Darwin Scholarship Programme applications open

Applications for the 2012 Darwin Scholarship Programme are now open. The aim of the programme is to develop better naturalists, in the spirit of Charles Darwin’s love of nature and observing the world.

Aimed at young scientists from around the world, so far over 74 people from 38 countries have taken part. The fifth Darwin Scholarship Programme will take place over ten days in August 2012.

Led by the Field Studies Council (FSC), the Darwin Scholarship Programme is UK based but open to scientists from all over the world. Applicants from both NGO and governmental departments, or in a Biology or Ecology faculty at University are invited to apply. Applicants need to be under the age of 35 and studying at graduate or post graduate level, be a young lecturer or work for an environmental organisation.

The Scholarship has been designed to address the areas considered to be least developed or under represented in science education on a global scale. It will focus on skills of observation and identification, recording biodiversity and communicating biodiversity to different target groups.

In a statement released by FSC, co-course directors Sue Townsend, Biodiversity Learning Manager and Richard Dawson, Project Manager, both of FSC stated, “Firstly, there is a global shortage of taxonomists and experts with observation and identification skills. Secondly, there is a need to record biodiversity in a more coherent and robust way both nationally and internationally and finally there is a huge need for scientists to communicate more effectively with a range of different groups from school students and the general public through to decision makers.”

The FSC is offering this scholarship as part of its ongoing international programme of work and to celebrate the work of Charles Darwin. Although Darwin is usually remembered for his work on the theory of evolution, much of this work was based on an enthusiasm for the natural world together with first hand observation and exploration of the natural environment.

For more information on the 25 places available for the Darwin Scholarship Programme, click here