The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany

The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany promotes the preservation of tropical forests by enlarging the body of botanists with field experience. It provides two or more grants of $5,500 annually to enable field study in tropical botany. Generally, one grant is awarded in the area of tropical plant systematics and a second is awarded in tropical forest ecology. WWF, through the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program, has organized and managed the program since its inception. A panel of botanists appointed by WWF screens and selects candidates, and final approval is at the discretion of the GCA Scholarship Committee.

The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany (formerly known as the Garden Club of America Awards in Tropical Botany) was established in 1983. It was created by Mrs. Russell Arundel, horticulturist and dedicated environmentalist from the Warrenton (Virginia) Garden Club and provided two $5,000 grants a year so that doctoral candidates could pursue independent field study in the tropics. During that five-year period, over 100 applications were received for the grants. In 1989 the GCA Executive Committee voted to establish the awards on a permanent basis.

This opportunity is open to students who anticipate completing the requirements for a Ph.D. in Botany within two years. Applicants must already be Ph.D. candidates enrolled at a US university. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S.- based institution.


There is no formal application form for this fellowship. Interested applicants should submit an application packet to Kimberley Marchant ([email protected]) that includes the following:

  • A personal letter describing the candidate's plans for the future and commitment to tropical conservation;
  • A two-page statement of the proposed research, including its relevance to conservation, beginning with a summary statement of the proposal’s purpose, field location, plant group/vegetation type and questions to be answered;
  • One letter of recommendation from the student's graduate advisor that includes an evaluation of the student's progress to date and a statement confirming Ph.D. candidacy;
  • Evidence of foreign language capability, if necessary for country of research; and
  • A brief curriculum vitae (1-2 pages).

Please submit all information as one PDF document. Please use standard 8.5" x 11" size paper, no smaller than 10-point, Times New Roman font, single-spaced or greater, and 1" margins on all sides. References and graphics do not count toward the two-page limit. Please email the document to [email protected]

Applications must be postmarked by January 15th, 2022 preceding the proposed period of study to be considered. More information can be found on the Garden Club of America website.