The stated mission of the Meteoritical Society is "to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials that further our understanding of the origin and history of the solar system." Besides the Society's publications, the annual scientific meetings, establishing official names for newly found meteorites, and the awards sponsored by the Society, there are other ways by which we work toward furthering our mission. This includes supporting student travel to conferences and workshops, supporting student research, assisting scientists from economically disadvantaged countries, supporting classes or field schools, especially those that bring meteoritics and planetary science to developing countries, compiling oral histories from prominent members of the Society, and supporting outreach to the broader public community on meteoritics and planetary science. To support these activities, the Society has created an Endowment Fund. The majority of the Endowment consists of the General Fund which can support one-time activities that are not part of the normal Society business. The Endowment Fund also has named funds, the Nier Fund, the McKay Fund, the O. Richard Norton Fund and the TIM Fund, which were established for the specific purposes described in the following section. Details about activities supported by all of these Funds are given under: Activities Supported. For those who wish to assist in this mission, donations can be made to the General Fund or to any of the specific funds (see Ways to Contribute).
The Meteoritical Society is recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (tax number 90-0870450) operating from the Society Treasurer's Office. A copy of the Society's IRS certification of tax exemption can be obtained from the Treasurer.
The General Fund: The Endowment fund of the Meteoritical Society supports a variety of activities through grants given from the General Fund, including activities that broaden public awareness and knowledge about meteorites, that help young people to establish scientific careers in the study of meteorites, that help scientists from under-developed countries study meteoritics and planetary science, and that facilitate recovery of meteorites for scientific and educational purposes. The Endowment Committee evaluates proposals for funds to carry out activities such as these. The Guidelines for preparing a proposal can be found here: Guidelines for Grant Requests. Examples of previously funded projects are listed here: Projects Supported. The General Fund also supports several ongoing activities, including the annual Pellas-Ryder Award, which recognizes the best planetary science paper first-authored by an undergraduate or graduate student published in a peer-reviewed journal. In recent years, the Society has used the General Fund to support travel for students to attend the Society's Annual Meeting. Selection for these awards is done through the organizers of the Annual Meeting and should be applied for under the guidelines and procedures set out on the Annual Meeting website.
The Nier Prize Fund: This fund supports the Nier Prize, which was established in 1995 to honor the memory of Alfred O. C. Nier, and was started by an endowment gift given by Mrs. Ardis H. Nier. The Nier Prize is typically given annually and recognizes outstanding research in meteoritics and closely allied fields by young scientists. The recipient will be a scientist who has not yet reached his or her thirty-fifth birthday at the end of the calendar year in which he or she is selected by the Council, or whose doctorate was awarded no more than seven calendar years before the year of selection by the Council. Procedures for nominating someone for the Nier Prize can be found at: Nier Prize.
The Jessberger Award Fund: This fund supports the Jessberger Award, which was established in 2019 to honor the memory of Prof. Elmar K. Jessberger. The award is given every other year to a mid-career female isotope geochemist for exceptional scientific contributions to the field. The recipient need not be a member of the Society, and must not have won the Jessberger Award before. Procedures for nominating someone for the Jessberger Award can be found at: Jessberger Award.
The McKay Fund: This fund supports the McKay Award, which was established in 2007 to honor the memory of Gordon A. McKay. The award is given each year to the student who gives the best oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the society. The recipient must be a full-time student, a member of the Society, and must not have won the McKay Award before. Procedures for nominating someone for the McKay Award can be found at: McKay Award.
The O. Richard Norton Fund: This fund supports the O. Richard Norton Award, which was established in 2017 to honor the memory of science author and public educator O. Richard Norton, and is supported by John H. and Dorothy Norton Kashuba. The award provides scientists with transportation assistance to Meteoritical Society annual meetings to present papers and posters. The award recipients must be members of the society and must be first authors on a paper or poster. Preference will be given to Early Career Researchers.
The TIM Fund (Travel for International Members): This fund supports travel to the Society's Annual Meeting by scientists who are Society members from countries with limited financial resources. The TIM awards are granted through the organizers of the Annual Meeting and should be applied for under the guidelines and procedures set out in the Annual Meeting website. Applications for these funds must be accompanied by an abstract for a presentation, a letter explaining the need for the funds, information about any prior awards from the Society, and a budget for this travel. The awards are based on the perceived merit of the contribution of the applicant to the Annual Meeting and to the field of meteoritics. Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received funds from the Society, although second applications may be considered.
- $500 Pellas-Ryder Award.
