Financial assistance is available to Lifetime, Individual and Student members to help with travel and expenses to attend conferences and similar events. Please read the scholarship policy details before applying.

Scholarship Application

RMS Training Scholarship Policy

As Amended and Approved March 7, 2013

As Approved September 9, 2003

As Approved February 9, 2004

As Amended July 12, 2004

As Amended and Approved October 14, 2005

I. Background

With financial assistance from various sources, the River Management Society (RMS) provides professional development and scholarship funds for Students, Lifetime, and Individual members in good standing (for at least 12 months) for attendance at professional conferences, meetings, workshops and trainings. Since October 1, 2000, professional development funds have been available through a competitive selection process to cover travel, lodging and tuition/registration costs, as an incentive and mechanism for RMS members to benefit from and share the latest management techniques, river science, and/or expertise.

II. Eligibility and Use

Professional development and scholarship funds are available to Lifetime, Individual, and Student members in good standing for travel, tuition/registration, and lodging costs to attend conferences, meetings, workshops, training, and/or RMS biennial symposia.  Student scholarship funds may be provided for tuition/registration expenses, unless someone else is covering those expenses, and then RMS could assist with travel/lodging (but not exceed the tuition/registration expense).  Associate members in good standing may be eligible immediately upon converting/upgrading their membership to the Individual status/level.  All funding is subject to the following provisions:

  1. Meals will NOT be funded, except those included in, and inseparable from, base registration/lodging costs;
  2. Field trips and auxiliary workshops will NOT be funded, except those included in, and inseparable from, base registration costs and
  3. RMS Board members cannot apply or use professional development funds to attend RMS biennial symposia, chapter workshops or float trips.
  4. Student members cannot apply or use scholarship funds to attend RMS biennial symposia, chapter workshops or float trips, unless the event has budgeted funds allocated or targeted for student-specific use.  Note: Students who are RMS members and who are enrolled as River Studies and Leadership Certificate participants may be eligible for RSLC program support and are asked to consult with their RSLC Advisor.

Professional development funds generally do not exceed 75% of the total cost of attending the event.  Wages will not be considered part of the matching cost of attending an event.

Eligible members may receive no more than one funding award in any twelve-month period.

III. Application Process

Professional development and student scholarship fund applications will be reviewed in January, April, July, and October by the RMS Selection Committee (Committee). The Committee is comprised of the Chapter Presidents, National Vice President, and Executive Director with the National Vice President serving as chair.

Applications must be received by midnight of the last day of each quarter to be considered at the next review.  Applications can be submitted in any quarter before the event.  At a minimum the event must be at least one month later than the end of the quarter.

For example:

Application Deadline

Review by Committee

Event Occurs After

December 31


After Feb. 1

March 31


After May 1

June 30


After Aug. 1

September 30


After Nov. 1

Applications must be submitted using the online professional development and scholarship funding request form provided via the RMS website. 

Applications must be filled out in full. Applicants MUST include the total estimated cost of attending the event (by category), AND the amount (if any) being contributed by the applicant or his/her employer/organization for each category. Applicants should consult with their Chapter President if they do not have a contributing employer/organization or are unsure about how to fill out the application properly.

Late or incomplete applications will NOT be accepted for the current quarter.  They will be held for review in the next quarter or pending completion if the application is incomplete.


IV. Selection Criteria

In determining the merits of each proposal and award amount, the Scholarship Selection Committee will consider the following:

  1. cost-effectiveness of the application, and the applicant’s ability to use or leverage other funds;
  2. whether the scholarship will enhance the applicant’s program, river resource, and/or professional career;
  3. whether the information and knowledge gained by the recipient is of value to the broader RMS membership;
  4. whether the applicant has previously received any RMS professional development or student scholarship(s), and if so, the amount of the award(s) and whether the applicant fulfilled their obligations;
  5. number of years that the applicant has been a member of RMS, and the applicant’s volunteer service history for RMS during that time;
  6. number of applicants for a particular event;
  7. variety of symposia, workshops or other events for which funding is requested during the quarter;
  8. equitable distribution of funds throughout RMS, including geographic and organizational distribution; and availability of funds, in consultation with the RMS Treasurer.

V. Decision and Notification Process

The Scholarship Selection Committee will

The Committee will seek consensus in approving applications; however, if consensus cannot be reached, a simple majority of those participating will prevail.

The Committee Chair will notify the applicant and his/her Chapter President of the funding  award/rejection within one week of the decision being made, and whenever possible, at least two weeks prior to the event being applied for. The award decision (and the funding amount approved – subject to actual expenses incurred and receipt of accompanying invoices) will serve as documentation for RMS records.

The Committee Chair will keep records of the funds that it awards, including names of recipients, amounts awarded, names of events, dates awarded and will notify the national Treasurer of the amount awarded.

VI. Funding and Reimbursement

Recipients will be reimbursed only for actual expenses.

Valid receipts for items authorized by the Committee are required.

Invoices/receipts generated on personal computers are generally not acceptable. If this is the only receipt available, the vendor's name, address, and phone number must appear on the statement and the vendor must sign and date the statement.

All receipts must be submitted to the Executive Director within 30 days of completion of travel.

The RMS Treasurer will issue reimbursement checks for actual costs incurred (supported by receipts) up to the amount authorized by the Committee. If a personal vehicle is used for travel, the recipient may submit for mileage reimbursement – at rate not to exceed the current federal government allowance – in lieu of an actual receipt. 

VII. Reporting and Representation

Recipients must report to the membership by writing a narrative overview of the event (appropriate to be used as a RMS Journal article) covering relevant topics, major issues, new technologies, written materials received, and any other information the recipient believes will benefit other members. Recipients may respond alternatively to having received a scholarship by contributing to the Society via specific tasks as requested by the Committee.

Reimbursements will not be distributed until the written report is received or alternate service has been performed.

Recipients are considered ambassadors of RMS (in accordance with employer or college/university ethics requirements) while attending conferences and training for which they have received funds. It is expected that they display and distribute RMS materials at the event, and/or volunteer time by staffing the RMS table.

The Committee may permit/require an applicant(s) to submit an alternate newsletter article, or to perform alternate volunteer service in lieu of the above requirements, if the Committee deems that doing so would avoid redundancy in event reporting, or would otherwise be of greater benefit to RMS.