Conservation Scholarships | Experiences & Expeditions

Are you looking to gain conservation experience – through a volunteer placement or internship – to help you try out a job type, build specific skills or land a conservation job? Or perhaps you’d like to lead or join an exciting conservation expedition?

Experience is KEY to starting and furthering your conservation career, and the majority of professional conservationists say that volunteering and interning helped them get where they are today.

While some experiences and expeditions are paid, or have expenses covered, others do not, or may charge a fee. So how can you get that experience you need?

The 50+ scholarships below can help you fund your conservation experience – whether it’s a travel grant for a wildlife conference, funds to run an event, or tens of thousands in funding for a bigger conservation expedition. 

Explore some of our favourites below, or dive into the full list.

Top Conservation Scholarships | Experiences & Expeditions

Here are 10 conservation scholarships for experiences and expeditions that we know and love. Make sure you to explore the full list here!

Natucate Conservation Scholarship | NATUCATE

Would you like to go overseas, become active in nature and species conservation and expand your academic knowledge and hands-on skills? Would you like to volunteer abroad and would benefit greatly from financial assistance and the opportunity to educate yourself?

Then apply for a Natucate Conservation Scholarship and receive funding for your educational (volunteer) experience! As a scholarship resource, Natucate wants to help people travel abroad, immerse themselves into a new culture, be part of a meaningful programme and gain invaluable experience as a conservation volunteer or student.

Find out more.

Conservation Diversity Fellowship | The Open Space Institute

The Open Space Institute’s Conservation Diversity Fellowship, started in 2016, seeks candidates pursuing professional experience in the conservation field. The Fellowship is a full-time, salaried, one-year position in New York City offering candidates the chance to work with colleagues and leaders at the Open Space Institute to accomplish meaningful conservation goals.

The Fellowship offers college graduates a one-year, paid position (competitive starting salary of $55,000 prorated with a comprehensive benefits package) working alongside full-time staff based out of OSI’s New York City home office. OSI’s multifaceted programs will give the fellows wide-ranging experience in the conservation field.

Eligibility: College graduates eligible to work in the United States, among other criteria.

Find out more.

Level I Funding | National Geographic Society

Level I Grants receive funding up to $20,000 and offer unique opportunities for training, networking, coaching, mentorship, and more from fellow National Geographic Explorers, experts, staff, partners, and forums.

Eligibility: If you have not yet received a grant from the National Geographic Society, are working to establish yourself further in your field, hope to gain more experience leading projects, and are interested in joining the National Geographic Explorer community, you may apply for a Level I Grant for one-year long projects.

REEF Marine Conservation Internship Funding | REEF Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)

We are creating opportunities for the next generation of ocean stewards and supporting foundational change in marine conservation through the Oceans for All initiative. It supports scholarships, programming, and outreach activities to provide experience and increase awareness of marine conservation opportunities amongst groups who are underrepresented and those with financial need.

REEF is committed to using our programs, platform, and voice to help diversify future leadership in conservation and provide opportunities for individuals from underrepresented communities to build connections with the ocean.

Find out more.

Ralph Brown Expedition Award | Royal Geographical Society

The Ralph Brown Expedition Award is a single annual award of £12,500, offered to an experienced researcher leading a research expedition working in an aquatic environment. This includes the study of coral reefs, rivers, lakes and shallow seas. The project should be of value to the host country and, where possible, to the local community.

The Ralph Brown Award has supported projects since 1998, ranging from the wetlands of Ukraine to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, from coral reef studies to mountain river hazard surveys, and studies of human interaction with waterways.

Eligibility: Applicants must be Fellows or members of the Society. The grant is open to applicants from any nation.

Find out more.

Wildlife Conservation Internship Programme | People’s Trust for Endangered Species

Are you a British graduate, or have you recently finished your undergraduate degree at a university in the UK? Are you looking to work in conservation in the UK but finding it hard to get anywhere without any work experience? Take a look at our unique Internship Programme – nurturing the vital next generation of conservationists by providing grants to enable them to work on a specific project.

Our Wildlife Conservation Internship Programme began in 2001. Since then over 90 young people have benefitted, working on practical projects helping hedgehogs, water voles, pine martens, bats, adders, bottlenose dolphins, numerous butterflies and a host of other species besides. Notable PTES intern alumni are active conservationists in universities, in government agencies, conservation NGOs and ecological consultancies where they are highly influential and effective.

