WCS Scholarships, Graduate Programs, and Grants


WCS Graduate Scholarships

WCS Graduate Scholarship Program

The WCS Graduate Scholarship Program (GSP) is part of a WCS strategy to invest in developing individual conservation leaders around the world. The GSP provides access to international graduate education opportunities (masters or doctoral programs) to exceptional conservationists from Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America, and North American indigenous groups. Scholars are nominated by WCS global conservation staff and are selected based on their exceptional abilities and potential to become leaders of the conservation movement in their home countries.

See our 2015 WCS Graduate Scholarship recipients.

WCS Graduate Programs

WCS India Graduate Scholarship Program

The India Graduate Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society trains highly motivated Indian graduates in wildlife research and conservation through a high quality two-year Masters course. The course is fully funded and is offered once every two years to 15 Indian graduate students. We are now also offering a limited number of admissions to the Masters course to graduate students from South, Southeast and Central Asian countries. The India Graduate Program also offers advanced training in different disciplines of wildlife research and conservation to doctoral, post-doctoral and young faculties through the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. Our alumni of 74 graduates have had a remarkable track record in engaging with the conservation of highly endangered species and ecosystems across India and in raising the quality and quantity of scientific and popular literature in this field. The National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore is a major partner in the Program.

WCS Certificate and Masters Program in Biodiversity Conservation, University of Buenos Aires

The Certificate Program in Biodiversity Conservation and the Masters Program in Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Buenos Aires are applied academic initiatives to build the capacity of conservation managers and practitioners in Latin America and the Caribbean. A combination of academics at one of the region's most respected and largest universities and WCS practitioners from across the region make up a multidisciplinary faculty team seeking to prepare alumni for on the ground conservation initiatives with a long-lasting positive impact. After the programs' completion, alumni remain part of a cohesive group of conservation practitioners with long-term mentoring and support from the interdisciplinary Academic Committee and Advisory Committee of these programs.

WCS Field Grant Programs

WCS Research Fellowship Program

The WCS Research Fellowship Program (RFP) is one of the oldest and most prestigious small grants programs in the field of wildlife conservation. Grants are designed to build capacity for the next generation of global conservation leaders from Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America, and North American indigenous groups by supporting individual field research projects that have a clear application to the conservation of threatened wildlife and wild places. The grants awarded under the RFP result in young conservationists building their own individual capacity to become leading conservationists in their home countries.

Conservation Leadership Programme

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) provides competitive grants on an annual basis to teams of individuals early in their career to carry out conservation projects. CLP supports high-priority biodiversity conservation by building the leadership skills of early career conservationists who are striving to overcome major threats to nature in places where capacity and access to resources is limited. To achieve this, we identify and engage exceptional young conservationists, invest in their professional development through grants, training and mentoring, and help them to multiply their impact across the conservation sector. Proposals must be focused on species and landscapes recognized globally as high priority for conservation. CLP is a partnership including three conservation organizations: WCS, BirdLife International, and Fauna & Flora International.

WCS Canada W. Garfield Weston Fellowship Program

The WCS Canada W. Garfield Weston Fellowship Program was established in 2009 with generous support from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The goal of the program is to increase conservation science for Canada's boreal regions, and to train the next generation of Canadian conservation leaders. The Fellowship program annually supports graduate students pursuing field research with clear applications to WCS Canada's long-term conservation sites in northern Canada: the boreal region of northern Ontario and the northern boreal mountains of Yukon and British Columbia.

John Thorbjarnarson Fellowship for Reptile Research

WCS administers the John Thorbjarnarson Fellowship for Reptile Research. WCS Senior Conservation Scientist Dr. John Thorbjarnarson was a world-renowned expert on crocodiles, alligators, anacondas, turtles, and other species of reptiles and worked tirelessly throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia to ensure their protection and conservation. With the generous support of the Thorbjarnarson family, WCS has established a memorial fellowship fund in John's name that is open to applicants whose research interests are focused on the conservation of reptiles. Submissions are through the WCS RFP program application process described above.

Ruggierri Fellowship for Field Research

The Wildlife Conservation Society Ruggieri Fellowship for Field Research supports graduate or undergraduate field research in the marine waters of New York and New Jersey relating to biology, ecology and/or conservation. In 2010, WCS launched the New York Seascape Program at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island to improve our understanding of the importance of these waters to marine wildlife, restore threatened species and protect their habitat, and build a sorely needed New York ocean ethic and public stewardship. The Ruggieri Fellowship is available to individuals who are interested in conducting conservation-focused research in the NY Seascape region, which includes waters from Cape May, NJ, to Montauk, NY, as well as the Long Island Sound.

WCS Climate Adaptation Fund

The WCS Climate Adaptation Fund provides competitive grants to non-profit conservation organizations throughout the United States to take on-the-ground actions focused on implementing priority conservation actions for climate adaptation at a landscape scale. Projects are encouraged to include a focus on implementing priority actions and strategies identified in State Wildlife Action Plans.

Why WCS?

83 from 30

The WCS Graduate Scholarship Program is a world leader in providing support for young conservation professionals. Established in 1996, the program has already made advanced study possible for a total of 83 graduate students from 30 countries at top-flight academic institutions that include Yale University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Florida, and Oxford University.

350+ proposals

From 1993 to 2012, the WCS Research Fellowship Program funded over 350 proposals resulting in important conservation around the world. Focal topics covered by RFP grants include: rare and endangered species studies, threatened community and ecosystem studies, species reintroduction and habitat restoration, human impacts such as logging and agriculture, and social dimensions of conservation and livelihoods.

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