Concept Note

Welcome to the Earthwatch Concept Note

Earthwatch's project review processes are guided by our mission to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.  The grant application process at Earthwatch begins with the completion of a Concept Note.

Concept Notes for projects starting in 2016 will be accepted through Monday, September 29, 2014.

Concept Notes will be reviewed based on scientific merit, appropriateness of volunteer activities, safety and logistical viability, expected project outcomes and impacts, and Earthwatch’s available support for the project. All proposals should have outputs/impacts that clearly align with current global environmental agendas and priority conservation targets. For more information see


If your Concept Note raises the interest of the Earthwatch review committee, you will then be invited to submit a full Proposal. Invitations for Proposal submissions will be communicated in mid-October, 2014. For details of the application process click here

The Concept Note is broken down in three sections:

  • Section 1: Project Design
  • Section 2: Need for Volunteer Participation
  • Section 3: Scientists

Filling out the Concept Note

You must be online to complete and move through this form. Before filling in any questions, you may wish to create a log in account. This will allow you to save your progress as you go and return to it at a later time. We also recommend that you read through the entire requirements prior to starting. If you have any questions please contact the Research team at  

The character limit for each question is listed underneath it and the form will count your current number of characters.

* Indicates Response Required

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New Users / Returning Users CLICK HERE to setup or return to your account for this form.

Creating an account enables you to partialy complete this form and return later to finish the form. An account will also enable you to return to this form and view your submitted results. The account you establish is only for the Concept Note. You can submit multiple Concept Notes with one account. Creating an account is optional (but highly recommended).


Project Information

Earthwatch takes the safety of all people involved in projects we support very seriously. Therefore, we are not able to support any research projects in certain regions of the world due to safety concerns. See our current Earthwatch 'No Go' List.

Section 1: Project Design

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Section 2: Need for Volunteer Participation

In this section please provide Earthwatch with an overview of the volunteer experience. We are looking for clear signs that this will be both an engaging and well-managed experience for volunteers. In order to be considered for support from Earthwatch your project must have a strong rationale for requiring involvement of Earthwatch participants in your research. Earthwatch participants can be adults, teens, students, teachers, or corporate employees. Participants are NOT required to have any special skills before signing up to work on a project and will be trained by you/your staff to complete all field tasks upon arrival on site.
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Earthwatch recruits and prepares volunteers (citizen scientists) to assist researchers in the field for set blocks of time in groups called teams. A typical project would require engagement of a minimum of 4 and up to 20 participants per team on 4 to 10 teams per year.  Each team typically spends 7-17 days in the field.We are seeking projects that are interested in working with Earthwatch and citizen science volunteers for at least 3 years. Students are a key participant group for Earthwatch; it is advantageous for applicants to be open to student participants (age 15-18).
Potential team length(s) (select all that apply) *

Comfortable accommodations for the proposed project must be located a reasonable travel distance from the research site in order to travel back and forth daily.

Type of Accommodations - Please indicate the accommodation type(s) available. *

Section 3: Scientists

Please list all of the scientists or Principal Investigators (PIs) who will be working on this research project and attach a copy of their CV.
Lead PI






How did you find out about Earthwatch's call for Pre-Proposals?