Bat Conservation International is now accepting applications for 2009 Student Research Scholarships. Each year, BCI scholarships help talented students at universities around the world conduct research that contributes the new knowledge needed to conserve bats and their habitats worldwide.
Since its inception 18 years ago, BCI has invested $608,000 in this program, awarding 256 scholarships for conservation-related research in 55 countries. Approximately 20 scholarships are planned for the 2009-10 academic year, with a maximum one-year award of $5,000.
Qualified research should addresses at least one of these issues: answering ecological or behavioral questions that are essential to conservation or management; resolving an economic problem that will improve support for conservation; or documenting key ecological or economic roles of bats.
As many as 10 of the BCI Scholarships are supported directly by U.S. Forest Service International Programs. These Bats in International Forestry Scholarships are designated specifically for research in developing countries. Qualified applicants will automatically be considered for these scholarships.
Scholarship applications must be completed online at www.batcon.org/bcigrants/scholarintro.asp. The deadline for receipt of applications for 2009 BCI Scholarships is December 15, 2008.
This year, BCI and U.S. Forest Service International Programs are offering graduate students an opportunity to double the amount of an approved BCI Student Research Scholarship, up to a maximum of $10,000. To qualify, the research must focus on designated subjects of special concern.
The 2009 Special Scholarships are restricted to research on bats’ pollination of either durian or Old World mangroves. 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. Studies documenting bat roles as durian and mangrove pollinators are urgently needed.
To be considered for this special program, click the “yes” box at the first question on the application form: “Do you qualify for a Special Scholarship?”