Academic Grants

The Kutter Fund for Microbiology Research at Evergreen

Proposals for 2015-16 are due January 29, 2016 at 5 pm.

The Kutter Fund for Microbiology Research at Evergreen supports faculty-directed opportunities for students to engage in ongoing microbiology research projects in laboratory, field, and agricultural settings.  The fund is particularly intended to support longer-term (6 to 18 month) projects that could possibly lead to publication and/or external grant funding, although shorter projects will also be considered. The Kutter Fund was established in 2011 by faculty emerita Elizabeth M. (Betty) Kutter.

Who may apply?

Faculty or staff at The Evergreen State College may serve as a project's principal investigator (PI). Projects should include opportunities for Evergreen students to engage in the research and may include collaborations with staff, additional faculty from Evergreen and other institutions, and community members. Applications are typically due each January.

What may be funded?

Awards from this fund will generally range from $1,000 to $5,000. We anticipate two or three grants will be awarded in 2015.

The following are allowable expenses for this award:

  • Student compensation (the highest priority): Fixed stipends may be paid to students in order to enable them to participate in the research over the summer. Wages may be paid for students and recent graduates (within the past two years) already vested in the project to further the research, provide leadership and training to other students in the lab, and provide regularly assigned duties on the project.  Stipends, rather than wages, are generally offered for participation in a research project in which the student is primarily learning.  It is acceptable to request stipend funding for students who have not yet been recruited to the proposed project. As a rule of thumb, stipends range from $1800 to $2500 for a 10-week period of full-time participation in a project, depending on the qualifications of the student researcher and the complexity of the assignment. Lower stipends may be justified for part-time participation, limited student experience, or less complex assignments. When requesting stipends, please indicate your rationale for the amount being offered to individual student participants.
  • Laboratory supplies and consumables; services like sequencing: These items should be specific to a project’s needs and not available from the college or other sources.
  • Equipment: A proposed purchase of equipment or instrumentation must be highly desirable for project completion and meet multiple research/education needs of two or more research groups at Evergreen.
  • Travel: Applicants may request funds to help project participants (students, faculty, and staff) to carry out key work or attend a conference where they are presenting work directly related to the proposed research. Support may be provided for transportation and lodging.  Conference registration fees are not normally funded but may be considered in extenuating circumstances. Meals are not funded. Faculty are eligible for travel support to conferences only if their faculty professional funds have been exhausted and they will present research directly related to the project.
  • Publication: Costs associated with preparing manuscripts for publication of results of the project are allowable.
  • Faculty compensation: On rare occasions, funds permitting, part-time salaries or wages for faculty or staff may be requested for work on the project. 

Substantial changes to approved award budgets must be requested in advance, but will generally be approved if justified.

How to apply

A complete application includes:

  • A cover page that includes a title for the project, the names of the PI and other key faculty and staff, the amount of funding requested, and the proposed project period.
  • A narrative of not more than five (5) pages (single-spaced, 12 pt font, one-inch margins) that provides:
    • A description of the project that is reasonably brief but with adequate clarity and detail to convey its purpose, scope, and approach.
    • An explanation of how this project fits into the PI's professional agenda.
    • A description of the responsibilities and time commitments specific to the project of the PI and other key project personnel, including students.
    • An anticipated timeline for achieving key milestones of the project (which would generally run over 6 months to 18 months). Project may expect to begin in the spring quarter after awards are announced.  Spring expenditures would normally reflect modest start-up needs, with the bulk of activity taking place in the first summer and following terms.
    • Anticipated outcomes.
    • A listing of other sources of funding secured or requested to support the project.
    • An explanation of how the project will move forward in the event it doesn't receive funding.
    • An explanation of how the project will move forward after proposed funding ends.
  • For previous Kutter Fund PIs, a brief (1 to 2 page) description of the results of previous Kutter Fund awards that includes a summary of findings as well as a listing of publications (published or in progress) and posters and talks (completed or planned) resulting from the work.
  • A detailed budget with justification. Categories may include wages, benefits, stipends, equipment, travel, publications, other goods and services, and salaries.  Please review the "What may be funded?" section, above. For assistance in determining costs consult with the Academic Budget office to determine salaries and wages, with Lab Stores for laboratory supplies and services, with the Science Operations Manager (Peter Robinson, ext. 6846) for instrumentation, and with the Computing and Communications procurement office for computer technology.
  • Current CVs for the PI, collaborating faculty, and other key personnel.

Only electronic applications will be accepted.  Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, xls., xlsx., and .pdf. A single electronic file containing all elements of the application is preferred. Email applications to deadline is posted during each competition, and is typically the last Friday of January at 5 pm.


By December 31 of each year a project is active, faculty PIs for Kutter Fund projects will submit a brief (1 to 5 page) report about their Kutter Fund activities that year, including findings, project adjustments, publications, posters, and presentations. For completed projects, reports will document the results and outcomes of the funded work.  For ongoing projects, reports will document progress to date.

About Betty Kutter and the Evergreen Phage Biology Laboratory

Betty Kutter received her Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Rochester in 1968, working on the transition from host to viral metabolism after bacteriophage infection of E. coli. She joined the faculty of The Evergreen State College in 1972. In addition to  teaching, she has conducted extensive research throughout her time here involving hundreds of Evergreen students and various Evergreen and visiting colleagues. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and The Evergreen State College Foundation have all provided funding to support this work. The Evergreen Phage Biology Laboratory, founded by Betty in 1972, has garnered international attention under her leadership, carrying out explorations in phage molecular biology, genomics and ecology. Since a 1990 4-month US-USSR Academy of Sciences exchange visit, the Phage Lab's work has expanded to include therapeutic and food-safety applications of bacteriophage. It has also hosted 20 biennial Evergreen International Phage Biology meetings, now drawing about 170 people from 35 countries. The 21st meeting will be held in summer 2015.

Betty established The Kutter Fund to help make it possible for Evergreen’s younger faculty and students to continue Evergreen's tradition of excellence in microbiology research. Contributions to the fund can be made through The Evergreen State College Foundation's web site.

For more information about the Kutter Fund for Microbiology Research at Evergreen, contact John McLain, Academic Grants Manager, at (360) 867-6045 or

Kutter Fund recipients


  • Clarissa Dirks and Abir Biswas and their undergraduate teamfor the project “Limno-Terrestrial Tardigrades (Water Bears) and Meiofaunal Organisms (Micro-metazoans) as Indicators for Climate Change”
  • Mike Paros and his undergraduate teamfor the project “Bacteriophage-based Prevention of E. coli Bovine Mastitis"


  • Clarissa Dirks (PI) and undergraduate researchers Seth Taylor, Pranav Hippargi and David Ginocchi—for the project, “Distribution and Biodiversity of Tardigrada (Water Bears) In Xeric Environments” 
  • Mike Paros (PI) and undergraduate researchers Joni Anderson, Jillian Porter and Morgan Mager—for the project, “Assessing the Potential of a Bacteriophage Cocktail Against Host and Foreign Clinical E. coli Isolates in TSB and Raw Milk as a Treatment for Coliform Mastitis”


  • Clarissa Dirks (PI) and undergraduate researchers Molly McDermott and Melissa Liotta—for the project, “Using Endogenous Retrovirus Sequences as Fossils to Trace the Evolutionary History of Strepsirrhinis (Lemurs)”
  • Ben Simon (PI) and undergraduate researchers—for the project, “Optimization of Bactofection Using Attenuated Yersinia ruckeri as a Vaccine Delivery Vehicle”