NatureNet Science Fellows Program

Seeking Innovators for Nature and Development

The Call for Applications for 2018 NatureNet Science Fellows went out on September 1, 2017 and ended November 15, 2017.

Our world faces unprecedented challenges with climate change: how do we stop it and continue to meet demands for food, water and energy without degrading natural systems? The Nature Conservancy is confronting these challenges head-on — through a new set of priorities that focus on everything from green infrastructure to sustainable agriculture and fisheries, natural defenses against extreme weather to encouraging sustainable energy forms and corporate practices. We firmly believe that conservation can be a solution to the climate challenges mounting against both 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.

See the NatureNet Science Fellows Program FAQ for more information.

Ideal Candidate Profile

The Nature Conservancy recognizes climate change as the single greatest threat to our mission, and to humanity. Never has there been an issue that so tightly integrates the health of the planet with the economy, food production, clean, reliable water, health, and equality. To tackle these challenges, the Nature Conservancy now needs new brands of science —

  1. Science that blends climatology, physics, economics, business, chemistry, engineering, technology and communications with conservation and ecology AND;
  2. Science that marries the best academic analysis with opportunities to rapidly test and deploy those analyses in the real world to address human well-being.

Ideal candidates for NatureNet Science Fellowships and Research Grants are outstanding early-career scientists and engineers who seek to improve and expand their research skills while directing their efforts toward problems at the interface of climate, conservation, business, technology, and people. Recognizing that our conservation mission is best advanced by the contributions of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures—  we encourage 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.

Program Goals

The NatureNet Science Fellows and Research Grant program aims to bridge academic excellence and conservation practice to confront climate change, and to create a new generation of conservation leaders who combine the rigor of academic science with real-world application. Within this framework, the 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.

Within these goals are two overarching themes:


The majority of projected climate change impacts can be avoided, if we act quickly and aggressively towards a low-carbon energy system. Getting there will require major new advances in the science and engineering behind energy technology — from storage, improved efficiency, and transmission, to new source development — and in how we deploy all energy sources--from encouraging major energy source shifts to siting and operating new infrastructure with minimal environmental impact. Applicants may tackle these challenges from the fields of physics, chemistry, landscape planning, electrical engineering, biology, nanotechnology, political science, meteorology, waste management, computer science, energy technology, geography, or transport engineering.


Climate change is already happening, and current levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere have already locked the planet into significant climate disruption. The NatureNet program supports research that will identify new means for reducing these impacts and improving the ability of both nature and people to adapt. Relevant challenges will be addressed from fields as wide ranging as coral biology, agricultural technology, political economics, coastal geomorphology, ecology, spatial planning, forestry, water and sanitation health, climatology, environmental toxicology, agronomy, irrigation engineering, animal husbandry, fisheries, or coastal engineering.

Meet the Fellows

Meet the 2017 Fellows

Meet the 2016 Fellows

Meet the 2015 Fellows

Meet the 2014 Fellows

Meet the 2013 Fellows

2018 University Partners, Projects and Mentors


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

Program Coordinators


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