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David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship (Smith Fellows Program)

Fellowships to Early Career Conservation Scientists at USA Institutions
to Participate in a Post-Doctoral Research Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Society for Conservation Biology and Cedar Tree Foundation

Deadline Date:

09/13/19 5:00 PM EST Receipt


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Fellowships to early-career conservation scientists based at USA institutions for a two-year post-doctoral research program. Eligible scientists may be from any nationality. This fellowship program is intended to strengthen the skills of leading scientists through two years of applied post-doctoral research supplemented by training programs, peer networking, and field learning experiences, so that they may build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners; and contribute and communicate scientific knowledge to problems of critical importance in conservation.

The focus of Smith Fellows’ research and activities should be characterized by:
- Cutting edge research in conservation science;
- Defining frontiers and leading the future of conservation science;
- Developing the future world leaders in conservation research and application through training and mentorship;
- Building coalitions of organizations and partnerships to support conservation science;
- Supporting and encouraging high-potential individuals to accept risk as a component of change and leadership and thus make significant change in the world.

Each Fellow is mentored by:
- An academic mentor, typically at an academic institution, who encourages the Fellow's continued academic development, and
- A field or practitioner mentor who helps the Fellow connect her/his research to practical conservation challenges. The practitioner mentor is typically affiliated with a conservation organization (government agency, non-governmental organization, or other non-academic conservation organization) with expertise and experience in “on-the-ground” application of conservation science. Fellows may be administratively based at either the sponsoring academic institution or conservation organization, typically the location of either the academic or practitioner mentor.

Fellows will spend up to three weeks per year during their fellowship attending Program-sponsored professional development retreats each year. These retreats provide opportunities to cultivate skills typically not covered during their academic education including: leadership, communications, professional and funder networks, and to gain better understanding of policy-making and application of research. Fellows are expected to pursue their research outlined in their proposal on a full-time basis.

Fellows are employed either by their sponsoring academic institution or conservation organization, typically the location of either their academic or practitioner mentor. The Program will provide up to 5% of the total direct costs as overhead reimbursement to the host organization.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181857

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each Fellow will receive an annual salary of $57,000 plus benefits, with the post-doctoral position expected to run for two consecutive years. In addition to the stipend, each Fellow receives a travel budget of $8,000 and a research fund of $32,000 over the 2-year fellowship period.

Term of Contract:

Funds are available for Fellows to start anytime between March and September 2020.

Second-year renewal of the fellowship is contingent upon satisfactory progress (including but not limited to participation in Program sponsored retreats) as well as timely completion of first‐year activity and financial reports.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made in 2020. Applicants who have not yet completed their doctorate must clearly indicate on the application the date the degree is expected.

Please Note: The Fellowship funders require that the Fellowship be administered by a USA institution and that the research be primarily conducted in the USA. However, USA citizenship is not required.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications materials must be received by September 13, 2019. Finalist interviews will be conducted in January 2020. All candidates will be notified of the status of their application by January 31, 2020.

All application materials, including letters from sponsors and references, must be received by Society for Conservation Biology via the online submission platform by 5pm EST on September 13, 2019. The review process begins immediately after this date. There are no extensions to this deadline and incomplete applications may be disqualified.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Shonda Foster, Program Director

David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship
Society for Conservation Biology
1133 15th Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005 USA
Phone: 1-202-234-4133 x101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming