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Dolf and his idea of Phycodes pedum.jpg

The Adolf Seilacher Fund is intended to promote young students to the field of ichnological science, to support them financially to get involve in the ichnological community by attending ichnologic meetings, or alternatively by supporting research in a particular topic related to Dolf’s main interests.

About "Dolf"

About "Dolf"

"Dolf" was THE ICHNOLOGIST of the second half of the 20th century, the founder of modern ichnology, as well an excellent paleontologist, an outstanding teacher and inimitable communicator.

Until his last days, Dolf shared and spread his knowledge, and encouraged younger colleagues and stimulated their thinking by fresh ideas and enthusiastic discussions, while having a new, unconventional perspective on any idea as well as on fossils and, of course, ichnofossils. Dolf was famous for his observational capabilities. To provide continuation in educating and training young scientists in the field of ichnology, Dolf dedicated a donation to the International Ichnological Association (IIA).

In his 1994 acceptance speech for the Paleontology Society Medal, Dolf summarized what he believed to be important in pursuing palaeontology in his "ten commandements". (                                                       ):


The analytical power of the human eye, which can only be aided, but not substituted, by instrumentation.​


The unity of description and interpretation, because observation is a self-correcting dialogue with the object.


The value of self-drawn illustrations for the observational process, as well as for the communication of the results.


The unity of research and teaching, which broadens our view and confronts us with ever new generations of fresh minds.


The heuristic value of free and interdisciplinary discussion – not to win, but to test and improve our own ideas.


International cooperation to broaden our database and to take advantage of different cultural traditions.


Popularization of our insights in talks, media, and museum exhibits, because paleontology can offer the public more than only dinosaurs.


Paleontologists who stand on two legs by thinking simultaneously in geobiological and in paleobiological frame-works.


The justification of unconventional and even provocative modeling, because this keeps our science going.


The joy of doing paleontology.

About the scholarship
About the scholarship

To encourage the education of graduate students in the science of ichnology by providing some financial support to participate in professional scientific meetings devoted to ichnology, in particular those organized under the auspices of the International Ichnological Association (IIA), but not necessarily limited to the ICHNIA Meeting or the International Ichnofabric Workshop. Attendance of ichnological-related sessions of international meetings can also be supported.

Research projects with a strong Seilacherian imprint and requiring funding for laboratory expenses or fieldwork are also eligible for this scholarship.

Depending on the availability of funds, the committee or the Board of the IIA is entitled to propose new awards for events other than ICHNIA.


Applicants may include any graduate student member of the IIA who is currently enrolled as a candidate for an academic degree at a scientific institution anywhere in the world. Candidates should be members of the International Ichnological Association at the time of application to the scholarship.


Applicants must submit their application to the IIA president no later than six months prior to the beginning date of the meeting that will be attended.


A written request for scholarship funds (in letter form), indicating the intention to attend an ichnological meeting and identify if there is any other financial assistance available that can complement the travel grant.


An estimated budget of the travel expenses.


An abstract of the ichnological research that the student intends to present at the meeting as an oral presentation or poster.


A short CV of the candidate


Any additional information that the applicant may wish to submit relating to his/her future aspirations as a professional scientist in applying ichnology to significant geological and/or biological problems (e.g., publications, previous presentations).

Please send your completed application as a single file to

IIA president <>

Selection committee & criteria

 The President of the IIA, with the consent of the other officers, shall appoint a Adolf Seilacher Fund scholarship selection committee consisting of not less than three and not more than seven people, all of whom must be full (not student) members of the IIA. The President shall designate one of those persons to serve as chair of the selection committee. Service on the selection committee may be for one or more years, at the discretion of the IIA President. In case that a request is submitted by a person for that a committee member acts as advisor, the particular committee member should not vote about this specific application.

The scholarship selection committee will review and evaluate all applications received prior to the application deadline. Criteria for selection of a scholarship recipient will include assessments of:


The specific financial needs of the applicant.


The scientific merits of the research that will be presented.


The promise of the applicant as an outstanding contributor to the advancement of the science of ichnology in future years.


The scholarship recipient(s) will receive a check in the full amount of the scholarship award from the IIA Treasurer after the particular meeting, field work or lab work.  Use of the money should be restricted to expenditures to cover the costs of (1) the meeting registration fee, (2) field trip fees, (3) travel expenses to the meeting venue, (4) daily expenses for lodging and meals during the meeting, and/or (5) preparation costs related to the student’s poster presentation at the meeting. After the funds are expended, the scholarship recipient should submit a brief account of how the money was spent to the IIA Treasurer.

Note: To avoid double funding of one activity, the original receipts have to be submitted by the student to the IIA treasurer.

Recommendation & fund allocation

After evaluating the applicants and considering the possible amount of money to be awarded, the scholarship selection committee will decide by simple majority vote to recommend the scholarship recipient(s) and the monetary amount of the scholarship award(s) to the IIA President, who is authorized to approve or disapprove the selection committee’s recommendation. The IIA Board, together with the Adolf Seilacher Fund Committee, will decide every year/period on the amount of funds allocated to the scholarship as well as the maximum amount per individual, prior to opening the awarding procedure. One or more scholarships may be awarded during any given year up to the total amount allocated per event, but there is no requirement that a scholarship must be awarded in any given year.

Management of the scholarship fund


Income to the scholarship fund includes monetary contributions from any individual or organization plus interests earned on investments of the principal of the fund. Potential non-monetary contributions, such as objects (e.g., fossil specimens or art objects) or investment instruments that cannot be sold easily will not be accepted.


At the discretion of the IIA officers, some portion or the entire principal of the scholarship fund may be invested responsibly in such a way as to generate interest income to be used for future scholarship awards.


At the discretion of the IIA officers, some portion or the entire principal of the scholarship fund may be invested responsibly in such a way as to generate interest income to be used for future scholarship awards.


Any deviations from procedures outlined in the above controlling document or any changes to the above controlling document must be approved by a unanimous vote of the IIA officers.

Approved by:

Alfred Uchman - President of the IIA

Noelia Carmona - Secretary of the IIA

Jennifer Scott - Treasurer of the IIA

Gabriela Mángano – Member of the A. Seilacher Fund Committee

Francisco Rodriguez-Tovar – Member of the A. Seilacher Fund Committee

Andreas Wetzel – Member of the A. Seilacher Fund Committee

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