Bill Walden Memorial Grants

The Bill Walden Memorial Grants from the Kentucky Speleological Society honors founding member Bill Walden who worked to advance caving through the exploration and survey of caves as well as aiding and mentoring aspiring cave scientists. 


Grants are intended to focus on survey and science occurring in Kentucky.  The grant committee will consider funding research that occurs in states adjacent to Kentucky if a reasonable argument can be made linking the research to Kentucky. 


Applicants must be a member of the National Speleological Society. If Academic Grant applicants are not a member of the Kentucky Speleological Society, a one-year membership will also be granted for successful applications. 


Survey Grant- $150

Eligibility - all cavers may use this support survey projects in Kentucky through the purchase of survey equipment.  

Details - submission of data, maps, and or updates of work annually following the award for two years

Deadline - priority will be given to applications received by March 1


Academic Grant- up to $500

Eligibility - degree-seeking individuals from an accredited university with sponsorship by an academic or research advisor

Requirements - proposal, a letter from your sponsor, GPA documentation

Deadline - priority will be given to applications received by March 1 


Financial need will be taken into account in the award decisions. Awards may be given to the same individual in the same year but may not be awarded in consecutive years. The KSS retains the right to not award these grants during a calendar year. 


Awardees are required to provide results of their project through publication in the Kentucky Speleological Survey’s Annual Report and are encouraged to make an in-person presentation at the Annual Members Meeting in September. Awardees must submit all applicable data to the Kentucky Speleological Society however awardees will retain “ownership” of the data. Kentucky Speleological Survey may share non-sensitive data for data requests or in advancing the mission of the KSS. 


Grant awards will be decided within 30 days after the submission deadline.

Grants are rated by the Grant Committee and voted on by the KSS Board.

Grants can be applied for by filling out the form located here.