WWF Announces the 2023 recipients of the Conservation Science Capacity, Education, and Leadership Fellowships and Grants

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is proud to highlight the recipients of the 2023 WWF Russell E. Train Education for Nature (EFN) fellowships and grants. This year’s recipients include 62 individuals and organizations from 26 countries across the globe who are furthering the cause of conservation through academic research and leadership efforts to create lasting solutions that pave the way for a sustainable future.

Now in its 29th year, EFN has continued its legacy of providing financial support for the education, scientific research, and training of local leaders and institutions to steward their own natural resources. This year's cohort, selected through an annual multi-step rigorous assessment, will receive support through fellowships and grants totalling $1,197,365 for one to three years. These individuals and institutions will focus on a broad range of topics, from understanding fisheries and indigenous food systems in Bolivia, Myanmar, and Mozambique to community-based forest restoration in Nepal, Tanzania, and Paraguay.

The 2023 fellowships and grant recipients join EFN’s global community of over 3,000 individuals and 600 institutions across 60 countries who are working to advance conservation, at every level, from research and fieldwork to executive and policy work.

EFN invests in the power of local leaders and communities to identify and steward solutions to biodiversity challenges at local, national, and regional scales.

A summary of this year’s award winners include:

  • 17 outstanding conservation scientists and leaders receiving the prestigious WWF Train Fellowship for Aspiring and Current Faculty to support their doctorates. This competitive fellowship advances the development of a critical mass of outstanding and well-trained experts, natural and social scientists, and practitioners to increase conservation science and leadership.
  • 15 current and emerging researchers and practitioners receiving the inaugural WWF Trudy Fellowship for advancing knowledge on food transformations. The fellowship supports master’s and Ph.D. research geared towards cultivating a better understanding of the social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions of food systems in different countries and contexts.
  • 10 scholars from the Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan, Escola Superior de Conservação Ambiental e Sustentabilidade (ESCAS) in Brazil, and the National University of Laos in Laos receiving the Russell and Aileen Train Legacy Scholarship. The Legacy Scholarships are awarded through partnerships with select universities to support students to attend conservation undergraduate and master’s degree programs in biodiversity-rich countries. The Legacy Program builds on EFN’s existing foundation and supports alumni by engaging universities where former Train Fellows serve as faculty members.
  • 22 local organizations from 15 countries in select WWF priority areas receiving the Forest Restoration Grant to restore forest ecosystems while also building the local capacity and promoting diversified livelihoods.

The following are fellowship and grant recipients listed by their focus areas:

2023 Trudy Fellowship Food is Local: social, cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions of food system transformation at the national level

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2023 Train Fellowship Enhancing Capacity for Current and Aspiring University Faculty

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Institutional Grants

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The Russell and Aileen Train Legacy Scholarship

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