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Weston Family Boreal Research Fellowship

Application Deadline: 25 FEBRUARY 2022

With generous support from the Weston Family Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Canada is pleased to offer one-year Boreal Research Fellowships to graduate students pursuing their Master’s or Doctoral degree. Successful applicants will receive financial support for their projects along with mentorship from WCS Canada scientists and an opportunity to network with other Fellows and Fellowship alumni.  Here is a short report on what our Fellowship program has accomplished.


This year the Wildlife Conservation Society is happy to offer WCS Research Fellowship Program grants to applicants meeting the following criteria:

Applicant eligibility:

  1. Preference is given to applicants enrolled in Masters and PhD level programs; however applications will be accepted from all conservationists in the early stages of their career.
  2. Applicants must be citizens of developing countries (i.e., any country not defined as a “high income economy” by the World Bank at http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups. An exception is made for applicants who are Native American (US) or First Nations, Métis, or Inuit (Canada).
  3. Applicants cannot be current WCS employees. However, seasonal WCS employees are eligible if enrolled in academic institutions and not working for WCS for the duration of the project.
  4. Applicants must not have received a WCS RFP grant in the past.
  5. Organizations or teams are not eligible for WCS RFP funding. If you are interested in applying for a grant as part of a team, please visit the Conservation Leadership Programme website.
  6. There must be only one Principal Investigator (PI) listed on the application. Faculty and/or research advisors should not be listed as the PI.

Project eligibility:

  1. The research project should focus on addressing a conservation issue (and/or answering a research question) relevant to one or a combination of the following:
    1. WCS’s 80 priority land/seascapes, including key species found in those priority land/seascapes
    2. WCS Global Priority or Recovery Species
  2. Project should have direct relevance to the conservation objective of categories above and to improving conservation management. Projects that do not serve to answer questions and solve problems (i.e., projects that simply aim to provide more information on a site or species) will be given low priority.
  3. Projects should only be one year in duration. If a highly eligible project is longer, a one-year portion of it must be delineated for RFP support.
  4. Restrictions: RFP awards are for direct support of research activities, but cannot be used for the following:
    1. Conference attendance
    2. Expeditions
    3. Travel to scientific meetings
    4. Legal actions
    5. Construction of permanent field stations
    6. Tuition expenses
    7. Salary for PI (While salaries for PIs are not supported, PIs who have no other source of support may request modest per-diem expenses. Salary for field assistants is acceptable.)
    8. Overhead costs
    9. Costly laboratory analyses
    10. Gene storage
    11. Vehicle purchases
    12. Computer purchases
    13. Captive breeding (except in projects directly working on Recovery Species)
  5. Proposals may be submitted simultaneously to other funding organizations but WCS must be informed of the organization, the amount requested, and status. (See Section 3A on the application form.) Please be sure to clearly indicate in your budget which component you request WCS to fund and which is requested from other organizations (Section 3B on application form).

Application Procedure

RFP applicants must be citizens of developing countries (i.e., any country not defined as a “high income economy” by the World Bank at http:data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups.  An exception is made for applicants who are Native American (US) or First Nations, Métis or Inuit (Canada).  The Program seeks to support the field work of graduate-level students (Masters, PhD, DVM or equivalent; however applications will be accepted from all conservationists in the early stages of their career) who will work with WCS staff in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and in special cases, North America (as noted above).

Before applying, we strongly recommend that applicants first contact WCS field staff in their country for review and feedback. 
Click on the links below to learn more about:

Official Website: Weston Family Boreal Research Fellowship



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