium, Queensland) Phylogenetic assessment of pollen morphology within the Styphelia-Astroloma clade (Styphelieae, Styphelioideae, Ericaceae)

March 2010 Award Recipients

$4000 was distributed

  • Sarah Fayed ( University of Tasmania) Understanding the dramatic differences in Heliciinae genera (Proteaceae) using basal Australian taxa.
  • Mark Wallace ( University of Western Australia) The development of low-copy nuclear DNA for the study of hybridisation in the Lepidosperma costale species complex.

September 2009 Award Recipient

$2000 was distributed

  • Kerry Gibbons (University of Sydney) Phylogeny of Loganiaceae tribe Loganieae, using chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal sequence data

March 2009 Award Recipients

The Hansjörg Eichler Research Fund did not offer grants in March 2009 (see ASBS Newsletter 137: 25 (2008))


September 2008 Award Recipients

$4000 was distributed

  • Iain Moore (University of New England) Species limits and phylogenetic relationships within Australian Bulbine Wiolf. (Aspodelaceae)
  • Laura Shirley (University of Melbourne) Genetic variation and systematic relationships of closely related stringybark eucalypts endemic to the Grampians National Park, Victoria.


March 2008 Award Recipients

$4000 was distributed

  • Andre Messina (LaTrobe University) A taxonomic assessment of Olearia sect. Asterotriche using morphological, molecular and chemical data.
  • Robert Edwards (University of Queensland) Systematics of two closely related morphospecies of the broadleaf paperbark complex: Melaleuca argentea and M. fluviatilis.


September 2007 Award Recipients

$5,828 was distributed

  • Trevor Wilson (RBG Sydney/University of Sydney) The evolution of bird pollination in the Australian Mintbush (Prostanthera – Lamiaceae)
  • Adib Jamiran (University of Melbourne) Variation and taxonomy of the legume Paraserianthes, a relative of the Australian acacias.
  • Helen Jolley (RBG Melbourne/University of Melbourne) Delimiting the species boundaries within Crossidium davidai Catches and Tortula atrovirens (Sm.) Lindb. (Musci: Pottiaceae)


March 2007 Award Recipients

$6,000 was distributed

  • Margaret Heslewood (RBG Sydney/University of Adelaide) Phylogeography and biogeography of genera in the family Cunoniaceae in Australasia.
  • Jacinta Burke (University of Melbourne) Systematics and taxonomy of Subtribe Dendrobiinae (Orchidaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 138: 2-6 (March 2009)
  • Melita Baum (Australian National Univeristy) Variation within the monotypic genus Howittia (Malvaceae) using morphological and molecular data.
  • Trisha Downing (University of Melbourne) Investigating genetic and morphological variability in the holly grevillea, Grevillea aquifolium (Proteaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 137: 6-9 (December 2008)


September 2006 Award Recipient

$2,000 was distributed 

  • Jasmine Janes (School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania) The ecology and fine scale genetic diversity of Pterostylidinae (Orchidaceae) in Tasmania
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 135: 2-4 (June 2008)


March 2006 Award Recipients

$5,000 was distributed

  • Carlos Parra-Osorio (School of Botany, University of Melbourne) A phylogenetic analysis of the bloodwood eucalypts 
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 139: 2-6 (June 2009)
  • Zoë Smith (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) Diversity and evolution of the Diuris punctata species complex and their associated mycorrhizal fungi in Victoria
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 136: 16-21 (September 2008) 
  • Robert Lamont (University of the Sunshine Coast) Now you see it, now you don’t: will the Sunshine Coast’s endangered Allocasuarina emuina be lost to urbanisation or hybridisation? 


September 2005 Award Recipient

$1,000 was distributed

  • Claire Marks (University of Melbourne) Evolution of Nicotiana L. (Solanaceae) in Australia.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 130 (March 2007)


March 2005 Award Recipients

$3,000 was distributed

  • Hannah McPherson (University of New England) Phylogenetics and Evolutionary Dynamics of the Tremandroid Elaeocarpaceae - Tetratheca and allies.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 126: 20 (March 2006)
  • Matthew Renner (University of Sydney) Character State Evolution and Homology within the Lejeuneaceae (Hepaticae): What Can Australian Species Tell Us?
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 146 (March 2011)
  • Tony Roberts (James Cook University, Cairns) An Investigation into the Molecular Phylogenetics of Jedda multicaulis (Thymelaeaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 130 (March 2007)


2004 Award Recipients

A total of $2,000 was distributed

  • David Maynard (University of New South Wales / Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney) A molecular phylogeny for the genus Elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpaceae) in Australia and the systematics of a putative new taxon.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 126: 17 (March 2006)
  • Jillian Walsh (University of Sydney) The ecology and taxonomy of Fusarium species associated with Australian grasses.


