Panthera: Kaplan Graduate Awards


Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Scholarship, Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The Kaplan Graduate Awards Program (KAP) supports conservation efforts of outstanding, young biology graduate students working on all wild felids in situ, with a particular focus on threatened species.

The Kaplan Graduate Awards Program (KAP) was created to help develop the next generation of wild cat biologists. The program supports the conservation efforts of outstanding young biology graduate students working on wild felids in situ. We welcome applications for projects on all wild cat species in all regions. Award amounts vary; the maximum is $1 5,000. All Kaplan Awards are granted for one year, but renewals for subsequent years may be requested. Funding for subsequent years will be decided based on the progress and results reported for the first year’s activities, and is not guaranteed.

Budget Guidelines

The KAP will consider applications for up to $15,000 annually, for both project and tuition costs. However, preference is given to projects requesting primarily field and research costs. Panthera will consider local salaries, per diems, and stipend for local field personnel only; we will not fund salaries for core administrative and management personnel.

Genetic Analysis

In partnership with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Panthera has developed the Global Felid Conservation Genetics Program. The program focuses on the molecular ecology of endangered felid populations and promotes, when preferable, the use of noninvasive sampling to understand genetic issues relevant to felid conservation. Applicants may apply to Panthera for genetic analysis funding, but the applicant must agree to process all genetic analysis through the AMNH. 

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


  • The KAP is designed to support projects on wild cats with a conservation focus and a significant field component.
  • Applicants must be post-graduate students pursuing a higher degree (MSc., PhD or equivalent).
  • Successful candidates will demonstrate outstanding academic credentials and conservation experience, field experience that has prepared them to undertake the proposed work, and a history of publishing work in peer-reviewed journals and/or ‘soft’ publications such as reports, magazine articles, web sites, etc.
  • The Kaplan Graduate Awards supports wild cat conservation and research projects in all areas of the world where wild cats are found.


  • Although work on all wild cat species is considered, preference is given to species that are endangered, threatened or vulnerable on - in order of priority - a global, regional, or local scale.
    • Applications for work on species that do not meet these criteria will have a stronger chance of approval if they can demonstrate that their results can be applied to other species or other areas with greater conservation outcomes.
  • In addition, sites with high conservation significance will be given priority


  • Panthera will not consider large requests for expensive first world university tuition, except in exceptional cases where the applicants are nationals from developing countries and provide convincing rationales that the institutions will provide critical graduate training that is not available in their home country.
  • Panthera does not support conferences, travel to scientific meetings, legal actions, overhead costs, academic exchanges, or captive breeding.