The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation established the Grants Program in 1976 to promote scholarship, research, writing, teaching, and the study of mineral resources law and related fields at law schools. In 2017 the Grants Program was expanded to include innovative new projects or proposals in the fields of mining law, oil and gas law, energy law, water law, public land law, and related legal areas.

A Grant-supported project should result in a clear, tangible outcome with widespread utility and long-term value. Since the program’s inception, 253 Grants totaling over $700,000 have been authorized.


Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Preparation of books, articles, and similar materials for publication
  • Preparation of teaching materials
  • Research expenses incurred by faculty and supervised law students
  • Start-up funding for new educational programs, classes, or conferences

Examples of eligible expenses include research assistant compensation, publication costs, publicity costs, essential travel, project-related compensation, and data acquisition costs.

The Grants Program will not support recurring projects or programs; projects that involve political or positional advocacy or litigation; or scholarships, fellowships, or visiting professorships.


Applications are evaluated and awards made by the Grants Committee, with preference given to Constituent Law Schools of the Foundation. The Foundation does not permit Grant funds to be reduced by an administrative fee or charge.


Applications are evaluated as received on a continuing basis, except that larger Grant requests (generally those in excess of $7,500) may be evaluated quarterly since funds are limited and the Committee wishes to ensure that funds go to the most worthy projects. No special application form is required. Please email a cover letter and project description including the following information to

  • Your contact details and qualifications to undertake the project
  • A specific description of the project’s objectives and duration (including a proposed timeline), the project’s expected contribution to the field, how the project will be implemented, and the project’s intended results and impact
  • A budget of the total anticipated project expenses, including other sources of support being sought or received for the project
  • The amount and intended use of the funds you are requesting, broken out by budget line item or specific category
  • The expected publication or dissemination outlet

The application (cover letter and project description) should not exceed four pages. You may also attach your organization’s general brochure and other information you feel would help the Committee better understand your request.


The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is pleased to have recently awarded Grants for the following projects:

  • University of Calgary, Professor Rudiger Tscherning:  Development of teaching materials for Conflict of Laws course focusing on energy and natural resources
  • Lewis & Clark Law School-Western Resources Legal Center, Caroline Lobdell, Executive Director:  Student research for scholarly paper on the coordination process between stakeholders and federal agencies on public lands
  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Professor Jan Laitos; Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Professor John Applegate; University of Richmond School of Law, Professor Noah Sachs; SMU Dedman School of Law, Professor Jeffrey Gaba:  Research and publication for casebook, The Regulation of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes, 3d
  • University of Denver, Professor Jan Laitos; University of Nebraska, Professor Sandi Zellmer; University of Oregon, Professor Mary Wood:  Research and publication for casebook, Natural Resources Law, 3d
  • Arizona State University, Professor Karen Bradshaw:  Research support for law journal article on how the various ways in which lands entered the union affect rights to natural resources
  • VIT University, Professor Rajkumar Narayanan, and University of Houston Law Center:  Research on challenges to accommodate shale gas development in India

Contact the Foundation at 303-321-8100 or