Financial assistance is available for UK-based organisations with expertise in biodiversity to prepare and develop full-scale Darwin Initiative applications.
Funding up to a maximum of £5,000 will be provided for the actual travel and subsistence costs for one or two people who would be directly involved in the proposed Darwin project.
Funding will be paid on receipt of a claim, which may be made in advance of travel (in the case of flight tickets) but must be in arrears of expenditure. This is available to cover the following costs:
- One return air fare for up to two people from the UK to the proposed host country.
- The cost of any visas or other necessary travel documents.
- Daily subsistence costs for up to 10 days per person to cover reasonable accommodation and food costs for the visit. This is payable at the appropriate UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office rates at the time of the visit (available on request from the Darwin Secretariat).
Scoping Awards are available through the long-running Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) biodiversity programme the Darwin Initiative, which is delivered on their behalf by LTS International.
The Darwin Initiative programme enables UK organisations, both private and public sector, with expertise in the field of biodiversity to team up on environmental projects with groups from overseas countries who, despite being rich in biodiversity, do not have the financial capability or level of expertise to make the most of such natural resources.
Scoping Awards can offer UK organisations one-off grants to enable them to send one or two individuals to a potential host country and work with partners to research, plan and develop an application for a full Darwin Initiative project. It is hoped such collaboration will strengthen links with overseas countries and lead to stronger, more successful overall projects.
Applicants should be aware that being successful in bidding for a Scoping Awards grant does not guarantee that their subsequent full Darwin Initiative application will be successful.
Funding cannot be given for more than two people involved in the pre-project work from the UK applicant organisation.
To apply for Scoping Awards, organisations must meet the following eligibility rules:
- They are a organisation or institution, either public or private sector that have expertise in the fields of conservation or biodiversity. This expertise should be at least postdoctoral quality, or an equivalent professional standard.
- They are planning to submit a full Darwin Initiative project application in one (or both) of the next two funding windows, rounds 20 and 21.
- They are planning to work with a host country that is eligible to be involved in the main Darwin Initiative programme.
Applications will be expected to demonstrate:
- Evidence that the resulting full Darwin Initiative project would be of value to the biodiversity of the host country by meeting a clearly identifiable need within that country or region.
- Evidence that the award will support a more collaborative development of a full project application.
- That the proposal has the full support of institutional partners from the respective host country.
- That alternative funding is not available.
Applications for projects in UK Overseas Territories are particularly encouraged.
Organisations applying for more than one person to travel will need to clearly justify this need.
The Department will seek to recover pre-project funding from the applicant organisation if a full application to the Darwin Initiative is not submitted within two years of receiving the pre-project funding and an adequate explanation is not received. However, the provision of pre-project funding will in no way guarantee Darwin funding for the resultant full project proposal.
Successful applicants will be required to report on the pre-project mission when making their resultant Stage 1 application for full Darwin project funding.
Applicants must demonstrate that alternative funding - including financial support from their organisation - is not available to develop the Darwin project proposal in consultation with the host country. Scoping Awards should not be seen as an alternative to seeking match funding from other sources.
Costs associated with enabling one or two members of a UK organisation to travel to a potential host country, including:
- One return airfare for up to two individuals.
- The costs of visas or any other necessary travel documents.
- Daily subsistence costs for a maximum of 10 days per person, covering realistic expenses such as food and accommodation.
Applications must be made on the prescribed form which can be downloaded from the Darwin website (see below). The application must also include:
- CVs for the one or two individuals travelling to the host country;
- letters of support from the prospective host country partners expressing their intention to collaborate and endorsement of the proposed partnership, and the value of the proposed Darwin project to the biodiversity of the host country.
Completed applications must be sent by e-mail. Consideration of applications includes scrutiny of all applications by the Darwin Advisory Committee.