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FPI Scholarships

FPI offers scholarships for field courses and other field training programs. We offer several full scholarships to our programs in field biology and conservation for three principal reasons: 1) to ensure that there are opportunities for attending our courses and field programs that do not depend on payment of the course fee; 2) to ensure a more diverse student body that enriches the experience for everyone; 3) to provide opportunities for field training and networking to residents of the various countries in which we operate.

Scholarship Application Period CLOSED for 2024 Programs & Courses

Stay tuned for the 2025 field season!

Three Scholarship Types:


Awarded to persons who identify as Black, regardless of nationality, and are pursuing studies in biological sciences or conservation.

The Future Black Scientists scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Roger Arliner Young, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology. You can read about her here


Awarded to an individual with nationality and current residence in the country where a given field program is taking place.

Local Opportunity scholarships are dedicated to the memory of Dr. Tab Rasmussen, noted anthropologist and beloved mentor to many of us. You can read about him here.


Awarded regardless of age, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or any other aspect of an individual’s personal identity.

Global Studies scholarships are dedicated to Dr. Robert Sussman, pictured above with his book on the dangers of racist thought in history and today. You can read about him here.

2024 Applications are closed

A new essay question will be listed in early 2025 for next year's application.

Carefully read the application instructions below before applying. Reach out to us at info[at]fieldprojects[dot]org if you have any questions.

Application Instructions

To complete a scholarship application you will need to submit a PDF or Docx of your essay. For the Local Opportunities Scholarship: proof of citizenship and proof of current residence will be necessary.

  •  The application period for the 2024 Field Season has ended. The 2024 essay question has been removed. These instructions below will be left available to help 2025 scholarship applicants prepare for the process next year. The 2025 essay question has not been released at this time.
  • Essays should be between 750 and 1000 words. Please use APA citation for your sources (no need for title pages or abstracts, just in-text citations and bibliography).
  • You do not need to complete a normal enrollment when applying for a scholarship. However, if you are planning to attend the field course even if you do not receive a scholarship, we recommend enrolling anyways since there is no other way to reserve your space. If you have registered for a course, and then you win a scholarship, your course downpayment would be refunded to you in full.
  • If you do not win a scholarship, but still want to attend the field course, you will have roughly one week after the announcement to make a paid reservation (if space is available). This is only possible if there are still spaces available in the course.
  • All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of attending the field course.
  • You must be able to get to the local contact point. FPI will not pay for transportation costs from your hometown to this point, or back to your home.
  • Each candidate must demonstrate at least average competence in written and spoken English, as instruction on the course will be provided in English. Many non-native English speakers have successfully attended our courses in the past. If any of the instructions on this page are confusing to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at info[at]fieldprojects[dot]org.
  • Each candidate can only win one scholarship per round of applications. Do not submit more than one application and essay.
  • Do NOT include your name or any identifying information in your essay. 

The Application Process

  • Before submitting a scholarship application, please make sure that you satisfy the eligibility requirements for that scholarship. If you submit an application and pick a scholarship you are ineligible for, we will have no choice but to cancel your application.
  • How to determine eligibility: Whether you are a local or global scholarship is dependent on your citizenship status. For example, if you are a US citizen and you pick a Local Opportunity Scholarship for a program in Peru, we will have to cancel your application because you are not a Peruvian citizen. Simply put, local scholarships are afforded only to citizens of the country in which the program is happening. 
  • Scholarship winners will be contacted by phone or Zoom to confirm their fluency in English and their ability to accept the scholarship for the relevant field program.
  • All scholarships are contingent on the programs actually making minimum enrollment. We will notify you once it is safe to purchase your plane tickets.
  • Please note that you are only able to receive one scholarship per year.


The Review Process

  • Essays are evaluated by a blind committee, with no reference to your name or any other personal information.
  • Applicants answer the same essay question and are scored on the same rubric by the FPI scholarship committee. 
  • It is the essay alone that determines an applicants score (applicants are not judged based on their CVs, financial backgrounds, or motivations). The content of an essay, its originality, passion, factual rigor, and logical prowess are our focus. 
  • Essays must be written in English, but we make considerable allowances for grammatical and stylistic errors or choices in order to remain unbiased against non-native English speakers.
  • Essays are checked for plagiarism. If we detect plagiarism in any part of your application you are disqualified from the competition.


All Scholarships Cover:

  • Meals and lodging at the field station
  • Basic equipment required to attend the course (not including binocular/boots)


Scholarships Do Not Cover (unless specifically noted):

  • Transportation to the local contact point.
  • Binoculars, boots, basic medications, backpacks, or other personal items
  • Vaccinations and medical insurance. All participants must provide proof of medical insurance before travel. 

Frequently Asked Questions about FPI Scholarships

Should I apply for a program or course before applying for a scholarship?

It is recommended to apply and make the down payment only if you know that you will attend whether you win the scholarship or not. This way a spot will be held for you in case you do not win and your desired program or course fills.


If you make a program down payment then later win a scholarship, that money would be refunded to you.


For those who can only attend if they win a scholarship, there is no need to enroll in a program before winners are announced. If you win, you will be enrolled after the results are announced.

What if I have trouble understanding if I am eligible for a particular scholarship?

No problem. Simply email us and let us know your citizenship and country of residence, as well as any specific concerns or questions, and we can email you back a list of scholarships that you are eligible for this session. Send these emails to info[at]fieldprojects[dot]org 

How long should my essay be?

Please make your essay between 750 and 1000 words, not including your works cited.

Do I need to to use outside sources and cite them?

Yes. Please use APA citation. There is no need for title pages or abstracts, just in-text citations and bibliography

What are evaluators looking for in an essay?

Our evaluation committee will give extra consideration to essays which demonstrate some amount of research has gone into the answer (ideas and facts should all be supported with citations). Originality, passion, factual rigor, and logical prowess are key elements.