September 2007, Volume 5, Issue 9

Apply for BCI Scholarships

Bat Conservation International invites students at universities worldwide to apply for its 2008 Student Research Scholarships.
Young scientists around the world are conducting original, conservation-relevant research – and honing skills for the future – with support from BCI’s Student Research Scholarships. Since 1990, this program has invested more than $550,000 to help support research by 237 students in 51 countries. Students, selected on the basis of a review by outside experts, receive scholarships of $2,500 to $5,000 each for research that enhances bat conservation. BCI Scholars have added significantly to our knowledge of bats, their values and conservation needs, and many are now leaders in science and conservation.
BCI’s partnership with the U.S. Forest Service International Programs, now in its second year, has dramatically expanded the program and increased the size of awards. Thanks to this collaboration, we are now providing 10 additional scholarships annually for work in developing countries. For the current academic year, BCI is supporting 21 projects in 13 countries.
For the first time this year, the U.S. Forest Service International Programs and Travis and Bettina Mathis are supporting a program that offers graduate students the opportunity to double their award ($5,000 - $10,000) if they focus their research on subjects chosen by BCI as having special value to bat conservation.
This year’s Special Scholarships are restricted to research on bats’ pollination of Old World mangroves or durian. Anecdotal observations suggest that both are highly reliant on bats for pollination. The durian is the most commercially valued fruit in much of Southeast Asia and nearby Pacific Islands, but farmers often mistakenly assume that bats reduce (rather than enhance) durian production. Coastal mangroves are ecologically essential but are disappearing at alarming rates. Their primary bat pollinators are also disappearing rapidly but are largely ignored in mangrove-conservation planning. Studies documenting the role of bats as durian and mangrove pollinators are urgently needed.
For more information, a list of current BCI Scholars and their research, or to apply for 2008 BCI Student Research Scholarships, please visit BCI’s website at Scholarships are listed under the heading “BCI Grants.” The deadline for applications is Dec. 15, 2007.
BCI is also accepting applications for North American Bat Conservation Fund grants, competitive awards of up to $5,000 each to support conservation and conservation-related research in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The application deadline is also Dec. 15.
The BCI Global Grassroots Conservation Fund accepts applications year round for grants aimed at conservation efforts outside the United States.

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