2003 Award Recipients

$2,000 was distributed

  • Adele Gibbs (University of Melbourne) Phylogeny and biogeography of the eudesmid eucalypts - DNA sequencing of the ITS region for 10 species.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 124: 2-4 (Sept 2005)
  • Nicholas Yee (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney) Phylogenetic status of four undescribed taxa of the marine algal order Sporochnales (Phaeophyceae) from the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia - Field work component.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 123: 15-17 (June 2005)


2002 Award Recipients

A total of $3000 was distributed

  • Siti Ariati (University of Melbourne) Preliminary DNA work to identify the informative region for the Acacia victoriae group (Mimosaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 120: 13-15 (Sept 2004)
  • Rebecca Dillon (University of Tasmania) Field trip to collect Proteaceae in north Queensland for anatomical studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 121: 11-12 (December 2004)
  • Greg Guerin (University of Adelaide) Evaluation of microcharacters in Hemigenia/Microcorys (Lamiaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 118: 10-11 (March 2004)


2001 Award Recipients

A total of $4000 was distributed

  • Ann Bohte (School of Botany, University of Melbourne) Floral development and evolution in the "Arillastrum" group (Myrtaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 121: 12-15 (December 2004)
  • Christina Flann (School of Botany, University of Melbourne) Systematics of Euchiton (Gnaphalieae: Asteraceae) with a focus on Australia and New Zealand - molecular component.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 113: 18 (December 2002)
    Supplement: ASBS Newsletter 121: 10-11 (December 2004)
  • Nicola Streiber (University of Sydney and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney) Systematics of Chloanthaceae (Lamiaceae) - molecular studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 120: 15-18 (September 2004)
  • Xiufu Zhang (University of New England) Spikelet morphology of Schoeneae (Cyperaceae) - SEM studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 118: 11-12 (March 2004)


2000 Award Recipients

$3000 was distributed

  • Bryan Mole (School of Botany, University of Melbourne) A systematic and biogeographic analysis of Phebalium and related genera (Rutaceae) - SEM studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 118: 7-10 (March 2004)
  • Juergen Kellerman (School of Botany, University of Melbourne) The generic limits of the Australian Rhamnaceae - molecular studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 110: 2-3 (March 2002)
  • Mary Gandini (University of Townsville) Population biology and taxonomic status of Rhododendron lochiae F.Muell.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 111: 5 (June 2002)


1999 Award Recipients

$3000 was allocated

  • Ainsley Calladine (James Cook University, Townsville) Evolution and biogeography of the Australian Loranthaceae - molecular studies
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 121: 9-10 (December 2004)
  • Dean Nicolle (Flinders University of South Australia) Chloroplast DNA variation in Eucalyptus Series Subulatae
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 108: 6-7 (September 2001)
  • John Hodgon (University of New England, Armidale) Systematic studies in Lepidosperma (Cyperaceae: Schoeneae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 105: 26-27 (December 2000)


1998 Award Recipients

A total of $2750 was made available from the fund

  • Ryonen Butcher (University of Western Australia, Perth) A systematic investigation of Synaphaea (Proteaceae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 101: 17-18 (December 1999)
  • Edward Cross (University of New South Wales, Sydney) The generic limits of Olearia (Asteraceae, Asterinae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 101: 18-19 (December 1999)
  • Jim Mant (Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Canberra) A phylogeny of Triodia and related genera (Poaceae: Triodieae) based on morphology, leaf anatomy and nrDNA sequence data.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 102: 5-6 (March 2000) Web Version


1997 Award Recipients

A total of $2000 was made available from the fund

  • Marco Duretto (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) Seed testa structure and leaf anatomy of tribes Boronieae and Zanthoxyleae (Rutaceae, subfamily Rutoideae)
    Report: ASBS Newsletter? Submitted (PDF)
  • Nikolas Lam (University of New South Wales) Reassessment of Baeckea s.l. using molecular data.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 96: 6-7 (September 1998)
  • Bernard Pfeil (University of Sydney) The systematic and phylogenetic implications of trichome variation in subgenus Monocalyptus.
    (The applicant was subsequently unable to take up this funding)
  • Elisa Raulings (The University of Melbourne) Phylogeny, biogeography and pollination ecology in eastern Australian Stylidium.
    Report: ASBS Newsletter 97: 26 (December 1998) Web Version
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