Earthwatch: Scientists Working with Us

Earthwatch’s research proposal review process is guided by our organization’s mission of engaging people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the action necessary for a sustainable environment.

We evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, appropriateness of volunteer activities, expected project outcomes and impacts, and safety and logistical viability.

Request for Proposals Download RFP
Marine Multitrophic Ecology Youth Research Program PDF Download
Global Conservation Priorities in a Changing World Check back Spring 2017

*Note that these RFPs are for projects to begin in 2018


We issue annual requests for proposals (RFPs) in the spring of each year. We work with principal investigators (PIs) to develop successful projects over an 18 month period prior to initiation of the field aspect of the project.  For further information regarding the proposal timeline, please contact the Earthwatch Research Department  at

Harnessing the Power of Citizen Science to Address Global Change

For 45 years, in order to find sustainable ways to address global change, Earthwatch has sent researchers into the field assisted by citizen–scientist volunteers. Our overarching goal is to support projects that produce rigorous, relevant, and impactful science. Participation by volunteers increases the impacts of the research we support. Citizen scientists return home with a deeper awareness of what is at stake and greater commitment to address conservation challenges.

To fit our citizen-science model, all proposed projects must:

  • Have a 3-year or longer duration (longer-term research may receive priority support);
  • Incorporate field-based research;
  • Have data gathered primarily by citizen scientist volunteers recruited by Earthwatch;
  • Field 4 to 10 teams per year that span 7 to 14 days, each accommodating 4 - 20 volunteers per team as needed for data collection;
  • Provide housing for volunteers within a reasonable distance from the research site;
  • Be open to graduate, college, and/or high school student participation;  
  • Be conducted in English, with all communications and supporting documents in English; 
  • Educate each team of Earthwatch volunteers about the project’s science and its relevance; and
  • Share project data with managers and if possible contribute to open-source datasets to maximize the impacts of the project. 


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, and post-field work data analysis. 

Successful proposals are funded for three years, subject to passing an annual performance review. 

Submit a Pre-Proposal

Puerto Ricos Rainforest

Earthwatch will select pre-proposals for development into full research proposals. To submit a pre-proposal, click here.

Funding FAQs

Investigating Whales and Dolphins of the Norwegian Arctic

For answers to commonly asked questions regarding grants click here.

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