David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship

Society for Conservation Biology

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Predicted Deadline
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Predicted deadline: Oct 2, 2021 2:00pm PDT

Grant amount: US $92,000

Fields of work: Environmental Conservation

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 5 years of receiving their PhD

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About this funder:



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: 

  • Build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners
  • 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 biology
  • Defining frontiers and leading the future of conservation biology
  • Developing the future world leaders in conservation biology research and application through training and mentorship
  • Building coalitions of organizations and partnerships to support conservation biology
    • 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;

  •  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. 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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made.
    • Applicants who have not yet completed their doctorate must clearly indicate on the application the date the degree is expected.
  •  The Fellowship funders require that the Fellowship be administered by a U.S. institution and that the research be primarily conducted in the U.S.
    • However, U.S. citizenship is not required.


This page was last reviewed July 31, 2020 and last updated July 31, 2020