- $4,000 to support travel for members from low-income countries to attend the 78th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held July 27-31, 2015 at the University of California at Berkeley.
- $5,754 to support student travel to the 78th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held July 27-31, 2015 at the University of California at Berkeley.
- $5,000 to help establish the Joseph Goldstein Scholar Award to promote career advancement for early career members of the Microanalysis Society.
- $8,320 to facilitate a lecture series in Brazil. Sixteen lectures were given on meteoritics at 11 Universities, research laboratories, museums, and planetariums throughout Brazil. Lectures were given in Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, Sao Paulo Porto Alegre, Brasilia, Salvador, Feira de Santan, and Ouro Preto. Prof. Klaus Keil gave the talks, which were attended by an estimated 1700 students, laypersons, and faculties.
- $2,500 to support the Paneth Kolloquium in Nordlingen, Germany, Nov. 11-13, 2015. A variety of topics on meteorites and planetary science were featured.
- $5,300 to support a Meteoritics short course in Santiago, Chile, January, 2016. The seminar was entitled "Classification of Meteorites: I. Ordinary Chondrites" and involved hands-on practical work on samples from the Atacama Desert Collection.
- $3,000 to support student travel to attend the workshop on Highly Siderophile Elements (HSE) Geochemistry Workshop in July 2016 in Durham, UK.
- $1000 Pellas-Ryder Award. (x2)
- $4,000 to support travel for international professional members from low-income countries to attend the 79th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Berlin 2016.
- $2,500 Special Speaker at the 79th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Berlin 2016.
- $6,000 for travel support for student participants to attend the 79th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Berlin 2016.
- $5,000 to support the Workshop on Shock Metamorphism in Perth, Australia, June 2017.
- $2,100 to support student travel to the 1st British Planetary Science Congress in Scotland, December 2017.
- $2,500 to the Meteoritics and Planetary Science session of the 3MA International Colloquium (Magmatism, Metamorphism, and Associated Mineralization) for student travel, held in Meknès, Morocco, April 2017.
- $1,300 for student travel to attend the Extraterrestrial Materials: UK Research Meeting at the University of Manchester, Nov. 2016.
- $3,000 for student travel to attend the meeting "Chondrules as Astrophysical Objects" in Vancouver, Canada, May 2017.
FY 2018 (so far)
- $1000 for 2 Pellas-Ryder Awards.
- $2,500 Special Speaker for the 80th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2017.
- $4,000 to support travel for international professional members from low-income countries to attend the 80th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2017.
- $6,000 for travel support for student participants in the 80th Meteoritical Society Meeting, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2017.
- $2,000 to support a series of short courses in Brazil on impact cratering studies given by Uwe Reimold.
- $6,000 for student travel to the conference/workshop/exhibition entitled "Meteorites China 2017", held at Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China, September 2017.
Guidelines for Grants Requests
The Endowment Committee will consider requests for funding to support activities that further the goals of the Meteoritical Society. The guidelines given below are not requirements. The Endowment Committee may consider requests that may go beyond some of these guidelines.
- In general, grant requests should not exceed $5,000, although higher amounts have been awarded on occasion in the past. Matching funds from other sources are viewed favorably, but are not required.
- Funds may be awarded for any activity that furthers the goals of the Meteoritical Society. However, preference will be given to those activities that lie outside of the normal Society activities and activities typically funded by government agencies. The goal is to introduce meteoritics and space science to a wider audience and to provide opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them. Funds are not given to individuals but to programs, conferences, workshops, etc. In general workshops associated with the Annual Meeting should be self-supporting.
- Proposals can be submitted at any time, but will be considered twice a year, starting on January 15 and June 15. Decisions will be reached at the Council meeting in March and at the Annual Meeting in the summer. Requests should be sent to the Meteoritical Society Secretary.
- Requests should include the amount requested, other sources of funding (or sponsoring organizations), a tentative budget for how the funding will be used, and a description of the planned activity that is detailed enough for a diverse group of members of the Society to be able to make an informed decision. The submission should be planned so that it is considered in the regular evaluation periods, allowing a Council decision at least three months before funding is needed.
Each grant comes with the following conditions:
- The Meteoritical Society should be acknowledged by name in any written materials coming from such projects or in any presentations.
- A one-page summary of the activity should be sent to the Meteoritical Society Secretary or the Chair of the Endowment Committee within one year of completion of the project. This summary should include a brief description that can be used to illustrate the types of programs that have been supported, the number of people who participated in the program, and a brief critique of what worked well and what did not work well. The goal is to assist future grant recipients in making their project successful. Negative comments in the critique will not be considered negatively in future requests