The recipients of the ISE Darrell Posey Fellowship for Ethnoecology and Traditional Resource Rights Small Grants Awards, the Field Fellowship, and the Institutional Fellowships (2014 – 2016) have been selected.

A Call for Nominations and Applications will be made in 2015.


The priorities of the Darrell Posey Fellowship for Ethnoecology and Traditional Resource Rights reflects some of the key lessons learned by Darrell in his lifetime of working on applied ethnoecology and traditional resource rights:

  • It is often the small, grassroots organizations with little visibility and limited administrative capacity which carry out some of the most effective and important, even if at times unrecognized, work;
  • Because these small groups often lack the necessary networking, fundraising and reporting skills and capacities, they often face financial difficulties;
  • The one-year funding cycle adopted by many funding schemes is too constraining and limiting;
  • Ethnobiologists, especially those working outside of academia, have an extremely difficult time receiving financial support for their work;
  • Ethnobiologists working within academia also often receive little financial or institutional support for their work, since ethnobiology and applied work generally does not fit easily within academic institutional priorities and promotion structures.

In response to these constraints, the Fellowship Program:

  • Draws on a more inclusive nomination and selection process involving an extensive network of nominators and selection committee members representing a wide range of backgrounds and kinds of expertise.
  • Provides a range of different grants aimed at supporting individuals with an outstanding record (Field Fellowship), small organizations or projects (Small Grants) and students (Student Fellowships).
  • Has simple application and reporting requirements- recipients are selected because they do good work, have solid reputations, and we know that funds will be used effectively.
  • Includes two years of support for most grant categories.

The process continues to evolve in response to our experiences, and we welcome any suggestions or comments.

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The Application/Nomination Process

The ISE accepts both nominations and direct applications for all of its awards. Letters of support/recommendation from individuals with a proven commitment to the principles embodied by the Foundation are weighed more heavily than the style or polish of a proposal, although proposals and nominations will primarily be evaluated on the strength of the work undertaken by prospective recipients.

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Criteria for Evaluating Nominations and Proposals

Field Fellowships

  • Field Fellowships are awarded to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds (indigenous people, community leaders, activists and advocates, academics, etc.) with an outstanding history of work on applied ethnobiology or traditional resource rights issues, and/or working directly with local groups, communities and organizations;
  • Funds can be applied to the costs of field and project work, or to cover an individual’s time; the fellowship is intended to support well-respected individuals undertaking excellent work, without attaching many strings or creating bureaucratic demands on their time;
  • Priority is generally given to individuals undertaking their work outside of traditional financial and institutional support structures, and therefore in more significant need of support. Individuals working on these issues often have limited or sporadic support for their work, and there are very few formal positions in the field of applied ethnobiology.

Small Grants

  • Grants are provided to local, community and/or indigenous projects or organizations, or to individuals working with them. Almost exclusive preference is given to small organizations lacking the infrastructure or social capital to apply to large funding bodies. Clear need, as well as the potential impact of the grant, are the central criteria.
  • Funds can be used to support infrastructure, staff time, and other ad hoc needs, or to address pressing concerns as they arise.

Student Fellowships

  • The ISE supports highly talented and promising Masters and PhD students whose research projects focus on some aspect of traditional resource rights or with some applied ethnoecology component.
  • Fellows can be based at institutions in developed or developing countries, although preference is given to students in developing countries based in their home country institutions and to indigenous students in all countries.

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Important Deadlines

  • 30 September 2015: Deadline for applications and nominations for all open program components
  • December 2015: Awards announced
  • 1-7 June 2016: 15th ISE Congress in Uganda
  • July 2016: Reflections from participation in the ISE Congress due from awardees
  • January 2017: Narrative and Financial Interim Reports due from Field Fellows, Small Grant recipients and PhD Fellows. Narrative and Financial Final Reports due from Masters Fellows
  • January 2018: Narrative and Financial Final Reports due from Field Fellows, Small Grant recipients and PhD Fellows.

For more information contact the ISE Managing Director.