Become a BCI Student Scholar
Bat Conservation International (BCI) is no longer accepting applications for the 2024 Student Scholars.
This RFP is only open to graduate students who are registered and in good standing with a recognized academic institution. We anticipate awarding $5,000 to 14 students. These awards are not intended to cover the full cost of a project, and BCI hopes these funds provide opportunities for matching grants from other funding sources. We prioritize funding to research related to the following categories:
Category #1: Impact of anthropogenic activities
Research contributing to understanding the impact of human-caused environmental change in bat populations.
Category #2: Human-bat conflict
The project contributes to the understanding of bat/human conflicts, such as persecution, hunting, disturbance, etc.
Category #3: Endangered species
The project will answer ecological or behavioral questions essential to the conservation of one or more bat species currently listed as Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, or Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or officially recognized on a national list of species of concern.
- Improve scientific knowledge to aid conservation on threatened and data-deficient bats
- Increase research capacity and efforts for bat conservation worldwide
- Contribute evidence for conservation interventions to protect bat species
Building a community of bat researchers
Since its founding in 1982, BCI has supported hundreds of university students and aspiring conservationists globally. Our annual Student Research Scholars program grows the global capacity for bat research by providing opportunities for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students to expand their bat research experience, emphasizing that research is key for evidence-based conservation. We come together with BCI Student Scholars to grow their professional network and build a connected community of bat researchers and conservationists.
We encourage and support student researchers who incorporate community engagement, training, and mentoring opportunities as part of their research projects. However, BCI does not support projects that use unpaid technicians. Learn more about our Policy on Fair and Inclusive Training Opportunities for Student Scholars.
BCI bestows annual special recognition to Student Scholars with exemplary work and impacts through five distinctions:
- Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Honor: an annual award to a student who inspires education and community action to protect bats worldwide and address critical conservation needs. This recognition comes with an additional $500.
- Thomas H. Kunz Innovation in Bat Research Honor: BCI offers this Honor to recognize the many contributions of Dr. Tom Kunz to the field of bat ecology and conservation. Dr. Thomas H. Kunz dedicated his productive career to the ecology and conservation of bats. He inspired, mentored, and encouraged a generation of scientists around the world to pursue the study and conservation of bat species. The Thomas H. Kunz Bat Conservation Honor will be awarded to a student scholar applicant whose proposed research project uses innovative approaches to bat conservation research.
- Women in Science Award: to a student identifying as a woman who demonstrates a commitment to advancing women in science, which can be demonstrated through an initiative to support other women in science or their personal development. Eligibility is restricted to women from the Global South. This recognition comes with additional support for the woman’s professional development or proposed initiative up to $500 USD.
- Equitable Conservation Award: to a student(s) who includes a component in their proposal to promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of conservation science. This award may come with additional support for the proposed program, up to $500 USD.
Conservation Evidence Special Recognition: an additional recognition to scholarship awardees who test the effectiveness of a conservation intervention or action. Learn more about Conservation Evidence and the need for more research into the effectiveness of conservation actions here.
Growing the global capacity for bat research
- Providing financial support and professional development to graduate students to help further their educational and career goals.
- Student researchers share their findings on bat ecology with their local communities, which improves understanding of the vital role bats play in the ecosystem.
- Supporting students with their targeted research activities, reinforcing the need for evidence-based research in conservation.
- Students study bats in countries where critical information to support conservation is limited.
