Research Proposal

Welcome to the Earthwatch Research Proposal for student expeditions

Earthwatch student expeditions for youth aged 15-18 an opportunity to spend 11-13 intensive days as part of a scientific research team. The aim of these programs is to excite the students' imagination, expand their potential, stimulating their curiosity and confidence about science and technology. The student programs consist of both competitive fellowship programs as well as dedicated school groups that reward creative thinkers.
Earthwatch student programs also aim to support the research and education initiatives of scientists by providing talented students as active field assistants helping to collect data, a small research grant to cover costs, and mentoring opportunities. We are especially interested in exposing students to the diversity of field research as well as exposure to technology, innovative research equipment and the lab environment.
Proposals are 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.For more information see
Filling out the Proposal 
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Background Information

SECTION ONE: Project Design

Detail is helpful to properly assess the proposal and cite references where appropriate. Re-using text from previous proposals is encouraged where appropriate.
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SECTION TWO: Volunteer Participation

This section provides 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.  It is important to show that you are prepared to have a group of non-specialist participants in the field for the 2 week duration of the expedition. 
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Earthwatch recruits and prepares the students who assist the researchers in the field for 8 to 14 days at a time in teams of 6-10 (typically 8) students at a time.  Earthwatch also sends a trained faciliators to join the expedition to support group dynamics. Students are recommended by a guidance counselor or teacher and then selected through  a competitive review process, Typcial students who participate are high achievers with limited expose to sciences 
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Please list the anticipated field expenses. This grant is able to cover budgets in the range of $10,000-$14,000 per team. This is a preliminary budget, if your project is accepted we will negotiate a final budget. Earthwatch grants cover the expenses for the project whilst teams are in the field, include accomdations for the students, 2 Earthwatch facilitators, and the scientists. There are restrictions to this funding and grants do not cover PI salaries, capital equipment or post-expedition data analysis.

Preliminary Budget *
Local Field Transport
PI & Staff transport to the field
Staff Stipends
Equipment, tools, supplies (specify)
Field Trips & Entertainment
Other (specify)

SECTION FOUR: Principal Investigator (PI) and Staff Information

Please list the Lead PI, Co-PIs, and other staff on your project.  For the lead PI and Co-PI(s) you are required to attach a CV.

Lead Principal Investigator (Lead PI) - The PI has ultimate project oversight and responsibility for the research objectives, operations, risk management, health, safety, and participant experience. The lead Pi needs to be a Ph.D. scienitst per the requirements of the foundation that supports this initiative. The PI should be fully committed to educating youth and will be present in the field with the students for the duration of the experience.

Co-PI - The Co-PI(s) collaborate with the lead PI for project oversight and responsibility.  Projects may have Co-PIs that share responsibility equally, or they may provide support for the lead PI.

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.

Lead PI:
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Staff 2:
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Staff 3:
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Staff 4:
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SECTION FIVE: Exhibits, anything else

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You may also want to include graphs, sample data sheets, maps, photos (of staff, the research, and the location), or other information supporting your proposal. This information may also be used in marketing materials to attract participants to your project.