NatureNet Science Fellows Program

Seeking Innovators for Nature and Development


As a leading global conservation organization with a mission to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends, The Nature Conservancy has a critical role to play in creating a world where people and nature thrive. Over the next ten years, through our Shared Conservation Agenda, the Conservancy is addressing the root causes of some of the toughest problems facing people and nature in these five areas 1) climate change, 2) land and water protection, 3) food and water sustainability, 4) building healthy cities, and 5) connecting nature and people.

That’s why the Conservancy has established the NatureNet Science Fellows Program in partnership with a rotating set of the world’s leading universities to create a reservoir of new interdisciplinary science talent that will carry out the new work of conservation. Fellows and grantees will work with a Nature Conservancy mentor and a hosting senior scholar (or scholars) to develop a research program. This joint mentorship model allows for fellows and grantees to take fundamental research questions and the traditional support provided by universities and embed themselves in the practice of applied conservation through TNC networks. Within this framework, the NatureNet program goals are to:

  • Support innovative and impact-oriented research that help deliver TNC outcomes;
  • Invest in the talent potential of a new generation of climate change leaders;
  • Recruit scientists who bring a diversity of culture, experience, and ideas into conservation; and
  • Provide partner universities and fellows with access to real-world conservation issues.

The NatureNet Science Fellows program bridges academic excellence and conservation practice to create a new generation of climate change leaders who combine the rigor of academic science with real-world application. The outstanding early-career scientists and engineers in this 2-year postdoctoral program differ from other postdocs in two major ways:

  1. They have prioritized improving and expanding their research skills — directing their efforts towards problems at the interface of climate, conservation, business, technology, and people; AND
  2. They are committed to their professional development — participating and applying trainings designed to improve skills in science communication, working-group facilitation, and leadership.

Recognizing that the Nature Conservancy’s conservation mission is best advanced by the contributions of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures — NatureNet encourages applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.

Meet Our Fellows: Class of 2013Class of 2014Class of 2015Class of 2016Class of 2017Class of 2018


Accepting Applications May 16-September 7, 2018.

The call for applications for the next NatureNet cohort features two postdoctoral opportunities. Read the eligibility and award terms carefully to determine the best fit for your research program. For both programs, applicants should identify a project idea from the available list.

For more information on the NatureNet Science Fellows program, please contact

Program Contacts


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