Future scholarships for 2021 field courses will be posted here in August.




There are two scholarship sessions each year. The scholarship session in October is for courses and programs offered over the winter (Dec/Jan) and the scholarship session in Feb/March is for summer programs (June -August). We offer several full scholarships to our courses in field biology and conservation for three principal reasons: 1) to ensure that there are opportunities for taking our courses 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.  

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[button id=”” style=”” color=”green” type=”large” size=”medium” href=”” align=”center” target=”_self”]Apply for a Scholarship[/button] [/one_half]

Scholarship Overview

Scholarship Options

  • We strive to offer two scholarships per course. 
  • Scholarships consist of two main types:
    • The Open Scholarship: awarded to an individual regardless of age, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or any other aspect of an individual’s personal identity.
    • The Local Scholarship: awarded to an individual with nationality and current residence in the country where each field course is taking place

The Application Process

  • Before submitting a scholarship application, please make sure that you satisfy the eligibility requirements for the course. 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 open scholarship is dependent on your citizenship/residence status. For example, if you are a US citizen and you pick a Local Scholarship for a course in India, we will have to cancel your application because you are not an Indian citizen. Simply put, local scholarships are afforded only to citizens of the country in which the course is happening. 
  • All scholarship applicants will be notified of the scholarship committee’s decision by April 1, 2019, at that time winners will be contacted by phone to confirm their fluency in English and their ability to accept the scholarship for the relevant field course.
  • All scholarships are contingent on the courses actually making minimum enrollment. This information will be given to winners by April 15, 2019 –  scholarship winners are encouraged not to make travel plans until that time.
  • Please note that you are only able to receive one scholarship to one course per application session.

The Review Process

  • All scholarship application essays are evaluated by a blind committee, with no reference to your name or any other personal information.
  • All scholarship applicants will answer the same essay question and be scored on the same rubric by the FPI grants committee. 
  • Scholarships are not judged based on the CVs you have managed to put together, nor your financial backgrounds, or why you want to take the course. It is your essay and not your scholarship application that determines your score. That having been said, we make considerable allowances for grammatical and stylistic errors or choices to remain unbiased in the face of those to whom English is not the first language. Therefore, it is the content of your essay, its originality, passion, factual rigor, and logical prowess that we focus on. 
  • Criteria used to evaluate essays include length, originality/creativity, insight, and clarity.  
  • Essays must be written in English.
  • Essays must not exceed 1000 words. Please use APA citation for your sources.
  • All essays are checked for plagiarism. If we detect plagiarism in any part of your application you will be disqualified from the competition.

All Scholarships Cover:

  • Transportation from local contact point to the field station and back
  • Meals and lodging for the duration of the course
  • Basic equipment required to attend the course

All Scholarships Do Not Cover:

  • Transportation to the local contact point. (We know this is rough, but our students come from so many places that we cannot afford to support their full travel costs at this time.)
  • Binoculars, boots, basic medications, backpacks, or personal items
  • Medical insurance. All participants must provide proof of medical insurance before travel. 

Spring 2019 Essay Question

The vast majority of people who do real conservation work receive little or no recognition for their efforts. Tell us about your favorite unsung hero of conservation.  This could be a family member, a teacher, a neighbor, a struggling researcher, a sibling, or even someone in the public eye whose efforts towards preserving habitat and helping threatened animal populations get little attention.

Scholarship Honorees

Local scholarships are dedicated to Dr. Tab Rasmussen and open scholarships are dedicated to Dr. Robert Sussman. Both individuals were incredible teachers and mentors, in classrooms and out of them, whose encouragement has inspired generations of scientists in the field of biological anthropology to go further, climb higher, and do more than they ever thought they could. 


 Above: Bob Sussman with his book on the dangers of racist thought in history and today (read about him here)

Above: Dr. Tab Rasmussen (read about him here)

Application Instructions

  1. The application process opens on February 4, 2019, with a final deadline of March 15, 2019 (by 11:59 PM), for all summer 2019 courses.
  2. To complete a scholarship application you will need to have electronic copies of your written essay, proof of citizenship and proof of current residence.
  3. You do not need to complete a normal course registration when applying for a scholarship, just the scholarship application. However, if you are planning to attend the field course even if you do not receive a scholarship we recommend completing a course registration 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.
  4. Scholarship recipients will be notified by April 1, 2019.
  5. If you do not win a scholarship, but still want to attend the course, you will have roughly two weeks after the announcement to make a paid reservation. This is only possible if there are still spaces available in the course.
  6. All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of attending the course
  7. 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.
  8. Each candidate must demonstrate at least average competence in written and spoken English, as instruction on the course will be provided in English. This having been said, many non-native English speakers have successfully attended our courses in the past. If any of the instructions below are confusing to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at info[at]
  9. All residencies and citizenships must be proven at the time of the application in order to be considered for a particular scholarship.
  10. Each candidate can only win one scholarship per round of applications. Do NOT submit more than one application and essay.
  11. Do NOT include your name or any identifying information in your essay, or it will be removed before submission to the grant committee. 


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[one_half_last][button id=”” style=”” color=”orange” type=”large” size=”medium” href=”” align=”center” target=”_self”]Register for a Course[/button][/one_half_last]

Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

[toggle title = “Can I submit one application for scholarships to different courses?”]

Yes, you can, if the session offers more than one course. The scholarship application allows you to list 3 possible scholarship options, in order of priority, when sessions contain more than 1 course. That means that if you pick a scholarship as your top priority, and you score high enough, you will get your first priority if no one else has scored higher than you on your essay. Do NOT submit more than one essay.


[toggle title = “Should I apply for a course before sending in a scholarship application?”]

You do not have to apply for a course before sending in your scholarship application. However, if you wait until knowing the final results of the scholarship in order to apply, there may not be space in the course you are wanting to attend – and that depends on the course itself. So you would be taking a bit of a risk with reserving a spot in the course. So our advice is this: if you are certain you want to attend, but would like to try your hand at the scholarship anyway, you should register for the course and send in the scholarship application also. Then, if you do win the scholarship, we will refund you your entire down payment.


[toggle title = “What if I submit more than one application accidentally?”]

We will pick the first submission and use it as your submission for this current application session.


[toggle title = “What if I have trouble seeing if I am eligible for a particular scholarship?”]

No problem. Simply email us and let us know your citizenship and country of residence and we can email you back a list of scholarships that you are eligible for this summer. Send these emails to [/toggle]

[toggle title = “What if I am only interested in one specific scholarship – do I have to pick three choices?”]

No. You are only required to indicate your first choice. The remaining two are optional, and will only appear if a session has more than one field course.  [/toggle]