Funding, profile and training for grassroots conservation leaders
Apply: https://whitleyaward.org/apply-for-conservation-funding/apply-for-a-whitley-award/
Contact: info@whitleyaward.org
Deadline: midnight GMT on 31 October 2022

The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK-registered charity supporting grassroots conservation leaders in the Global South. Whitley Awards are WFN’s flagship prizes, worth £40,000 in project funding over one year, awarded to mid-career conservationists leading grassroots action that benefits people, wildlife and the climate.

Whitley Awards offer international profile, training, peer support and eligibility for further funding. These coveted prizes are won competitively following assessment by an expert judging panel and will be presented by WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in London in Spring 2023.

Whitley Awards:

  • are the result of a global search for outstanding conservation leadership
  • are worth £40,000 GBP in project funding over one year
  • champion local leaders working in their home countries across the Global South
  • celebrate individuals who inspire and are backed by a committed team and local NGO
  • significantly boost to winners’ international profile by putting a media spotlight on their work
  • support winners with communications training and PR
  • provide membership to a collaborative peer-network of 200 Whitley Award alumni
  • give winners the opportunity to apply for further WFN Continuation Funding grants

We look for:

  • projects that explicitly address biodiversity conservation issues
  • mid-career conservationists for whom additional funding and exposure could be game-changing
  • community involvement and grassroots approach
  • scientific grounding – although the project leader does not need to be a scientist, they must demonstrate that their team has the required skills and experience, or collaborations in place
  • proven success and an evidence-based approach
  • projects that are poised to scale up with potential for wider replication
  • value for money and likelihood of future sustainability
  • collaborative project leaders
  • measurable impact, not just activity – we support projects that can demonstrate real change
  • marine, freshwater and terrestrial projects

Eligibility (read our full eligibility criteria here):

  • WFN does not fund undergraduate projects, expeditions, MSc, PhD or government work.
  • The project must take place in a country not defined as a High-Income Economy by the World Bank.
  • The awards are aimed conservationists who are local to the country or region in which they work (i.e. they were born there or have lived there a long time and have achieved national status).
  • We seek grassroots conservationists from locally incorporated NGOs in developing countries, rather than in-country staff employed by NGOs headquartered in developed countries.


Applications for the 2023 Whitley Awards are currently open and close at midnight GMT on 31 October 2022. The Whitley Awards Ceremony will take place in Spring 2023.


Whitley Awards are worth £40,000 GBP in project funding over one year.


Anyone can apply for a Whitley Award. You do not need to be invited or nominated.

       1. Check your eligibility

Please read our eligibility criteria to find out what WFN do and do not fund.

Whitley Awards are for dynamic, mid-career conservationists who are leading wildlife conservation projects in the Global South. Winners tend to be nationals of the country in which they are working who are seeking to scale up proven work that would benefit from further funding, a profile boost and international support. To be eligible, projects must involve communities at the grassroots level and deliver practical action that is founded on science.

       2. Register for our application portal

To register for our application portal, click here. Once you have received your unique login details you will be able to complete and submit your application online.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the application portal.

       3. Complete your application online

It is essential to follow our application guidelines.

Once registered for the application portal, you will be able to login and complete the form online at your convenience. Remember to save as you go! If you close the portal without saving your progress, you will lose your information.

As part of the application process you will need to download two documents from the portal: a Microsoft Word template for your logical framework/timeline, and a Microsoft Excel template for your budget. Once you have saved these to your computer, you can work on them in your own time then upload your completed versions to the portal.

Please note that the application portal and templates are only available until midnight GMT on 31 October 2022. Applications made on out-of-date forms from previous years will not be considered.

     4. Contact three referees

You need to ask three referees to submit references to WFN in support of your application. Check who is eligible to be a referee in our FAQs, and read the application guidelines to find out what is required of them.

You will be asked to submit your referees’ details in the application portal, and they will receive an automated email requesting their submissions independently before the deadline of midnight GMT on 31 October 2022.

Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure your referees meet the deadline of midnight GMT on 31 October 2022.


Please refer to our FAQs or contact us.