The George L. Disborough Trout Unlimited Research Grant Fund was established by Kalamazoo Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited in 1990 using a generous donation from the estate of one of KVCTU’s founders, George Disborough. The purpose of the Fund is to recognize and support studies of trout habitat or other projects consistent with the goals and objectives of KVCTU, which include preservation of wild rivers, cleaning up polluted waters, maintaining early warning Water Quality Surveillance programs, education of the public through workshops and seminars, and speaking for the concerns of all anglers and conservationists. The Fund pursues these goals through support of masters or doctoral level research studies of trout habitat or other projects consistent with the Trout Unlimited goals to preserve, protect, and enhance cold-water resources. Applicants must be U.S citizens or permanent resident aliens and graduate students at an accredited college in North America. Preference is given to research projects that involve resident populations of coldwater salmonids and their habitats and that use unique, innovative methodologies. When otherwise appropriate, preference is given to projects in Michigan.
The Fund is set up as an endowed charitable fund administered by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and has been supplemented over the years by donations from members, friends, and Chapter fund raising efforts. The Fund is self-sustaining, with a professionally managed investment strategy to maintain and grow it against inflation. The principal cannot be spent, and the Foundation is committed to using the Fund to support the designated goals in perpetuity, even in the unlikely event that KVCTU should cease to exist. Grant proposals from research students at qualified graduate institutions are solicited annually by the Foundation, and reviewed by an advisory committee containing KVCTU representation.