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David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program


The purpose of the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship is: To create opportunities for leading conservation scientists to strengthen their skills through two years of applied post-doctoral research, supplemented by training programs, peer networking, and field learning experiences; so that they may: 1. Build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners; and 2. 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.

These Fellowships provide support for outstanding early-career scientists from around the globe based at a United States institution to improve and expand their research skills while directing their efforts towards problems of pressing conservation concern for the United States. Individuals who want to better link conservation science and theory with policy and management are encouraged to apply. We envision that the cadre of scientists supported by the Smith Fellows Program will eventually assume leadership positions across the field of conservation science. The Program is funded by the Cedar Tree Foundation, founded by Dr. David H. Smith, and administered by the Society For Conservation Biology. The Smith Fellows Program and its administrative host, the Society for Conservation Biology, are committed to equity, inclusion and diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

Smith Fellows are awarded two years of support for applied research in the field of conservation science and closely related fields. Each Fellow is mentored by; 1) an academic mentor, typically at an academic institution, who encourages the Fellow's continued academic development, and 2) 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. We encourage applicants to explore both options to determine which would be more suitable to the proposed research and beneficial to their continued development as a scientist.

Eligibility and Award Terms

To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made in 2018. Applicants who have not yet completed their doctorate must clearly indicate on the application the date the degree is expected.

Each Fellow will receive an annual salary of $55,000 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.

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. 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.

Process

1. Register

Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the proposal submission platform with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application. For a list of required information and attachments, please review the Proposal Guidelines

4. Save

During the Request for Proposals period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. Please ensure that all attachments are in Acrobat PDF format. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your proposal as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the deadline, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Program Staff - smithfellows@conbio.org

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