Raptor Research Foundation

Michelle Panuccio Research Grant


THE AWARD: The Michele Panuccio Memorial Grant provides financial support for field research on raptor migration and conservation in the European region by young researchers (no more than 35 years old). The annual grant will be up to €1,500. The Fund was established by his parents in 2021 in memory of the Italian ornithologist and ecologist Michele Panuccio (1976-2019).

ABOUT MICHELE: Michele Panuccio was a versatile and complete field naturalist, but, above all, an ornithologist. He devoted most of his life to the study of raptor migration, starting as a volunteer at the Strait of Messina in 1997. In subsequent years he took a leading role in various monitoring projects, especially on islands along the Italian-Tunisian flyway. He completed his doctorate on trans-Mediterranean raptor migration at the University of Pavia in 2012. Thanks to his contagious passion, he involved many young ornithologists in studies from the Calabrian Apennines in Italy to Greece and Turkey. He collaborated on field studies in Georgia, Armenia, Iran, and Thailand. His rigorous and exhaustive observations were meticulously analyzed and published in dozens of scientific papers.


Michele will be remembered for the discovery of the migration strategy of the Greek Short-toed Snake Eagles, which avoid crossing the Aegean Sea by concentrating on the slopes of Mount Olympus en route to the Bosphorus. This strategy is like that followed by Italian conspecifics, which avoid the Channel of Sicily by crossing the Mediterranean at the Strait of Gibraltar. In his final years, using both direct visual observation and radar monitoring, he established a standardized monitoring program at the Strait of Messina – one of the most important European migration bottlenecks.

TO APPLY: Applicants should submit the documents listed below. Applications should be submitted in English, but translation or editorial assistance may be available (depending on the applicant’s native language) to applicants whose first language is not English. The review of applications will be evaluated based on their scientific merit and not grammar or syntax.

• A cover letter highlighting the motivations, objectives, and expected outcomes of the study

• The applicant’s CV

• A proposal of no more than five pages, including:

o Background and justification (need)

o Study objectives and methods

o A budget detailing how funds will be spent

o A list of other funding sources, both requested and received

o Expected results

o Literature cited (maximum one page)

• A photograph of the applicant, preferably in the field, to be used when awards are announced.

AMOUNT: up to $1,500 plus waived page charges. The waived page charges allow the recipient to publish their research in the Journal of Raptor Research. The recipient must be the primary author and the paper must reflect what the award was for.

Number of grants issued per year: 1

Deadline: June 30

Application Method: Apply online through June 30th. Please contact awards@raptorresearchfoundation.org with questions about your application. The online application opens in January each year.

YearPanuccio RecipientPaper
2023Marzia VerducciRaptor migration monitoring across the Strait of Messina (Southern Italy): combining scientific research and education programs.
2022Jason GreggThe use of bio-acoustic monitors to measure gunshots at migratory bottlenecks in Lebanon.