Grants

The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law established the Grants Program in 1976 to promote scholarship, research, writing, teaching, and the study of mineral resources law and related fields at law schools. In 2017 the Grants Program was expanded to include innovative new projects or proposals in the fields of mining law, oil and gas law, energy law, water law, public land law, and related legal areas.

A grant-supported project should result in a clear, tangible outcome with widespread utility and long-term value. As of 2021, 285 grants totaling over $800,000 have been authorized. 

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for a grant, a project must relate to the laws, regulations, or jurisprudence governing oil and gas, mining, energy (including renewable energy), water, wildlife, other natural resources, public lands, environmental protection, tribes or indigenous peoples, or related areas, and the Grants Committee must determine that the project will have a meaningful impact or will otherwise further the development of natural resources, energy, and environmental legal scholarship.

Examples of eligible expenses include: 

  • travel costs under our visiting lecture program (see below) 
  • reimbursement of out-of-pocket travel and lodging costs for professors or other scholars who are working together to collaborate on traditional scholarship
  • reimbursement of out-of-pocket travel and lodging costs for professors or other scholars to speak or present at an innovative program
  • publication costs
  • data-acquisition costs
  • publicity costs
  • other out-of-pocket costs of producing traditional scholarship or that are associated with an innovative program
  • compensation for student research assistance

Ineligible projects or expenses include:

  • funding a recurring conference, symposium, or other event such as an annual program 
  • political or positional advocacy 
  • funding for participation in litigation, agency adjudication, other adversarial proceedings, or rulemakings 
  • funding for scholarships, fellowships, visiting professorships, or recurring classes
  • funding to compensate professors, authors, or speakers for their work
     

Visiting Lecture Program

To encourage the exchange of ideas and expertise between Constituent Law Schools (CLS) of The Foundation and between CLS and experienced practitioners, CLS are eligible to receive funding for the reimbursement of costs for a CLS professor or an experienced practitioner to travel to another CLS to teach a law school class or provide a scholarly lecture to the law school community or both. Click here for more information.

AWARD PROCESS

Applications are evaluated and awards made by the Grants Committee, with preference given to CLS of the Foundation. Only CLS are eligible for funding under the visiting lecture program. The Foundation does not permit any portion of grant funds to be applied to pay an administrative fee or charge.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications are evaluated as received on a continuing basis, except that larger grant requests (generally those in excess of $7,500) may be evaluated quarterly since funds are limited and the Committee wishes to ensure that funds go to the most worthy projects. No special application form is required. Please email a cover letter and project description including the following information to grants@fnrel.org:

  • Your contact details and qualifications to undertake the project
  • A specific description of the project’s objectives and duration (including a proposed timeline), the project’s expected contribution to the field, how the project will be implemented, and the project’s intended results and impact
  • A budget of the total anticipated project expenses
  • Information on funding support for the project requested from your own institution and/or other funding sources 
  • The amount and intended use of the funds you are requesting, broken out by budget line item or specific category
  • For scholarly writings, the expected publication or dissemination outlet

The application (cover letter and project description) should not exceed four pages. You may also attach your organization’s general brochure and other information you feel would help the Committee better understand your request.

Generally, grant funding is paid in advance based on the budget submitted by the applicant. Grant awardees are expected to provide a statement of actual expenses compared to the approved budget at the completion of the project. If the total amount of a grant award exceeds actual expenses, the recipient is expected to refund the excess to The Foundation. For the Visiting Lecture Program, The Foundation will only reimburse actual travel expenses after the completion of travel supported by receipts in accordance with The Foundation’s travel reimbursement policy, not to exceed the approved travel budget. Generally, permissible travel expenses include airfare, shuttle service or Uber (or equivalent) between the airport and hotel or law school, and hotel. The Foundation does not reimburse meals or incidental expenses for travel.

 

2021 Grant-Funded Projects

University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Professor Robin Kundis Craig

To support the Water Law Professors’ Scholarship Workshop that was held in conjunction with the Water Law Special Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

University of Wyoming College of Law, Professor Tara Righetti

Law student research assistance for a project that examines regional energy transition policies in historically fossil producing regions of the U.S. and France.

 

2020 Grant-Funded Projects

University of Calgary Faculty of Law, Professor Rudiger Tscherning

Law student research assistance for research and publication of a paper on "The challenge of decarbonizing Canadian oil and gas operations and the potential deployment of small modular nuclear reactors on an industrial scale".

Osgoode Hall Law School of New York City, Professor Mahnam A. Malamiry

Law student research assistance to conduct and transcribe interviews for an article on how practitioners manage mining compliance programs.

Texas A&M University School of Law University of Wyoming College of Law, Professor Felix Mormann

Support for empirical research for an article on Climate Choice Architecture for Capital Markets.

University of Wyoming College of Law, Professor Temple Stoellinger

Law student research assistance for work on a publication for The Foundation – a NEPA eBibliography.

Contact The Foundation at 303-321-8100 ext. 104 or grants@fnrel.org