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.

Pre-proposals for the Marine Multitrophic Ecology Youth Research Program will be accepted through 11:59 pm (EST) Sunday, November 6, 2016. The deadline for 2018 pre-proposals for all other programs has passed, please check back in spring 2017.

We will evaluate pre-proposals based on scientific merit, appropriateness of volunteer activities, safety and logistical viability,  expected project outcomes and impacts, and Earthwatch’s ability to support the project. All pre-proposals should have outputs/impacts that clearly align with current global environmental agendas and priority conservation targets. For more information see

If your pre-proposal raises the interest of the Earthwatch review committee, you will be invited to submit a full proposal. 

The pre-proposal has three sections:

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


Completing the Pre-Proposal 

You must be online to complete and move through this form. 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. We also recommend that you read all the requirements prior to beginning. If you have any questions please contact the Research Department at

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

* 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 form. 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

Please provide Earthwatch with an overview of the citizen scientist experience. We are looking for clear evidence that citizen scientists will be well-managed, engaged in the research, and directly contribute to research objectives.

In order to be considered for support, your project must have a strong rationale for requiring involvement of citizen scientists in your research. Earthwatch citizen-science volunteers 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 to the site.

Briefly describe how your project will meaningfully involve non-specialist volunteers in your field research:
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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.” 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 7-14 days in the field. We are seeking projects that are interested in working with Earthwatch 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 (ages 15-18).
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.

Please indicate the accommodation type(s) available: *

Section 3: Scientists

All pre-proposals must be submitted by the principal investigator (PI). All PIs must have a PhD and an affiliation with a university, government agency, or nonprofit organization. We strongly encourage graduate student participation in projects as co-PIs as permitted. We also are particularly interested in helping support early-career scientists from emerging nations.

Please list all of the PIs and co-PI who will be working on this research project 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)