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The Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science

About the Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science

New! Announcing applications for the 2017 Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science!

Photo by Chris Darimont

The Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science is a year-long program that empowers scientists with training in leadership and communication to build a community of conservation science leaders who excel in using science to help achieve durable conservation solutions in western North America.

This program is delivered in partnership with COMPASS.

Nancy Baron
Nancy Baron, Science Outreach Director, COMPASS, and Fellowship co-lead



Scientists in many environmental fields realize the urgency for society to understand what is happening in the natural world. There is a growing need for scientists to bring scientific findings and knowledge of their field into society’s conversations and decision-making processes on a wide range of issues. Scientists, however, are not typically trained to communicate with non-scientific audiences and often struggle to find the time, institutional support, and access to skills and training that are necessary for wider engagement.

The Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science is designed to provide scientists with the experience, competence, and confidence necessary to overcome these barriers and connect more effectively with the media, policymakers, policy processes, or other audiences appropriate to their work, expertise, and goals. Fellows will become part of a developing network of trained and mutually supportive scientific leaders engaged in management and policy. Ultimately we hope fellows will catalyze a culture change within their home institutions and motivate more scientists to actively engage.

Scientists at a recent communication workshop

This fellowship is open to 20 scientists from universities, NGOs, agencies, and other institutions, who work in a relevant field of conservation biology, ecology, environmental economics, or traditional ecological knowledge in Wilburforce’s Priority Regions. We aim to bring together a diverse network of researchers - young to senior scientists, from a range of backgrounds - to form a continuing community of mutual support and inspiration.  Fellows learn from trainers and mentors as well as each other, with the goal of creating a strong network of scientists who pursue decision-relevant research, communicate scientific findings effectively, and contribute to conservation solutions by engaging with local communities, policymakers, land managers, advocates, and others.

Fellows will attend a six-day intensive training led by COMPASS from April 19-24, 2015 in Seattle, WA. The training will provide fellows with a foundation of skills, as well as enabling and encouraging individual and collective leadership. At the training, each participant will be expected to set a goal for individual or collective engagement on a specific conservation issue, and begin to define an action plan to achieve it. Throughout the following year, fellows will receive coaching and support from trainers and peers to achieve their goals, as well as help connecting with target individuals and audiences.

Apply now for the 2017 Fellowship!

Wilburforce Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2017 WIlburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science! CLICK HERE to learn more and apply!


Read Nancy Baron's blog post about the Fellowship:

Climbing Dawn Walls for Conservation Science

From COMPASSBLOGS - Answering "So What?" in science communication

Meet the 2015 Fellows

CSP Matrix

Learn more about our 2015 Fellows.