Request for Research Proposals
For All Prospective Applicants:
Earthwatch's proposal review processes are guided by our mission to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Accordingly, and in order to build long-term legacies through the scientific research we support, we have undertaken a strategic review of our program structure and developed four Research Areas (RAs).
- Ecosystem Services
- Climate Change
- Cultural Heritage
These RAs allow Earthwatch to focus support on critical ecological and cultural challenges encompassing the majority of threats to environmental sustainability. The RAs work together to support research, capacity building, education and environmental action. Through these priorities, Earthwatch's supported research projects will have positive long-term impacts and will inform both local and global agendas.
As well as the usual considerations when setting up a field research project, there are a few specific questions to ask yourself before applying for an Earthwatch field grant:
- How can volunteers make a significant contribution to my research?
- Are you excited and interested in leading teams of volunteers (untrained, enthusiastic adults and teens) in the field?
- Are you prepared to share broadly the vision behind the project and why you are doing the research?
Earthwatch will only consider projects that have a strong rationale for requiring involvement of non-specialists (Earthwatch volunteers) in data collection, scientific observation, or a variety of research tasks.
If you are interested in Earthwatch support, please submit a Concept Note. Your Concept Note will be reviewed based on its scientific merit, safety and logistical viability, appropriateness of volunteer activities, and Earthwatch’s available support for the project. If your Concept Note raises interest, you will then be invited to submit a Research Proposal. See below for more details on the application process.
Earthwatch takes the safety of all participants on projects we support very seriously. Therefore we are not able to support any research projects in the following regions due to safety concerns at this time: Earthwatch No Go List
For more information about how Earthwatch grants work, what can be covered, volunteer tasks, etc. see our Frequently Asked Questions.
Step 1: Concept Note
If you think Earthwatch is a good match for your research, please submit a Concept Note. We are currently accepting Concept Note submissions for support starting in 2013. Concept Notes are due January 27, 2012.
Step 2: Proposal
Concept Notes will be reviewed based on scientific merit, appropriateness of volunteer activities, safety and logistical viability, and Earthwatch’s available support for the project. If your Concept Note raises the interest of the Earthwatch review committee, you will then be invited to submit a Proposal.
Please keep in mind that all Proposals undergo external scientific peer review as a part of the application process.
Step 3: Logistics
If your Proposal is accepted, you will be expected to work in partnership with Earthwatch to prepare the following items before volunteers are recruited to assist with your field work. Refer to our Field Management Documents
for more information on these items and resources relating to project set up.
- Expedition team dates
- Volunteer Briefing
- Risk Assessment
- Emergency Response Plan
- Letter of Agreement
At the end of each field season you will be expected to submit the following:
- Field Report - A report on the scientific accomplishments of the year.
Field Reports from previous Earthwatch supported projects
- Final Accounting - A description of how funds were spent in comparison with the budget.
- Post-Fielding Evaluation - The researcher’s opportunity to evaluate the year’s experience working with Earthwatch teams.
If you have any questions, please contact the Research team at email@example.com