Pre-Proposal Submission Form

Welcome to the Earthwatch Pre-Proposal

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 pre-proposal.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We are updating our Research Proposal application process and will not be soliciting research pre-proposals/proposals at this time. We will be launching a rolling proposal structure in the future, most likely for new field research projects to begin in 2027.

We will evaluate pre-proposals based on scientific merit, expected project outcomes and impacts, appropriateness of citizen-scientist activities, safety and logistical viability, and Earthwatch’s ability to support the project. All pre-proposals should have measurable outputs/impacts that clearly align with current global environmental management and conservation agendas (e.g., the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the new Global Biodiversity Framework), and employ an ecological problem-solving approach to the research. We prioritize projects that implement direct action, which can include ecological restoration, climate adaption, or habitat/species population enhancement that engage local community stakeholders or inform environmental policies and management plans.

If your pre-proposal raises the interest of the Earthwatch review committee, you will be invited to submit a full proposal. Invitations for proposal submissions will be communicated by June 28, 2023.  

The pre-proposal has three sections:

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

Completing the Pre-Proposal 

All pre-proposals must be completed by the principal investigator (PI), and all submitting PIs must have a PhD in the field of their proposed research. You must be online to complete the online submission form through Formsite. Before answering any questions, you may wish to create a login account. This will allow you to save your progress as you go and return to it at a later time.

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

If you have any questions, please contact the Research Department at

* Indicates Response Required

 Create a Login Account (optional)

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 pre-proposal. You can submit multiple pre-proposals with one account. Creating an account is optional (but highly recommended).

Indicate the request(s) for proposals that you are responding to *: 

Project Information

Earthwatch takes the safety of all people involved in projects we support very seriously. Therefore, we are unable 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 Citizen Scientist* 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 citizen-scientist* volunteers. To be considered for support, your project must have a strong rationale for requiring involvement of Earthwatch participants. Earthwatch recruits volunteers from all over the world, though all projects must be conducted in English. Participants can be adults, teens, students, teachers, or corporate employees. Participants are NOT required to have any special skills before signing up to volunteer on a project and will be trained by you/your staff to complete all field tasks upon arrival to the site.
*Please see our statement on the use of the term "citizen" science and scientist here:  

Citizen Scientist Participation in Fieldwork
Briefly describe how your project will meaningfully involve non-specialist volunteers in your field research by answering the following questions:
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Project Capacity for Citizen Scientists

Earthwatch recruits and prepares citizen scientists to assist researchers in the field for set blocks of time in field crews, which we refer to as “teams.” A typical project would require engagement of a minimum of 4 and up to 15 participants per team on 4 to 10 teams per year. Projects must have a three-year or longer duration to be considered for support (with longer-duration projects receiving priority for support).

h. Indicate 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 (<1 hour preferred).
Type of Accommodations – Please indicate the accommodation type(s) available. We prefer field station, house, or dormoritory-style housing when possible.  *

Section 3: Scientists

All pre-proposals must be submitted by the PI. All PIs must have a PhD in the field of their purposed research, with no exceptions, and an affiliation with a university, government agency, or science-focused NGO. All co-PIs must be scientists with a PhD, MSc, or BSc. We encourage graduate student participation in projects. We also are particularly interested in helping support early-career scientists.

Please list all of the scientists who will be working on this research project as co-PIs and attach a zip file with a copy of their CVs.





Scientist CVs

How did you find out about Earthwatch's call for pre-proposals? (Select all that apply)