Professional Development Grants

UPDATE: Professional Development Grants have been cancelled for 2021 to allow EFN time to evaluate the program needs in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Please continue to check this page and our social media platforms for updates concerning the next application round.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please email EFN at [email protected].


Professional Development Grants (PDGs) provide support for mid-career conservationists to pursue short-term, non-degree training to upgrade their knowledge and skills. This training can include short courses, certificate training, or conferences among other training opportunities.

Russell E. Train Education for Nature


Individuals from the following countries are eligible to apply. Please note that within the eligible countries EFN gives preference to applicants working in WWF priority regions.

  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Colombia
  • Dem. Republic of Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Laos
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Republic of Congo
  • Solomon Islands
  • Suriname
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia



Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. Please confirm you meet all eligibility requirements before applying. Approval of online or locally based trainings and conferences is up to the discretion of EFN.

  • You must be a citizen of an eligible country.
  • You must currently be living and working in your home country.
  • You must have at least three years of paid work experience in a conservation-related field in your home country.
  • You must have applied to or already be accepted to participate in the proposed training at the time you submit your application.
  • Your current work and proposed training must help advance conservation in your home country.
  • You must not be enrolled in an academic degree program. Virtual courses that are part of a university degree program or online degree are not eligible.
  • You must have approval from your employer to participate in the proposed training and the promise of continued employment.
  • You must have a bank account in your own name that can receive US dollars and international wire transfers.
  • You must not have received funding from EFN in the past. Previous PDG recipients may be eligible for Alumni Grants.
  • The proposed training must take place at least 60 days after the application deadline.
  • You must submit all required documents by the application deadline.


Please note: Professional Development Grant applications are closed until further notice. 

  • February 1, 2021 - CANCELED
  • May 1, 2021 - CANCELED
  • August 1, 2021 - CANCELED
  • November 1, 2021 - CANCELED

Employer Approval Form

EFN requires employer approval for all PDG applicants. Due to the effects of COVID-19, EFN may adjust this requirement based on special circumstances. Unique cases will be reviewed on an individual basis and must receive approval from EFN. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please email [email protected].

The process for submitting the employer form is explained below:

  • Applicants will put the email address of their supervisor in their application.
  • Once the applicant submits their completed application, their supervisor will receive an automatic email requesting an employer approval document to be uploaded. This document’s responses will be used during the review process.
  • Employers can use this template for ease of filling out the required information. They will then need to save the completed document and click the upload link in the email they received.
  • Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until after the employer approval form is uploaded.


For more information on Professional Development Grants please review the frequently asked questions document. For other questions, please e-mail us at [email protected].