The student will receive funding not exceeding £5,000 to cover all living and project costs, and all insurance costs. 

Find out more.

Woods Hole Sea Grant Science Communication Fellowship |  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) Science Communication Fellowship provides a year-long professional development experience in science communication, based at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

This is an opportunity to receive mentoring and professional development training from a small, highly engaged group that is passionate about marine science and stewardship of coastal resources.

Eligibility: A communications-related degree and a passion for marine science

Term: This full-time, hybrid fellowship is funded for one year from date of appointment
Stipend: Fellows will be paid a stipend of $60,000 for the one-year term

Find out more.

Student Bursaries  | Marine Biological Association

Each year, the Marine Biological Association (MBA) will award a number of bursaries to support Student Members of the Association attending marine biology related conferences, meetings, courses and training. In the past decade, 100s of students have benefitted from financial support to participate in marine biology events that can help them on their career journey.

Eligibility: Student Members of the MBA.

Find out more.

Kauri Seed Programme | New Zealand Ecological Society

The Kauri Seed Programme mentors and encourages undergraduate ecologists in the early stages of their ecological careers so they will become involved in the study and application of ecological science in New Zealand.

Kauri Seed Programme Scholarships will be granted each year to undergraduate ecologists to enable them to attend the New Zealand Ecological Society’s conference and student day. During the conference students will be allocated post-graduate student mentors who will help them get the most out of the conference.

Eligibility: Awardees must be members of the NZ Ecological Society.

Find out more.

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All Conservation Scholarships

At Conservation Careers we’re on a mission to help conservationists achieve career success, and create a world where wildlife thrives. We believe all conservationists should be able to pursue the best training opportunities, have the best experiences, conduct meaningful research and lead impactful conservation projects to boost their careers and ultimately help wildlife thrive. 

But we know that, especially early in your career, money can be a big barrier, and sometimes even prevent talented conservationists from pursuing and growing their careers. That’s why we’ve reviewed some of the top conservation scholarships around the world.

Whether your next career step is training, research, an experience or a project, we hope to help you make it a reality.

Search all conservation scholarships

Explore funding that helps build your skills or knowledge – 
whether via a short course, undergraduate degree, master’s or PhD.

Explore funding that helps you carry out research or conduct a project – 
whether in the field or at your desk, locally or abroad.

Explore funding that helps you gain real-life experience – such as volunteering, internships, traineeships and expeditions.

Useful links & free stuff

The cover of The Step-by-Step System to Get Hired as a Wildlife ConservationistTo help you navigate your options, please select which best describes you:
  • You want to work in conservation but you’re feeling lost, disillusioned or confused?!? Check out our Kick-Starter training designed to help you understand the job market, to navigate your career options, and to get hired more quickly. It’s designed for students, graduates, job-seekers and career-switchers. We’re proud to say it also has 100% satisfaction and recommendation ratings. We know you’ll love it. Find out more about our Kick-Starter – Online Course.
  • You need answers to top questions about working in conservation? Check out our free Ultimate Guides covering topics like the 15 Key Conservation Job Types, Top Conservation Internships | Paid or Free and Marine Conservation Jobs, and answering questions like How to Switch Careers into Conservation, Do I need a Master’s Degree? and much more! Or download our free guides to keep and read later!
  • You feel ready to be applying for jobs in conservation? Check out our membership packages for job seekers which provide access to the world’s biggest conservation job board – with over 10,000 conservation jobs shared each year – plus a range of other benefits. Check out our monthly memberships here.
  • You’re submitting applications, but failing to get many interviews? Check out our FREE eBook Conservation Jobs: The Step-by-Step System to Get Hired as a Wildlife Conservationist – available on Kindle, EPUB and PDF. We can also review your applications, and provide 1:1 advice on how to improve them. Check out our application support here.
  • You’ve got an interview (well done!) and would like our help to prepare for it? We know what employers want, and have helped many people prepare for and deliver successful interviews. Check out our interview preparation here.
  • You’re feeling stuck, struggling with a career decision or something’s holding you back from pursuing the career of your dreams? Our 1:1 career coaching can help you gain clarity about your next steps and form a plan of action. Check out our career coaching here