Applications Invited for the 2022 Whitley Awards

Applications Invited for the 2022 Whitley Awards

Organization: The Whitley Fund for Nature

Apply By: 31 Oct 2021

Grant Amount: 40000 GBP

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About the Organization

The Whitley Fund for Nature is a fundraising and grant-giving nature conservation charity offering recognition, training and grants to support the work of proven grassroots conservation leaders across the Global South.


The Whitley Awards support grassroots leaders in countries rich in natural resources but lacking in financial resource for conservation. Winners are local environmental heroes, acting on the latest science and leading projects with passion. Through them we support work rooted in communities that creates lasting benefits for habitats, wildlife and people.

From our London-based office, WFN’s objectives are to:

  • Find, recognise and fund grassroots conservation leaders across the Global South.
  • Champion and repeat fund the most effective winners.
  • Support the replication and growth of effective conservation solutions.
  • Raise awareness of the work of winners and spread the message that we can all make a difference to conservation.

About the Grant

We support grassroots wildlife conservationists through our flagship prizes, the Whitley Awards. These coveted Awards are presented by our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal at an annual ceremony held in London each spring. They are won competitively following assessment by an expert academic panel and are worth £40,000 in project funding over one year.

Winning a Whitley Award is not just about receiving financial support; it comes with a significant boost in profile and provides an international stage for winners to draw attention to the environmental issues they face. Winning a Whitley Award can increase visibility, generate local and national pride and catalyse political action to support conservation leaders and their NGOs. During the Awards week, winners receive professional media and speech training to enable them to effectively communicate their important work and inspire further philanthropic support. Tailor-made films narrated by WFN Trustee, Sir David Attenborough, PR assistance and publicity materials are distributed to the UK and overseas media to raise awareness and champion their success.

Grant Size

Whitley Awards are worth £40,000 GBP in project funding over one year.


What WFN will fund

  • Not High Income Economy countries – Wildlife conservation projects led by local leaders based in countries that are not defined as a High Income Economy by the World Bank. Exceptions to this criterion include Equatorial Guinea and certain island nations in the Caribbean. If you have any questions about eligible countries, please contact WFN.
  • Nationals with local support – a key focus of the Whitley Award is to boost the profile of leaders who are nationals of the country in which they are working. There are some exceptions, for example long term residency (15+ years) or commitment to country/region/ building capacity of local team members for future leadership.
  • We seek grassroots conservationists from locally incorporated NGOs in developing countries, rather than in-country staff employed by NGOs headquartered in developed countries – but if you are in doubt please contact us.
  • Good communicators and passionate people – people who will inspire others and importantly, who will collaborate and share results. Please note applicants must be able to communicate in English.
  • Leadership and teamwork – Whitley Awards are won by individuals backed by an appropriate team/organisation. Individuals working in isolation and team/joint entries are not eligible.
  • Projects that are based on scientific evidence and understanding – this can be in the leader, expertise on the team, or via partners/collaboration.
  • Work involving (and benefitting) the local community and stakeholders is essential.
  • Ecosystem / landscape level projects are preferred. Genuine flagships are accepted, but not if results are purely species-specific.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate past success and an evidence-based approach. We do not fund pilot projects or work that is at the start-up stage.
  • Grassroots, pragmatic work that is realistic, but ambitious too. We look for applicants on the cusp of ‘something big’ and work that is replicable or scalable.
  • Actions that will have clear, measurable outcomes – we look for applications that have given careful thought to what indicators can be measured to evidence impact.
  • Sustainable projects – we want the work to continue into the future, well past the Whitley Award. Successful proposals will demonstrate long-term planning.
  • Projects that demonstrate value for money and ability to manage funding at the Whitley Award level (£40,000). Organisations with Audited Accounts are preferred.
  • Projects for which an Award will make a big difference. Priority will be given to those that can demonstrate need.
  • Work that needs publicity – ones that will do well if ‘doors can be opened’ via the media and enhanced recognition.


Applications for the 2022 Whitley Awards are currently open and close at midnight GMT on 31 October 2021. Subject to COVID-19, we hope to hold the Whitley Awards Ceremony in spring 2022 either as a physical or virtual event.

How Do I Apply

  • Anyone can apply for a Whitley Award. You do not need to be invited or nominated.
  • Check your eligibility
  • Register for our application portal
  • Complete your application online
  • Contact three referees

Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure your referees meet the deadline of midnight GMT on 31 October 2021.

For more information please check the link


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