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Russell E. Train Fellowships

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.

See below for competition guidelines, eligibility criteria, selection process information, and access to the application.


Building Capacity in Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience for Conservation
Eligible countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia

En español

Building Capacity in Sustainable Food Systems and Conservation
Eligible countries: Cambodia, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Vietnam, and Zambia

Conservation in Mozambique
Eligible countries: Mozambique only

Conservation in Myanmar
Eligible countries: Myanmar only

Current & Aspiring University Faculty for Conservation
Select countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For a full list of eligible countries please review application guidelines.

En español

Building Capacity for Whale Sharks
Eligible countries: Belize, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, and Vietnam

Deadline for Whale Shark competition ONLY extended to March 15.


To be eligible for a Train Fellowship, you must meet the following criteria. Please note that eligibility criteria can vary by competition. Please also refer to specific competition guidelines to ensure you are eligible.

  • 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 conservation in an eligible country.
  • Your research or academic program must address one of the focus areas listed in the guidelines.
  • You must be enrolled in, admitted to, or have applied to a master’s or PhD program anywhere in the world.
  • You must plan to begin your studies no later than January 2018.
  • 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. Professional Development Grant recipients are eligible to apply.
  • You must notify EFN if you are a WWF employee, consultant, or previous EFN grant recipient.
  • You must submit all required documents by the application deadline (March 1, 2017).



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



You may access the application for all Train Fellowship competitions below. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2017 by 11:59pm EST.


New users will be required to create a new account in the application system. New user instructions can be found here.


For more information on Train Fellowships please review the frequently asked questions document. For other questions, please e-mail us at

EFN's Facebook group is also an opportunity to learn about grant availability and other program news.

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