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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Investigators for Marine-Based Research Studies

Field Research Grant: Marine Conservation


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
Canada:Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/09/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA, Canada, and International researchers for studies related to the environment. Funding is intended for marine-focused research projects that aim to conserve marine ecosystems and protect the life they contain from extinction and further degradation. The research should take direct action to conserve biodiversity in marine ecosystems, focusing on keystone species.

Marine ecology is defined as relationships among aquatic organisms and their interactions with the abiotic environment. Keystone species are defined as primarily apex predators that, while small in number, have correspondingly large positive impacts on whole food webs. Marine ecosystems are oceans, seas, and coastal areas, including estuaries and mangrove forests. Marine ecology includes climate-change impacts on ocean acidification, marine carbon sequestration, sea-level rise, and food-web impacts of human use of marine natural resources.

The Earthwatch Marine Conservation RFP invites pre-proposals from scientists for research that will take measurable action to address global change in marine ecosystems by:

  • Increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of environmental challenges to marine ecosystems, while providing locally relevant solutions;
  • Increasing partnerships with local people, communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and corporations at local and international levels; and
  • Informing management plans and environmental policies.

Pre-proposals that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and that will improve human livelihoods and support scientists in emerging nations are strongly encouraged. 

All proposed projects must:

  • Have quantifiable goals and measurable impacts of action taken on the project;
  • Incorporate field-based research and data collection, with participants sufficiently trained while in the field;
  • Have data gathered primarily by citizen-scientist participants recruited by Earthwatch;
  • Field a minimum of four research teams per year (the average project fields 6–8 teams per year), with 4–15 participants per team as needed for data collection;
  • Field research teams are typically 7–9 days in length, with some projects hosting 10–14 day teams;
  • Provide reputable housing for participants within a 45-minute drive from the site;
  • Field adult, high school, and college student, teacher, and/or corporate groups;
  • Be run in English, with all communications by field staff and supporting documents in English;
  • Educate participants about the project’s science and its relevance to global priorities;
  • Prioritize locally run vendors, partners, and businesses in preparing the field logistics (including food), with a focus on those that adhere to sustainable business practices;
  • Collaborate with local community stakeholders through engagement, outreach, and contributions to conservation actions;
  • Share project data with stakeholders, and contribute to open-source datasets as possible;
  • Partner with collaborators and receive support from at least one other source of funding.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
All pre-proposals must be submitted by the PI, who is also expected to hold full scientific oversight over the field research. The lead PI, or at least one member of the research team, must have a Ph.D. in the area of the proposed research and an affiliation with a university, government or tribal agency, or science-focused NGO.

Earthwatch encourages members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, scientists local to the nation where the research takes place, and early career scientists, to apply.

Not eligible:
- Scientist salaries
- Student tuition
- Institutional overhead
- Capital equipment
- Post-fielding data analysis

Research projects in certain regions of the world due to safety concerns are not supported.

Pre-Application Information
Pre-proposals for new research projects to begin in 2025 will be accepted through Friday, June 9, 2023.

All pre-proposals and supporting documents must be in English. Earthwatch will select pre-proposals for development into full research proposals. If you are invited to submit a full research proposal, you will be asked for further details on research methods and impacts, detailed project logistics, staffing, project budget, and safety and risk management.

Estimated Size of Grant
Annual budgets for projects with long-duration teams range between US $20,000 and $80,000, with most of that covering volunteer and staff expenses while in the field.

Term of Contract
Research projects are tenable for three years, subject to annual performance review, and may be eligible for renewal beyond that period. Earthwatch currently supports projects for an average of 10 years.

Contact Information
Submit a pre-proposal:

Earthwatch Institute
300 Washington St., Suite 713
Newton, MA 02458
T: 1.978.461.0081 | 1.800.776.0188

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