Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme in UK | 2014
Fellowships ‣ UK Scholarships ‣ February Deadline

Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme for applicants from a country rich in biodiversity but relatively poor in financial resources Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is offering fellowship programme to the fellows who are from countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources. Fellowships will be provided for up to 14 months. Applications are open until 3rd February 2014.

School(Institutions/ Country):: UK (Darwin Fellows will typically be based in UK institutions for the majority of the Fellowship, but Fellowships based in the Fellow’s own country or other Darwin target countries will also be considered. for example, on a regional project) where this is appropriate. In such cases there should still be an appropriate level of UK input.)

Level: It is a 14 months fellowship programme.

Field(s):Fellowship is awarded in biodiversity, typically by working towards formal qualifications or by developing policy skills.

Deadline: 3rd February 2014.

Funded By: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Beneficiaries(Target Groups): Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme is targeted for applicants from a country rich in biodiversity but relatively poor in financial resources.   

Benefits(Value/ Inclusions):

‣ Award No: Not Specified.

‣ Scholarship Duration: Fellowships will be provided for up to 14 months. Fellowships should start after 1 July 2014 and finish before 1 October 2015.

‣ Scholarship covers: Funding will be paid bi-annually to the UK Host Organisation, part in advance and part based on actuals.

The UK Host Organisation will be responsible for making necessary payments to the Darwin Fellow. Eligible costs (depending on the nature of the Fellowship) include a monthly subsistence, UK host organisation expenses, travel costs and fees for academic qualifications.

Defra is also willing to consider contributing towards the cost of English language training at the start of the award and this should be included in the budget. Details are set out below:

  • Arrival allowance: £200;
  • Contribution to Fellow’s living costs: £1,200 pcm;
  • UK Host organisation expenses: £300 pcm;
  • Return economy airfare to UK: Up to £2,000;
  • Travel / conference fees: Up to £500 OR Up to £1,500;
  • Academic fees: Reduced cost;
  • Language training: Up to £2,000 Y Please be aware that there is now a de minimis level of £5,000. This means that the last 25% of your final award or £5,000 (whichever is the larger) will be retained pending a satisfactory final report.

Applications will be considered on their merits in the light of available resources. There are limited funds available in each financial year for new Fellowships, subject to monies being voted by Parliament. The Department will not be able to fund all eligible applications. The Department reserves the right to terminate the Fellowship at any time and reclaim any monies paid for part or full months remaining.


Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme

The Darwin Initiative is co – funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Development (DFID). Defra remains the lead Department for management of the Darwin Initiative.

The Darwin Initiative’s core theme – supporting countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet the obligations under one or more of the three international biodiversity conventions(CBD, CMS, CITES) – continues with the additional focus from 2012 on development and human welfare based on DFID’s core mandate as enshrined in the UK’s International Development Act.


Have what it takes Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme?

The Darwin Fellow should:

Be a national of a country rich in biodiversity but relatively poor in financial resources;

Be associated with a recent or current Darwin Initiative project or currently working directly on the implementation of CBD, CITES or CMS. Examples of specific roles that may be relevant are included below. If you are unsure if an individual is eligible, please contact the Darwin Application Unit for clarification.

For CITES this may include: enforcement officers working on wildlife crime or illegal trade, those working in CITES management authorities, those working in CITES scientific authorities and

For CMS this may include:

  • those directly involved in the development or implementation of management plans under CMS daughter agreements,
  • those contributing directly to work programmes within the CMS daughter agreements
  • Have at least five years relevant work experience or a degree from a university/equivalent higher-education institution and at least two years’ work experience in a relevant field;

  • Demonstrate the ability and willingness to train others and/or disseminate knowledge (including for policy development) and technology upon their return to their respective communities, organisations or work;

  • Provide evidence of support for their application from their government or organisation;

  • Have a good working knowledge of the English language (if they are to be based in the UK)
The UK Host Organisation (the Applicant):

‣ Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme Applications must be submitted by the UK Host Organisation or by the UK institution of the original Darwin project that the proposed Fellow is associated with.

