Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund: Grant Application Process

Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund: Grant Application Process

The Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund supports conservation across the globe.
Send completed application by postal mail to:
Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907

You may also fax your application to (401) 941-3988. However, you must also send a hard copy through postal mail.

Established by the Roger Williams Park Zoo and the Rhode Island Zoological Society in 1989, the Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund (SDCBF) supports conservation programs that protect threatened wildlife and habitats worldwide.

Field studies and other projects that demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and projects that involve in-country collaborators receive the highest funding priority. Environmental education programs, development of techniques that can be used in a natural environment, and captive propagation programs that stress an integrative approach to conservation are also appropriate. Projects must directly affect biological conservation.


Applicants must be associated with an organization (e.g. NGO, university, etc.) through which s/he can receive funding. Funding checks are provided to organizations, not individuals. There are no eligibility restrictions on the nationality of the applicant.

Projects that have been funded by the SDCBF are eligible for a second year of funding. A second application must be submitted according to the application guidelines, along with a progress report from the first year of SDCBF funding.

Funding Restrictions

Funds will not be awarded for elements of a project that will have already occurred before awards are made.

Although exceptions can be made, ongoing costs such as salaries of permanent staff and other administrative costs are generally not considered.

Funds to cover contingencies, Institutional/organizational overhead, indirect costs, tuition fees, fringe benefits or travel not associated with project activities (e.g., travel to conferences where results will be presented) are not granted.

Partial funding of a project may be considered if a particular component of the project can be supported and completed independently, or if it is made clear that additional funding has been obtained or is being sought from other sources to cover remaining costs.

Proposals requesting more than the maximum amount of funds allowed for the specific grant program will not be accepted.

Subsequent phases of previously funded projects may be submitted.

Roger Williams Park Zoo is not required to be a collaborator for a project to be eligible for funding.

Highly invasive, terminal research projects or projects that collect/voucher specimens will not be considered for funding.

Application Components

Proposals that do not follow precisely the guidelines below will not be considered.

No phone calls, please. All information needed to inform your application is included here. We suggest that you review current and past grantee project descriptions prior to preparing your application.

Title page

Include applicant's name, institutional affiliation, address, job title, degree being sought or highest degree obtained, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, total budget, and amount requested from SDCBF (maximum annual request is $1,000).

Also include the project title and a 100-word ABSTRACT of the proposed project, stating the purpose, methods, and significance of the project to the field of conservation biology.

Proposal Narrative

Maximum of three (3) pages with a 10-point font minimum. Literature cited in the proposal narrative may be listed on a separate single page (for a total of 4 pages for the narrative component). The narrative must include all of the following:

Introduction to the project explaining the rationale for the project, specific conservation goals and objectives, and hypotheses to be tested. Clearly describe the applied conservation goals.

Methods/plan of action describing data collection methods, sample size, and detailed timetable including project's completion date and dissemination plan.

Implementation plan detailing how the project results will be used in conservation action or policy.

Outcome evaluation process explaining how the project's impact(s) on conservation will be assessed.

Detailed budget for the project. Include a budget justification with a description of how the SDCBF grant money will be used. List amount and sources of additional support, pending or received.

Curriculum Vitae

Two page maximum.

Two letters of recommendation, each from a different individual familiar with the applicant and the proposal.


June 1, 2017:
All components of the application (narrative, CV, and letters of recommendation) must be received. Components that arrive after this date will not be accepted, and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

September 15, 2017:
Grants awarded. No funds will be provided before October 1.

September 1, 2018:
Deadline for filing a progress report including an update on the status of the project and detailing your budgetary expenditures to date.