WWFund Russell E. Train Fellowships for PhD in Conservation-Related Fields 2021

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s Education for Nature Program (EFN) in the USA is offering the Russell E. Train Fellowships to support current and aspiring university faculty that are affiliated with or currently employed at African, Asian and Latin American universities to pursue doctoral degrees in conservation-related fields in 2021.

After completing a degree, the individual must enhance, expand, or establish a graduate-level conservation program at a university in their home country.

Russell E. Train Fellowships support individuals pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in conservation. Each year, WWF supports committed conservationists from target countries to receive financial support for their studies and field research. Applicants can apply to attend any university around the world and must return to their home countries to work in conservation for at least two years after completing their degree.

Strong university faculty is fundamental to effective higher education. Faculty members inspire students, design curricula, promote learning, lead research, and publish scientific results. In 2013, WWF’s Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) launched this fellowship opportunity with support from an anonymous donor with the goal of improving
academic programs in conservation.

Worth of Award

Applicants may apply for up to three years of funding and request up to $30,000 per year.


  • You must be a citizen and legal permanent resident of an eligible country.
  • You must have at least two years of conservation-related work or research experience.
  • You must have a demonstrated commitment to working in academia in an eligible country.
  • You must have an existing affiliation with a college or university in an eligible country. Priority will be given to individuals affiliated with underserved universities.
  • You must be enrolled in, admitted to, or have applied to a PhD program anywhere in the world.
  • You must plan to begin your studies no later than January 2021.
  • You must commit to working for at least two years in your home country after the completion of your degree.
  • You must not have received a Train Fellowship or Scholarship in the past.
  • You must contact EFN if you are a WWF employee, consultant, or previous EFN grant recipient.
  • You must submit all required documents by the application deadline.
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Eligible African Countries Include:
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Republic of Congo

How to Apply

  • The application for the 2021 Russell E. Train Fellowships is now and Online.
  • Please review all eligibility criteria before starting an application.

Selection Process

Train Fellows are selected through a competitive, merit-based process. An independent, interdisciplinary panel of experts is convened in each country to review applications and to identify the top candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Professional qualifications as evidenced by previous and current conservation-related positions, references from colleagues in the field, publications, and other sources
  • Demonstrated leadership through involvement in community and volunteer activities, the workplace, local and national government, and other areas
  • Prior academic achievement as shown by grades, academic awards, and references from professors
  • Motivation and commitment to contribute to conservation in a participating country and to share what is learned with others in their field and in their home communities
  • Potential impact of proposed study/research on conservation efforts in the home country or region
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Deadline: You must submit all required documents by the application deadline for the Russell E. Train Fellowships , March 1, 2021.

Click here for more details and to apply