The Western Society of Malacologists is proud to offer a financial stipend for students to study fossil or recent malacological collections to further their research. This award honors James H. McLean, Curator of Malacology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County from 1964-2001 and Emeritus Curator until 2013.


Graduate, undergraduate, and exceptional high school students may apply. Those proposing to visit collections within daily commuting distance of their residence, university, or high school are ineligible for funding.

Research Scope

The student applicant’s research project must be collections-based and focus on extant or fossil western North American mollusks (freshwater, terrestrial, or marine).


The maximum award is $1000 (US dollars) and should be used to support travel and accommodation costs incurred by visiting one or more collections. Collection visits of two or more days are encouraged. Applicants need not apply for the full $1000 if it is not necessary. Multiple grants may be awarded.


Visits to any University-based or Natural History Museum collection (domestic or international) are eligible. Private collections are ineligible. Student applicants are responsible for confirming their project’s feasibility and arranging visit logistics with the University or Museum’s collections manager and/or curator. Students may apply to visit more than one museum and collection in their proposal.

Proposals and recommendations are due March 1st, with announcement and notification of awardees announced during the Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Malacologists. Funds are available for use until May 15th of the next year.

Proposal Submission

Proposals are to be sent electronically (as one document) to:

Jann Vendetti at: jannvendetti@yahoo.com

Subject line: James McLean Student Grant


Two pages (single-spaced) with a title, description of the planned research, specific collection(s)/institutions prosed to be visited and why, anticipated visit dates (and length), and a budget justification. Personal information including the applicant’s name, address, email address, and student enrollment status (where enrolled, major, degree program, anticipated graduation date) should be included.

One recommendation from one graduate, undergraduate, or high school advisor should be sent separately to jannvendetti@yahoo.com with “NAME OF APPLICANT: WSM McLean Student Grant” in the subject line.