Our Reach & Impact
- Countries Served
- Student Scholars Funded
- Million Awarded
2023: Dr. Jobaida Khanam
Project: Minimizing bat-human conflict by increasing the bats’ food source and dissipating the Nipah fear
Special Recognition: Women in Science Award and Conservation Evidence Special Recognition
2023: Cíntia da Costa
Project: Effects of fire on occupancy patterns and diversity of bats in Neotropical savannas
2023: Diego Esquivel
Project: Conserving invisible species: revealing cryptic diversity in the neotropical bat genus Lophostoma (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)
2023: Maria Lavanholle Ventorin
Project: Response of aerial insectivorous bats to different levels of forest cover in Cocoa (Theobroma cacao)
2023: Kevin Lievano
Project: Colombian Bats and Parasites of Their Parasites
2023: Michael Adjei Ayeh
Project: Home Range Dynamics and Behavioural Roosting Ecology of the Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat Epomophorus gambianus
Project: Population size and distribution of Latidens salimalii in Southern India
2023: Isham Azhar
Project: Community Processes Structuring Forest-Interior Insectivorous Bat Assemblages Across a Habitat Degradation Gradient
Papua New Guinea
2023: Peter Amick
Project: Understanding ecological roles of bats in the New Guinean rainforests
Papua New Guinea
2023: Elise Sivault
Project: Impact of rainforest fragmentation on dietary diversity and microbiota of bats from Papua New Guinea
Special Recognition: Thomas H. Kunz Innovation in Bat Research Honor
2023: Paul John Tolentino
Project: Diet composition of the golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus Eschscholtz, 1831) in Infanta, Quezon, Philippines
Special Recognition: 2023 Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Honor
2023: Alexandra Howard
Project: Diversity and ecosystem services of bats on apple fruit farms of the eastern Free State
2023: Ha Nguyen Manh
Project: Conservation of bats at wind farms in Vietnam
2023: Fay Taylor
Project: Finding the Forgotten Frosted Myotis: Uncovering Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species in Ashiu
2021: Touseef Ahmed
Effect of Extreme Heat on Indian Flying Foxes (Pteropus medius) in Pakistan
2021: Priscila Alves
The Invisible Pollution: Bioaccumulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Bats in the Atlantic Forest
2021: Daniela Amortegui
Effect of Transformed Ecosystems on Bat and Trypanosomatid Parasites Diversity in the Colombian Llanos
2021: Yogishah Bunsy
Endangered Endemic Insular Bat as a Model Species to Inform Conservation, Human Health and Agro-Economy
2021: Dibya Dahal
Species Diversity, Local Community Perceptions and Conservation by Awareness of Bats in Rara National Park
2021: Muhammad Aminuddin Baqi Hasrizal Fuad
A Dietary Diversity Study for Conservation of Eonycteris Spelaea, the Main Pollinator of Durians
2021: Flora Kingha Zebaze Jasmine
Diversity and Community Structure of Bats in a Modified Tropical Environment in the Mbam and Djerem National Parks
2021: Léa Mariton
Bats and Light Pollution – Impacts of ALAN on Fast-Flying Bat Species Phenology at Roosts
2021: Dikshya Sawad
Uncovering Bat Species at Caves, Forest, and Human Settlement Areas at Himalayan Foothills in Western Nepal
2021: Cárol Mariana Sierra Durán
Bats, Bat Boxes and Food Security: Evaluating Bats as Potential Rice Pest Controllers
Resource Use of an Endangered Bat (Chaerephon Bregullae) Across Fragmented Habitats of Fiji
2021: Md Ashraf Ul Hasan
Bats of Bangladesh: Bat Assemblage Structure and Species Responses to Land-Use Change
2021: Ellen Whittle
Inter- and Intra-Annual Use of Maternal Roosts by Female Northern Long-Eared Bats
2021: Joon Yee Yong
Project Pteropus: Elucidating the Pollination Networks of the Durian (Durio zibethinus) Across Peninsular Malaysia
2022: Priscila Carlos
Bat-plant interaction networks across a gradient of forest loss and fragmentation in the Brazilian Cerrado
2022: Elyce Gosselin
Ecology and conservation genetics of the Galapagos bats
2022: Cecilia Montauban
Who’s adapting to change? Unraveling the role of cryptic bat diversity in shifting African ecosystems
2022: Laura Torrent
The enigmatic Badger Bat and other fantastic beasts: understanding Equatorial Guinea’s bat diversity
2022: Thangsuanlian Naulak
Bats of Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya: effect of forest patch sizes on species diversity
2022: Eluid Omusotsi
Using native languages and intergenerational learning tools to appreciate human-bat relationships around Kakamega Forest, Kenya
2022: Anecia Gentles
Determining the role of cross-species overlap as drivers of Henipavirus persistence
2022: Sanjeev Baniya
Hibernation roost selection and winter activity of cave-dwelling bats along an elevational gradient
2022: Elijah Okwuonu
Parasite diversity and conservation of cave-dwelling bats in Enugu State, Nigeria
2022: María Elena Torres Ruiz Díaz
Monitoring of bats in two green areas of the Metropolitan Area of Asunción, Paraguay
2022: Veli Mdluli
Quantifying the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on bat communities in a montane grassland ecosystem
2022: Mallory Davies
Assessing drivers of long-nosed bat movement at the northern extent of their range
2022: Carlos Linares
Light pollution as a structuring force for bat communities: an experimental and mechanistic investigation
Funds are often the limiting factor for wildlife-related research, and despite having an extremely supportive network of partners, we would not be able to accomplish our objectives without outside funding sources. BCI’s support shows that this research is valued, and important to the larger bat conservation effort.Former BCI student scholar