International Primatological Society
Member Login 07/24/2017
Research Grants

The Research Committee of IPS awards grants of up to $1500 to support outstanding primate research proposals. We invite proposals for primate-oriented research projects with a strong theoretical component. These projects can be conducted in the field and/or in captivity. Proposals for projects focusing solely on primate conservation or on the captive care of nonhuman primates will not be considered by the Research Committee and should be directed to the Conservation or Captive Care Committees.



Grantee Spotlight: Research Grant 2016 - Mareike Janiak

Adaptations for insectivory in digestive enzymes of new world primates.

Mareike Janiak; twitter: @MareikeCora

My research looks at enzymes that are produced in the guts of primates. All animals produce these enzymes to help them digest the foods they eat and I am trying to figure out if different primates have specialized enzymes depending on what foods they eat on a regular basis. For example, does a monkey that eats a lot of insects produce an enzyme to break down the tough exoskeletons of insects? To do this, I don't actually need samples from primate stomachs, but I can look for genes that code for these enzymes. So far I have found that most (but not all!) primates do have a functional gene that codes for a chitin-digesting enzyme. (Chitin is what the exoskeletons of insects are made of.) Interestingly, some primates that eat a lot of insects have more than one gene, while some of those primates that don't eat any insects also have no functional genes! 






© Mareike Janiak 2017





 Grantee Spotlight: Research Grant 2016 - Rachel F. Perlman

The energetics of male reproductive strategies in geladas (Theropithecus gelada).

Rachel F. Perlman w:

Energy is classically considered a main limiting factor in the reproductive success of female primates, but not males. Yet males may also face energetic constraints, particularly when reproductive strategies involve direct competition. Such competitive behaviors are often mediated by testosterone, and because testosterone production is itself sensitive to nutritional shortfalls, testosterone-dependent behaviors and thus male reproduction is likely constrained by energetic condition. The way in which such constraints affect male reproductive success is, however, poorly understood.

My research examines the energetic dynamics of male reproductive strategies in geladas (Theropithecus gelada). Two kinds of gelada males are distinguished: harem-holding leader males siring 83-100% of offspring and bachelor males in all-male groups with no reproductive opportunities. To gain reproductive access, bachelors must takeover a leader's unit. Because takeovers involve intense chases and fighting, energetic condition likely mediates the male reproductive success. Intriguingly, the annual takeover season occurs at the end of the dry season when the main food source (grass) is less plentiful. This suggests that bachelors may target leaders when they are energetically vulnerable.

I will collect data from a population of wild geladas living in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. I will combine non-invasive hormone analyses (thyroid hormone, C-peptide, testosterone) with behavioral observations to examine seasonal energetic variation, how energetics relates to male social status, and whether energetic condition influences testosterone and male reproductive strategies. This project will shed light on how energetics constrains testosterone-mediated reproductive effort and ultimately shapes male reproductive success in wild primates.



© Rachel F. Perlman 2017








Application Deadline is annually on March 1st

We receive approximately 80 applications each year, from all over the world. 

We do not require a reference letter for submission of proposals. 

Please submit your proposal as pdf-file named as follows: LAST NAME, First name.pdf

If you have any questions regarding this funding mechanism, please contact Dr Jo Setchell at


Download Application Form (pdf version for use in case of Mac compatibility issues)

IPS research grants FAQ_2014.pdf

(Note - if you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your application within 2 weeks of submission, please contact the committee VP listed above.) 


Additional Resources:

All the World's Primates

International Journal of Primatology

Primate Info Net

Primatology Tree 


Workshop on Getting Published, Setchell, IPS 2014, Ha Noi.pdf

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