Earthwatch Research Proposal

Welcome to the Earthwatch Research Proposal

Earthwatch's mission to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment guides our research proposal review process. Proposals are reviewed based on scientific merit, expected project outcomes and impacts, appropriateness of citizen scientist activities, and safety, logistical, and financial viability. All research proposals should have outputs/impacts that clearly align with current global environmental agendas and priority conservation targets.  All proposals must be completed by the principal investigator (PI).

 

As part of this stage in the research proposal review process, you will be interviewed by Earthwatch staff. Additionally, allproposals will undergo blind external peer review prior to full approval. Successful proposals will be funded for three years, subject to passing an annual performance review. Funding is potentially renewable beyond that period, upon submission and review of a research renewal proposal.

The proposal has six sections:

  • Section 1: Project Design
  • Section 2: Impacts
  • Section 3: Field Logistics
  • Section 4: Project Budget
  • Section 5: PI and Staff Information
  • Section 6: Peer Review and Additional Materials

Filling out the Proposal

You must be online to complete and move through this form. Before answering any questions, we advise you  to create a login 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 all the requirements prior to beginning. If you have any questions please contact your assigned program manager or research manager.

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


* Indicates Response Required

Create a Login Account (highly recommended)
 
New Users / Returning Users CLICK HERE to setup or return to your account for this form.

Creating an account enables you to partially 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 this  research proposal form. Creating an account is optional (but highly recommended).
Background Information
All proposals must be completed by the PI. 

SECTION 1: Project Design

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Volunteer Participation in the Field Work

Describe in detail how citizen scientists (non-specialist volunteers) will be meaningfully involved in fieldwork. In order to be approved for support, your project must have a strong rationale for requiring involvement of citizen scientists. Please provide clear evidence that citizen scientists will be well-managed, engaged in the research, and directly and meaningfully contribute to research objectives. Earthwatch citizen-science volunteers 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 to the site. They can, however, be screened for physical ability to do field research. Projects should include a range of research tasks that will be conducted by citizen scientists under your supervision.
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SECTION 2: Project Impacts

Earthwatch has identified measures of success for the projects we support. Please provide detail below on what measurable outputs and outcomes can be expected from the project.
1. Increasing scientific knowledge
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2. Mentoring
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3. Partnerships
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4. Contributions to Policies or Management Plans
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5. Conserving natural and sociocultural capital
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SECTION 3: Field Logistics

Please provide Earthwatch with an overview of the citizen-science volunteer experience. Provide clear evidence that you are prepared to engage and manage a group of non-specialist participants in the field for an extended period of time.

 

Citizen Scientist Participation

Earthwatch recruits  and prepares citizen scientists to assist researchers in the field for set blocks of time in field crews we refer to as “teams.” Earthwatch participants can be adults, students (graduate, undergraduate, or high school), teachers, or corporate employees. Students are a key participant group for Earthwatch; it is advantageous for applicants to be open to student participants (ages 15-18).Typical projects engage a minimum of 4 and up to 20 participants per team on 4 to 10 teams per year. Each team typically spends 7 to 14 days in the field.

g. Indicate potential team length(s) (select all that apply) *

Accommodation

a.Type of accommodation: Please indicate the accommodation type(s) available. *
 
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Food
It is Earthwatch's experience that good food is essential for good morale! It is expected that research staff share meals with their teams.
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Transportation
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Field Site
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Project Requirements
Field Communications
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SECTION 4: Project Budget

Submit a draft budget for your project. Earthwatch uses a standard budget template which has been designed in line with the grant disbursement model. Your program manager can support you in understanding and completing the template. For successful proposals, the PI will negotiate a final budget in partnership with Earthwatch. You can find the budget template on our website along with other resources relating to project development.

Annual grants cover project expenses while in the field including: equipment (limited), tools, and supplies; research permits; scientist transport to the field; support staff; food and housing for principal investigators, staff, and Earthwatch participants. Grants do not cover scientist salaries, student tuition, overhead, capital equipment, or post-fielding data analysis. Full details of the Earthwatch funding model including what is, and is not covered can be found in the budget template.


 

SECTION 5: Principal Investigator and Staff Information

Please list the PI, co-PI(s), and other staff on your project. For the PI and co-PI(s) you are required to attach a zip file with up-to-date CVs.

Principal Investigator (PI) - The PI has ultimate project oversight and responsibility for the research objectives, operations, risk management, health, safety, and participant experience. All PIs must have: 1) a Ph.D. in their submitted field of expertise; 2) a professional affiliation with a college, university, governmental or non-governmental research organization, and 3) experience managing volunteers/students in field research efforts.

Co-PI - The co-PI(s) collaborate with the PI for project oversight and responsibility. Projects may have co-PIs that share responsibility equally, or they may provide support for the PI. We strongly encourage graduate student participation in projects as co-PIs as permitted by the PI’s host institution. We are also particularly interested in helping support emerging scientists from developing nations.

Field Team Leader - A field team leader is a project staff member who is entrusted with leadership and responsibility for Earthwatch participants in the PI or co-PI's absence.

 

Field staff must have up-to-date first aid training and formal certification when leading volunteers in the field.


PI:
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Staff 2:
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SECTION 6: Peer Review and Additional Materials

Referrals for Peer Review
 
All proposals will undergo blind peer review by reviewers of your recommendation and reviewers selected by Earthwatch independently. You must submit the names and contact information of two reviewers who are experts in the same field as your proposal. Your reviewers should not be directly involved in this research project or be biased toward you and/or this research.
Reviewer 1:
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You may also indicate someone you wish to exclude as a reviewer of your proposal.

 
Excluded Reviewer:
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Additional Materials

Please attach a zip file with any additional items you would like to submit to support your proposal, including: copy of your research permits or letters of endorsement obtained from the appropriate authorities to conduct research at your study site (if permits are required); supporting figures or sample data sheets; maps; and photos (of staff, the research, and/or the location). For successful proposals, these materials may be used to recruit participants for your project.

 
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