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Our proposal review process is guided by our aim to connect people from all walks of life with leading scientists working on crucial environmental research projects locally and globally.

Projects are evaluated based on scientific merit, safety, logistical viability, appropriateness of volunteer field tasks, and our available support for the project.


Request for Proposals

Earthwatch seeks submissions from field-based researchers to engage members of the public (recruited by Earthwatch) in their research projects. Concept Notes for 2015 projects were due in December of 2013. Provided are those upcoming projects we are particularly interested in.

Request for Proposal Download RFP
Archaeology PDF Download
Biodiversity of Europe, USA, or Asia PDF Download
Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems PDF Download
Citizen Science PDF Download
Cold Climate Regions PDF Download
Patagonia Region PDF Download

What are we looking for?

We seek proposals from field-based researchers for citizen science research projects. Projects should display a set of clearly identified research questions, with appropriate research design and methodology to answer those questions. Projects should involve people meaningfully in data collection and with a high likelihood that credible data will be collected that address the research questions. Scientists should be committed to meaningfully involving participants and providing them with context about the issues and science behind their project. Projects should have a clear and credible pathway from research data collection to impacts. We seek projects that aim to contribute new knowledge through peer-reviewed publications around key conservation and science agendas. We seek projects that aim to inform plans and policies that improve the management and stewardship of biodiversity, ecosystems, cultural heritage, or human welfare and livelihoods.

To help you determine if your research is a fit for Earthwatch, ask yourself:

  • Can volunteers make a significant contribution to your research?
  • Are you interested in leading teams of untrained but enthusiastic volunteers in the field?
  • Are you prepared to share the vision behind your project and inspire nonscientists?

Earthwatch takes the safety of all people involved in projects we support very seriously. Therefore, we are not able to support any research projects in certain regions of the world due to safety concerns. See our current Earthwatch 'No Go' List.


Step 1: Submit a Concept Note


Puerto Ricos Rainforest

If your Concept Note raises interest, you'll be invited to submit a Research Proposal.

Read more.


Step 2: Submit a Research Proposal


Whales and Dolphins Under the Californian Sun

After your Research Proposal is received, we'll contact you to discuss details of your proposed program. If approved, we'll help you launch your program.

Read more.


Step 3: Launch Your Project


On the Trail of the Giant Panda

Find out what happens after your research proposal is accepted, making you an Earthwatch scientist.

Read more.


Frequent Questions from Scientists


Investigating Whales and Dolphins of the Norwegian Arctic

For more information about how Earthwatch grants projects and what costs can be covered, see our Frequent Questions from Scientists.

Read more.