FPI offers scholarships for field courses and other field training programs. 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 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. We strive to offer at least two scholarships per field course. Scholarships for other field training programs will be offered as funding permits.
We are not presently taking scholarship applications.  We expect to open our application period in February 2021, but this is contingent upon developments regarding the current pandemic and related travel restrictions. 

Three Scholarship Types:


Awarded to persons of color regardless of nationality who are actively pursuing studies in biological sciences and 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.

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 global scholarship is dependent on your citizenship/residence status. For example, if you are a US citizen and you pick a Local Opportunity 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 approximately 2 months prior to each field program. 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. We will notify you once it is safe to purchase your plane tickets. If a course is cancelled due to enrollment, winners will be given the option to attend the next available course.
  • 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 scholarship 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. 
  • 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 (not including binocular/boots)

Scholarships Do Not Cover (unless specifically noted):

  • 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

*Included here as an example. Questions are changed for every scholarship session.

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.

Application Instructions

  1. The next application period is expected to open in September 2020.
  2. To complete a scholarship application you will need to have electronic copies of your written essay, your CV, and for the Local Opportunities Scholarship: 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 announcements are made on November 1st and April 1st, respectively.
  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]fieldprojects.org.
  9. Each candidate can only win one scholarship per round of applications. Do NOT submit more than one application and essay.
  10. Do NOT include your name or any identifying information in your essay, or it will be removed before submission to the grant committee. 

Frequently Asked Questions about FPI Scholarships

Yes, you can if the session offers more than one course. The scholarship application allows you to list up to 3 possible scholarship options, in order of priority, when sessions contain more than 1 course. That means that if you pick a course/program 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.

You do not have to apply for a course before sending in your scholarship application. However, if you wish to attend the course/program regardless of whether you win a scholarship or not, we encourage you to enroll as a paying student. If later you win a scholarship, your reservation fee would be returned to you entirely. On the other hand, if you do not win a scholarship, you would still have a space reserved in the course/program.

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

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.org 

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.