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Where do you look for resources to fund your research?

ByLeonardo C. Oliveira and Deborah Faria

One of the important points in the training of a researcher is his training in obtaining resources to finance his research. It is true that graduate students often begin their research within projects that have already been funded, since their mentors have obtained funds to fund field collections or laboratory work. But in other cases the student enters the course with a good idea of ​​the project and, along with his supervisor, goes in search of resources that make possible to execute the research proposal. Our graduate program believes that for the complete training of a researcher, learning to seek and obtain resources is as fundamental a step as knowing theories and applications of this knowledge. Believe in this statement: "If you want to be a successful researcher you will have to go and get funding for your research!"


Fortunately, there are a number of funders for research projects in the area of ​​ecology and biodiversity conservation, although the resources made available by these agencies are always smaller than the demand. It is necessary to detect these sources, understand the profile of each funder and learn how to submit proposals that can effectively compete in calls and calls, both in Brazil and abroad.


It is very important to keep in mind that each funding agency has its particular research profile to fund and, especially, its own proposal submission schedule. In fact, the period between submission and actual release of resources can be more than a year! So the first piece of advice we give you here is: once you join the program, start researching the agency's profile and timeline, select those that fund projects within the scope of your research, and submit proposals as quickly as possible. Try several agencies to increase your chance of approval on at least one of them. So once again, we need planning!


Okay, so how to find the treasure map?


A tip to start:


  1. Take 2 to 3 articles that you find essential for your research (because they are similar to your project, same biome, same species, etc.)

  2. Look in the acknowledgments of this article (s) for the sources of funding used by the authors of the article. Because of the similarity to your work, the same source can be used by you in your project

  3. Do the same when attending conferences. The panels presented at the congresses always bring the funding source, which is also always cited at the end of the oral presentations. Most of the abstracts published in annals of congress also have this information.

  4. Finding the name of the funder in these sources, just use Google to find the links.


To begin with we also put some links from agencies that are much sought after in our area for financing, both in Brazil and abroad:

In Brazil

The main research funding agency in Brazil is CNPq which usually opens specific notices according to the scope of the various research demands in the country. In particular we highlight the Universal Call Notice, open every year between July and August and which finances projects in different bands.

The Bahia State Foundation for Research Support (FAPESB) also works through notices, and is a good option for scholarships and research resources per se.

In addition to government announcements, there is, for example, the Grupo Boticário Foundation, which funds research projects related to the conservation area. Just register and follow the steps.


Most of the funding comes from international agencies located outside the country. This implies that it is necessary to have a relative command of the English language so that it is possible to submit proposals to these donors. But that should not be a problem, since all students are prepared to submit their articles also in English, right? Great, so here we provide:

A Idea Wild

Provides only field equipment. It is a great option for those who need more sophisticated equipment with GPS; radio telemetry material and so on. The application is quite simple and usually, developing countries like Brazil, have a certain "preference" to receive such equipment.

Rufford small grant for nature conservation

It offers £ 6,000 for research projects, mainly linked to conservation. Once again, Brazil is among the countries that are eligible to receive this grant. The advantage of this feature is that it can be renewed a few times, depending on the performance of the search, and the values ​​are increasing with each renewal.

International Foundation for Science (IFS)

It also supports research projects in the conservation area in the maximum amount of $ 12,000.00. The application is a bit hard, but it's worth it, because the accountability is quite simple. Wildlife conservation society (WCS) Until recently (2008), WCS supported research projects in Brazil. Support has been suspended for a while, but now, with a new office in Brazil, there is a possibility of return to support for research projects.

Wildlife conservation society (WCS)

Until recently (2008), WCS supported research projects in Brazil. Support has been suspended for a while, but now, with a new office in Brazil, there is a possibility of return to support for research projects.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

This is a type of special fund for endangered species. Finances projects between $ 5000.00 to $ 25000.00.

Future Conservationist Awards

This fund supports projects of young conservationists. It has a great advantage that is the continuation of the financing, if the project gives good results. It finances projects up to $ 15,000 in the first stage and up to $ 50,000 in case of renewal. You can find other sources of financing at the institution's link. Excellent opportunity for those who are starting the career of researcher.

Primate Conservation, Incorporated

Specifically for species of primates, this feature of up to $ 5000.00 but with an average of $ 2500.00 per project. Depending on your project, this is an important additional resource.

Save our Species (SOS Species)

One of the largest funds to finance endangered species research and conservation projects, consisting of three major funding agencies: IUCN, GEF, World Bank. If you research on species listed on the threatened list this fund may be particularly important to fund your research.

Opportunity of scholarships abroad

In Another Eco Blog there are several scholarship agency tips for various countries.

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