Fellowships & Eligibility

The Ravi Sankaran Fellowship Program

a biodiversity conservation initiative of the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation

The Ravi Sankaran Fellowship Program funds three major activities:

  1. Masters Degree at an International University: The Program will fund one or two students to work towards a 1-2 yr Masters degree in a reputed academic program in ecology or conservation. The purpose of this Fellowship is to train the student recipients in the science and/or implementation of conservation; and to facilitate interaction with the larger international community involved in conservation science and practice.
    Funding provided: stipend, course fees, one-way international travel.
  2. Internship with a International Conservation Organisation: The Program will fund one or two recipients to carry out an internship of 6 weeks to 1 year with a university research group, NGO, government agency, or other organisation, known for its work in conservation science and practice in a country other than India. The purpose of the internship is for recipients of the fellowship to gain experience and insight in field ecology and conservation beyond what they would ordinarily gather from an academic degree program; and to facilitate interaction with the larger international community involved in conservation science and implementation.
    Funding provided: stipend, internship fees (if any), to-and-fro international travel (with a cap of USD 1,500 for travel).
  3. Small Grants program for a conservation research or implementation project within India: The Program will fund up to 5 recipients to carry out an initial project of up to 1 yr that is expected to lead to a longer-term conservation science and/or implementation project. Thus, this program provides “seed money” for what may ordinarily be viewed as an unconventional or risky project. Recipients of an initial Small Grant may apply for follow-up funding; when doing so, they must demonstrate the success of the pilot project and show how subsequent funding is essential to bring out the conservation benefits of the project. Activities funded by the Small Grants program should ordinarily be carried out in India. Where appropriate, applicants for a small grant are encouraged to consider and include the potential role that local communities can play in conservation.
    Funding provided: stipend and project expenses (not exceeding Rs 2 lakh per year in total).

Note that Masters and Internship fellows are not eligible for project/research funding.

Eligibility and Selection
Ravi Sankaran Fellowships are open to Indian nationals (who must also be resident in India at the time of applying) with a demonstrated deep interest in wildlife ecology and conservation through prior involvement in this field. Applicants must hold a Bachelors degree in any subject, and should normally be below 30 years of age on the first of July in the year of application.

Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to conservation and strongly justify how the fellowship will further conservation in India. Small Grant applicants must also submit a project proposal with budget. Full details accompany the application form for the specific activity.

All complete applications received will be screened by a committee, who will then shortlist candidates for interview. If you are shortlisted, we will send you details of travel, venue, etc. No interviews will be conducted for Small Grants applications. Interviews for Masters and Internship applicants usually take place in Mumbai or Delhi at the end of May or early June. Decisions on all three fellowship activities will be announced shortly thereafter.

Fellowship recipients must submit a detailed Interim Report every year, and a Final Report at the end of their term. All reports must contain an accounting of funds spent. Fellows retain all rights over information generated during their tenure. Fellows must acknowledge support received from the “Ravi Sankaran Fellowship” when and where they publish this work.

To download application materials, click here.