Galápagos! Becas de investigación de la Charles Darwin Foundation ~

15 de septiembre de 2020

Galápagos! Becas de investigación de la Charles Darwin Foundation

Charles Darwin Foundation Fellowship for Sustainability Research

For 61 years, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and its research facility, the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), have been providing scientific knowledge and evidence to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. For most of its history, the work done at CDF focused on the natural systems of Galapagos, with efforts including control/eradication of invasive species and conservation of iconic species such as the land and marine iguanas. In recent years, however, the research portfolio at CDF has expanded to include the social dimension, resulting in a more holistic approach to research on the sustainability of the Galapagos Islands.

As a result, CDF has recently established the CDRS Sustainability Centre, hosted in the brand new CDF Inspiration Complex – Regional Marine Research Station. This center will serve as a research hub with a special focus on promoting inter- and trans-disciplinary socio-ecological research to investigate the resilience, adaptation and conservation of natural and social systems in Galapagos.

This new focus on sustainability research has become even more important for Galapagos with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has brought nature-based tourism, the driving economy of the islands, to a complete halt, bringing with it a deep financial and social crisis. While tourism of some compatible form needs to be restored to bring cash flow back to the islands, this situation provides us with an opportunity to reinvent the economic model for the islands so that it is more sustainable and compatible with the conservation of the unique natural heritage of the archipelago.

At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the poor food security of the islands. The provision of food for the local communities and tourists comes, for the most part, from Ecuador mainland. However, during major shocks, cargo shipments and flights diminish for a prolonged time. Promoting sustainable livelihoods based on local production (agriculture, fisheries...) will increase the resilience of the Galapagos community. Finally, sustainability research in Galapagos will be valuable both locally and on a much broader scale.

Models, processes and scalable steps to sustainability can be tested in this living laboratory, helping to reach the global goals set out by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To help address these needs, starting September 1, 2020, we are launching a three-year pilot program called the Charles Darwin Foundation Fellowship for Sustainability Research. Through this program we will host researchers and academics of various disciplines to work with us at the Sustainability Research Centre, to develop innovative research projects and new strategies for addressing sustainability issues in the Galapagos Islands and the Eastern Tropical Pacific Region.

We will accept fellows from all areas working towards economic, environmental and social areas as well as towards sustainability, with a preference for scholars from the social sciences and humanities interested in transdisciplinary approaches and working at the science-policy interface. We also have a preference for fellows working in one or more of the following strategic lines for CDF:
Education for sustainability
Sustainable livelihoods (including sustainable tourism)
Food security
Social-ecological systems-based research

We want to attract experienced researchers with bold, innovative ideas to help transform the socio-economic system of the islands to be more aligned with the conservation and sustainability of the archipelago. We welcome applications world-wide from high-level, experienced researchers but also from promising early-career researchers who can bring fresh and innovative ideas. Normally, Fellows will be hosted at CDF for a period of 3-6 months, although projects that require stays up to 12 months to achieve the desired outcomes will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Strong interaction with the scientists at CDF is to be expected, in order to explore new areas of collaboration, promote disciplinary cross- pollination, and create synergies between the different lines of research. This will not only be of benefit to the Sustainability Fellow but also all the CDF science team, who will be exposed to new approaches to sustainability research.

At the same time, each Fellow will be encouraged to interact with relevant local stakeholders and partner institutions in Galapagos to enhance their project and ensure its connection to the sustainable development of the region.

Staff at CDF will support the Fellow by organizing meetings and participatory roundtables and workshops when suitable. Products of the Sustainability Fellowship will depend on the length of time spent at CDF but should include at least one open-access publication (cost support is provided), a CDF format technical report to be presented to the Galapagos National Park Directorate, and one public seminar at a local venue to disseminate and discuss results.

Fellowship award

Thanks to a donor’s special gift, CDF will cover the cost of each Fellowship. The Fellowship will cover office and lab space, a laptop and internet access, health and accident insurance, administrative support, and an allowance toward costs of open access publication. Reasonable field-work required for the project can be included in the proposal and will be covered by the Fellowship. Accommodation will be provided on-site at the CDF campus and a monthly stipend will be allocated to the Fellow and to the partner (if applicable), to help with the costs of round-trip air travel, meals, local travel, recreation, and the like. The administrative staff at CDF will support the Fellow in booking travel to the islands, applying for visas and any other paperwork required.

Selection Process

The CDF Fellowship Committee will select the grantees, provide advice on project development, support the fellows with all logistics and administrative tasks, and facilitate networking of the fellows with the relevant stakeholders in Galapagos.

The Committee will be presided over by the Executive Director of the CDF, and will be supported by the Science Director of the CDF (or her/his representative), the Science Area Senior Researchers deputy and a Special Academic Representative (Stanford University), who will provide recommendations and support to the Executive and Science Directors on operation of the program and selection of program participants.

Fellows will be selected based on professional experience, feasibility and potential of the proposed project, plus alignment with CDFs strategic areas. We welcome detailed proposals with specific activities as well as open ideas that can be further developed during the fellowship. Although daily activities of the Fellows can be conducted in English, facility in Spanish will be considered a plus. We are committed to equality and diversity: women, minorities and researchers from developing countries, including residents of Galapagos, who fit the criteria are encouraged to apply.

Applications are open from September 1 to September 30 2020 for Fellowships to begin any time in 2021 starting March 1 (subject to approval by public health officials). A first screening will be done upon receipt of application, and promising applicants will be invited for an online interview. The final decision, to be announced by December 1, 2020, rests entirely with the Fellowship Committee.


Applications may be submitted between September 1 and October 10, 2020, by email to the Scholarship Program, at the following address All applications should include a cover letter, CV highlighting in boldface print publications most related to the proposed theme, three confidential letters of support (two professional recommendations and one personal recommendation) and a 2-page description of the proposed project. Please ask your references to email their letters by October 10 directly to the same address, with your name in the subject line.

Find your job here