Deadline: 15 July 2013

ISE call for travel grant applications to support contributions from indigenous peoples and local/traditional communities to the 14th ISE Congress of Ethnobiology

Recognition of the central role of indigenous peoples in all global, regional, and local processes is a founding element of the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE). Since the ISE’s inception in 1988, the society’s priority has been to support and promote the critical efforts of Indigenous peoples, traditional societies, and local communities in the conservation of biological, cultural and linguistic diversity.

Building on the traditions of past ISE congresses, the 14th ISE Congress will bring together indigenous and non-indigenous participants from around the world to tackle the key issues of our times. The congress will include a wide range of formats for people to share their knowledge, ideas and experiences, ranging from talking circles, to film viewings and discussions, cultural performances, field trips, oral presentations and poster sessions. The congress is intended to be highly interactive and participatory. Our aim is to create a cross-cultural learning environment where participants feel safe to share, learn, and cultivate understanding and trust.

In preparation for this congress, to be held in Lamai Gompa, Bumthang, Bhutan from 1-7 June 2014, the ISE is announcing a Call for travel grant applications to support contributions from indigenous peoples and local or traditional communities. (En español; En français)

To help focus and guide dialogue and exchanges at the Congress, the broad themes of the Congress – regenerating biocultural ecosystem resilience and traditional knowledge – have been selected for their global significance as well as their importance for local community members. These over-arching themes will run through all of the sub-themes of the Congress:

  • Living Well: Environment, Sacred Heritage and Livelihood
  • Protected Areas, Ecotourism and Community Involvement
  • Intergenerational Learning/Transmission of Knowledge
  • Ethnobiology and Ecosystem Services – Broadening the Conversation
  • Influencing Governance Policies (community-based natural resource management, gender, participation, citizen science…)
  • Ethnobiology in Mountain Communities
  • Mindfulness, Ethics and Mental Ecology

Proposals for travel grant applications to support individual contributions will ideally fall within one of these sub-themes.

More information about the 14th ISE Congress can be found at:

Contributions can be proposed for a wide range of formats, including (but not limited to) oral presentations, posters, film viewings and discussions, demonstrations, cultural performances, or talking circles. A Sung (a Bhutanese tradition of telling oral stories) will be part of the Congress program, concurrent with scientific and other types of contributions. The Congress organizers, in dialog with the contributors, will do their best to provide appropriate space for the formats proposed.

Support available:

A limited number of travel bursaries (typically up to $2000 USD per participant) are available to off­set direct expenses (transportation, hotel, meals, registration) for attending the 14th ISE Congress in Bhutan. Bursaries above $2000 USD will be considered only with justified financial need and when other funds are not reasonably available. In the event that only partial funding can be provided, the applicants will be contacted to see if their participation will still be possible.

Note that travel should be based on the most economical options. Air travel to Bhutan is only possible through one of DrukAir’s international hubs. More information about getting to Bhutan can be found on the Congress website. The per diem required for Bhutan to cover food and lodging is estimated at $30 USD per day.


Support is available for indigenous and local people who are members of the ISE and involved in ethnobiology at the community or grassroots level. Both new and renewing ISE members are eligible. Please see the ISE website for information on joining or renewing your membership.

Criteria considered by the Selection Committee include:

  • Strength of the personal statement
  • Strength of the proposed contribution
  • How well the contribution fits into either the Congress themes or the Indigenous Forum (Sung)
  • Geographic distribution of award recipients
  • Financial need, including lack of access to other sources of funding
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to the vision and work of the ISE and the ISE Code of Ethics
  • Plans for sharing information from the Congress with local communities
  • Commitment to sharing a summary of their experience(s) at the Congress for use on the ISE website and in the special Congress Issue of the ISE Newsletter

While these considerations will serve as guidelines to steer the Selection Committee review of requests, the Committee will assess each individual request in the context of current priorities, existing commitments and the ongoing viability of the travel grant fund.

Submission requirements (please use this checklist BEFORE you send in your proposal):

Personal Information:

  • Name of applicant and affiliation (e.g., tribe, nation, institution, or other affiliation)
  • Job or occupation of the applicant, if applicable
  • A short statement of the candidate’s interests and connection to ethnobiology
  • Description of financial need and the itemized amount requested
  • If possible, also provide a letter of support from your tribal or community group

Information about the proposed contribution:

  • A title
  • An abstract or description, in 500 words or less
  • The preferred format of your contribution (e.g., talking circle, storytelling, presentation, poster, film, demonstration, etc.)
  • Any special audio visual or other equipment you will need (e.g., Power Point, sound system for music, wireless microphone or other specialized equipment)
  • Please indicate which congress theme your contribution fits in. Please read the congress themes carefully. If it does not fit within a congress theme, please describe how it contributes to the congress overall
  • Please indicate if you are willing to contribute to the congress proceedings (if appropriate for the format of your contribution). For example, a paper, a video or recording of your performance or demonstration (we will work with you to record it), a digital copy of your poster
  • Electronic submissions (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf) sent by email must contain your name in the file name, e.g., John_Smith_contribution.doc or Maria_Cruz_Gomez_abstract.pdf.

The deadline to submit proposals is 15 July 2013.

Successful applicants will be notified by 31 August 2013 and are asked to confirm acceptance of financial support and initiate travel plans by 15 September 2013. Note that financial support may be forfeited if acceptance is not confirmed by the date specified.

Please send proposals to Natasha Duarte at [email protected]