Scholarship and Research Grants Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program 2019


1. Background

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Indonesia marine program aims to conserve marine resources that are vital to the protection and sustainability of human livelihoods across the Indonesian archipelago from the Bay of Bengal through to the heart of the Coral Triangle. WCS employs a rigorous scientific approach to build capacity, strengthen management and inspire community stewardship for the protection and sustainable use of critical marine ecosystems, fisheries and threatened species. In Indonesia, the WCS marine program has three major objectives: (1) to establish and increase the management effectiveness of 1 million hectares of marine protected areas (MPAs) in seascapes in Aceh, Java, Sulawesi, and North Maluku; (2) sustainable management of coastal fisheries in and around networks of MPAs; and (3) conservation of threatened marine species, particularly sharks and rays, through improving the sustainability of fisheries and trade, and combatting illegal trade in protected species.

WCS, with the support of the German Government and KfW, are strengthening the efforts to achieve WCS’s marine program objectives through implementation of a project titled “Securing the Future of Indonesia’s Marine Biodiversity and Coastal Livelihoods in Three Seascapes in the Coral Triangle”. The Project is taking place in three provinces: North Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, and Aceh with the following primary outputs:

  • Improved fisheries management by the development of government regulations and fisheries management systems, recognition of sustainable co-management and/or customary management systems and development of incentives for sustainable fisheries management 
  • Establish new MPAs expand and improve the management effectiveness of existing coastal MPA networks to conserve habitat and threatened species in West Nusa Tenggara (WNT) and North Sulawesi. 
  • National and provincial policies are influenced by applied science, monitoring and analysis of MPA effectiveness and fisheries management in WNT, North Sulawesi and Aceh.

2. Scholarships and Research Grants

WCS Indonesia Program offers scholarships or research grants to Indonesian and international students majoring in marine sciences and fisheries studies, and calls for research proposals relevant to the Project’s objectives.

2.1 Scope of Research

The research for this Project will focus on two major themes that will address challenges in designing: (1) pelagic/deep sea MPA in North Sulawesi, and (2) sustainable small-scale fisheries management in North Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, and Aceh. The research will provide sound and scientific foundation for the effective design and management of pelagic MPA and small-scale fisheries. Research proposals may focus on marine ecological, natural resources, species, socioeconomic and cultural, and policy studies with an emphasis on research into the implementation of management strategies derived from existing knowledge and research.

Proposals must demonstrate how their chosen approach is expected to lead to effective design of pelagic/deep sea MPA and improvements in fisheries management. Proposals should develop understanding of the contextual factors (e.g. ecological systems, fisheries, socioeconomic and cultural, policy) which affect the implementation of proposed interventions, indicating how those contextual factors and their impact will be analyzed. Please provide clear justification for the topic chosen and how the results from single or multi-site studies will provide insights into MPA and fisheries management intervention contexts. How would those contextual factors affect future management design and implementation and its scalability? Please read thoroughly the attached ToR for more information on the research topics.

2.2 Assessment Criteria

Applications for scholarship or research grants will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Relevance and importance of the research questions/objectives with the focus of this call for proposals; 
  • Contribution to the body of knowledge; 
  • Consistency in the design and methodology; 
  • Feasibility and suitability of the research plan, including timelines and deadline for completion; 
  • Qualifications of the primary researcher(s) and other people involved in the research; 
  • Appropriateness of budget requirements for the study; 
  • Justification of the need of scholarship or research grants; 
  • Current status of enrolment as student and awarded scholarship; 
  • Adherence to the Research Proposal outline provided below.

2.3 Timelines

Applicants will be required to submit a research Concept Note of max 3000 words to WCS Indonesia Program at wcsindonesia@wcs.org. The template is attached as Annex A. The timelines for research concept notes submission and selection process are as follows:

  • The research concept notes should be submitted no later than June 30, 2019. 
  • The shortlisted applicants will be notified by July 15, 2019. 
  • Presentation of research concept notes and interviews will be conducted from 29 to 31 of July 2019. 
  • The successful applicants will be notified by August 9, 2019. 
  • Sucessful applicants will be required to submit full research proposal (when relevant). 
  • Grant awardees will be required to provide periodic progress reports during the research project implementation (procedures and timelines will be determined later).

2.4 Scholarship and Research Funding Awards

WCS Indonesia will fund proposals from 4 students (2 Indonesian master students, 1 Indonesian PhD student, and 1 international PhD student) for the period 2019-2022. Scholarship or grants will be limited to maximum USD 3,000 for 2 master students (over 2 year), USD 6,500 for Indonesian PhD student and USD 30,000 for international PhD Student (over 3 year). The scholarship or research funding can be combined with other sources of funding support as long as they are in-line with the Project’s research topics and/or needs.