Members Area

The Garden Club of America Awards in Tropical Botany

 Previous   Next 

Category: Botany

The Garden Club of America Awards in Tropical Botany


History, Arundel Scholarship: The first GCA Awards in Tropical Botany were established in 1983 with a five-year incentive grant of $50,000 from the Wildcat Foundation. They were created by Mrs. Russell Arundel, horticulturist and dedicated environmentalist from the Warrenton (Virginia) Garden Club, and provided for two $5,000 grants a year so that doctoral candidates could pursue independent field study in the tropics. During that five-year period, over 100 applications were received for the grants. In 1989 the GCA Executive Committee voted to establish the awards on a permanent basis, and subsequently allocated $100,000 to fund the Arundel Scholarship.  

History, Visiting Gardens Scholarship: The Visiting Gardens Scholarship was established in addition to the Arundel Scholarship with a $100,000 donation from the Visiting Gardens Committee. These monies represented donations to the GCA by participants in the Visiting Gardens' trips.

Purpose: To promote the preservation of tropical forests by enlarging the body of botanists with field experience.

Provisions: Provides two or more grants of $5500 annually to enable field study in tropical botany. (Award amounts were increased from $5000 in 1994.) Generally, one grant is awarded in the area of tropical plant systematics and a second is awarded in tropical forest ecology.

Eligibility: Open to students who anticipate completing the requirements for a Ph.D. in Botany within two years. Applicants must already be Ph.D. candidates enrolled at a US university. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution. 

To Apply: See guidelines for application. Applications must be postmarked by January 15 preceding the proposed period of study. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY ONE GCA SCHOLARSHIP, FELLOWSHIP OR AWARD MAY BE APPLIED FOR ANNUALLY.

Selection: World Wildlife Fund has organized and managed the program since its inception. A panel of botanists appointed by WWF screens and selects candidates, and final approval is at the discretion of the GCA Scholarship Committee.

Fund: The Marjorie Arundel Awards in Tropical Botany Fund and the Visiting Gardens Tropical Botany Scholarship Fund are managed by the GCA.

Contact: Andrea Santy, Director, Education for Nature Program, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Phone: (202) 495-4447, e-mail:


 See Recipients

Scholarship Opportunities Available

The GCA offers 27 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in the areas of horticulture and its related disciplines which include medicinal and tropical botany, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research. Club-sponsored awards are given to recognize outstanding volunteer outreach that nurtures children in the appreciation of nature.

In March of 2016, 91 scholars were awarded over $360,000 to study and research a variety of horticultural and conservation topics ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research projects. This class of scholars represents institutions throughout our nation and some will participate in related field work around the world.

GCA Scholarships - supporting the best and brightest and furthering knowledge of our natural environment.