Eligible organisations or institutions must have expertise in the sustainable use or conservation of biodiversity, or in disciplines that are biodiversity-related or whose work has an impact on the implementation of the key biodiversity Conventions (CBD, CITES and CMS) or sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. Applications are invited from both public and private sectors.

The UK Host Organisation will provide experts from within their organisation with a proven track record and at the forefront of their discipline(s) to work closely with or supervise the Fellow. '

This expertise is typically expected to be of at least postdoctoral quality or equivalent professional standard.

Selection Criteria:

Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Fellowships will draw on UK expertise in the field of biodiversity or convention implementation, of post-doctoral or equivalent professional level.
  • Fellowships will result in the transfer of knowledge and/or technology relating to biodiversity between the UK and the Fellow’s country.

  • Fellowships will be collaborative, involving the Darwin Fellow and the UK Host Organization in a dual partnership at all stages (including development of the proposal). Where relevant, the Fellow should demonstrate their own consultation and collaboration with local institutions or communities in the target country/ies.
  • Fellowships will contribute, directly or indirectly, towards implementation of the CBD, and/or CITES and/or CMS.
  • Where appropriate, Fellowship work will raise awareness of the potential worth of natural resources and encourage their sustainable use in order to directly or indirectly help eliminate poverty and develop sustainable livelihoods in those countries.

  • Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme work will be of high quality and scientific (or other appropriate professional) excellence.

  • Fellowships will leave a legacy, through a real and lasting impact on the Fellow’s capacity to help his/her country meet its obligations under the conventions. Fellows should demonstrate the expectation of related work after the Fellowship ends and demonstrate how the skills and knowledge they acquired during the Fellowship will be applied in their country to spread knowledge or expertise (e.g. through training others, practical application, or wider dissemination). Where relevant, a strategy should be developed during the term of the Fellowship for effective implementation of skills learnt during the training period.

  • The outputs and outcomes from Fellowships should be additional, and will not cut across work being funded through other mainstream environmental or research programmes. Research projects, in particular, must tackle work in an area of biodiversity that has previously been neglected or undervalued.

  • Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme work should be, wherever possible, innovative and distinctive.
  • It should show a new approach to a problem or issue and not cover old ground – although tested methodology may be used for a new area or issue. To ensure Fellowship work is distinctive, applications should identify how any outputs will be badged and in what ways the Department’s name and the Darwin name and logo would be used to help raise the Darwin profile.
  • Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme will demonstrate good value for money. Both actual results from the Fellowship work, as well as the benefits of the Fellowship to the Fellow and their country’s capacity to meet the objectives of CBD, CITES or CMS, will be taken into account.


The Darwin Expert Committee will assess all written applications. Defra expects to announce the successful Scoping awards before Easter 2014.

No correspondence concerning the result of the evaluation is possible prior to the official announcement.

Scholarship Application Method

All Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme applications must be made on the prescribed forms found on the Darwin website at (marked “Round 20″).

Please email the completed application to the Darwin Applications Unit at The name of the proposed Fellow should be in the subject line of the email.

Your application must also include:

  • One page CVs for the proposed Fellow and for the principal UK experts listed in Section 5 of the application form;

  • One written reference (in English) in support of the proposed Darwin Fellow from their government or employing organisation;

  • One written reference in support of the participants (the proposed Darwin Fellow and the UK Host Organisation, including their nominated expert) and the proposed work. This is likely to be in the form of a letter from the UK Host Organization confirming support of the work and naming the individuals involved.

  • A copy of your organization’s most recent audited accounts and annual report. These may be submitted by electronic link to your website, if appropriate. If sending hard copy, please only send one copy per organisation, irrespective of how many Fellowship applications are being submitted.
  • Additional documents or annexes will not be passed to the Committee for their consideration unless they have been specifically requested.

Scholarship Applications are due on Monday 3rd February 2014.

‣ Application forms and guidelines can be download from the official website

It is important to read the application procedure, and visit the official websites (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

For more Information about Defra Darwin Fellowship Programme

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