Grants Available and Criteria

The Rufford Foundation provides a staged funding process with five different types of grant. In sequence, these are:

On receipt of a Completion Grant, applicants cannot apply for further funding. At this stage we expect the project we have funded to be financially stable and supported through larger-scale funders.

You can only make one funding application in any 12-month period. If your application is rejected, you will have to wait 12 months before you can make another one.

General Criteria

For all grants there are general criteria.

  • Projects MUST have a nature conservation focus.
  • Applicants should be based in a developing country(those NOT considered by the International Monetary Fund as “Advanced Economies” and/or countries that are NOT members of the European Union). Applicants can be based in a first world country but the project itself MUST be in a developing country. We will NOT consider projects from first world applicants unless the project is in a developing country where there is a clear lack of local conservation capacity. In this case the work would need to have a very significant local capacity building element and be a high conservation priority.
  • We fund people who are at the early stages of their conservation careers.
  • Applicants MUST be EITHER undertaking MSc or PhD studies (or equivalent) or have graduated from such studies in the past 3 years OR doing other projects that have direct conservation benefit to threatened species or habitats. With MScs or PhDs we ONLY consider costs related to the fieldwork element of the study. We will NOT support undergraduate students studying for a BSc or equivalent.
  • Grants are designed to support small-scale or pilot projects, rather than providing a small amount of funding for a large-scale project. Ideally, we should be providing between 50 and 100% of the costs of the project. For projects where The Rufford Foundation is not the only funder, we will require evidence of support from the other sources.
  • Projects can focus on particular species or have a more general focus such as on a threatened habitat or a major issue like human-wildlife conflict or the need for community education. Our website gives you a good idea of the range of work we fund. We consider work on any species, provided it fulfils the IUCN Red List criteria outlined below.
  • For projects focusing on species, we will NOT consider work on those listed at a global level as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Species listed in all other categories will be considered.
  • We will consider projects on species that do not appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because they have yet to be assessed but are thought to be threatened.
  • There are no restrictions on projects focusing on threatened habitats.

General Exclusions

The following types of projects will NOT be eligible for support.

  • Pure research with no obvious conservation benefit.
  • Expeditions, particularly where the applicant has to raise funds in order to participate.
  • Attending conferences or seminars.
  • Publishing books.

1st Rufford Small Grant

Background Information

  • This is the first stage of funding from The Rufford Foundation.
  • A 1st Rufford Small Grant is for up to £6,000.
Reporting

Recipients of a 1st Rufford Small Grant will be provided with a webpage. You MUST supply updates on your project throughout the year and a final report on completion, copies of which will be published on your webpage.

Further Funding

On successful completion of a 1st Rufford Small Grant and having provided updates and a final report, you can apply for a 2nd Rufford Small Grant.

2nd Rufford Small Grant

Background Information

  • This is the second stage of funding from The Rufford Foundation.
  • A 2nd Rufford Small Grant is for up to £6,000.
  • Ideally, the project should focus on developing important elements identified in the project supported by the 1st Rufford Small Grant. For MSc or PhD (or equivalent) students it is possible to focus on an area of research different to that supported by the 1st Rufford Small Grant.
  • Applicants MUST have submitted updates and a final report on the work supported by the 1st Rufford Small Grant.
  • Of the three required referees, at least one should not have been used for the previous application.
Reporting

You MUST supply updates on your project throughout the year and a final report on completion, copies of which will be published on your webpage.

Further Funding

On successful completion of a 2nd Rufford Small Grant and having provided updates and a final report, you can apply for a 1st Booster Grant.

1st Booster Grant

Background Information

  • This is the third stage of funding from The Rufford Foundation.
  • A 1st Booster Grant is for up to £10,000.
  • Activities MUST focus on developing important elements identified in the project supported by the 2nd Rufford Small Grant.
  • Applicants MUST have submitted updates and a final report on the work supported by the 2nd Rufford Small Grant.
  • Of the three required referees, at least one should not have been used for a previous application.
Co-funding

You should be considering how the project might be sustained in the long-term. Ideally, you should have plans to approach other funders for support, especially if you intend to apply to us for further funding (see 2nd Booster and Completion Grants).

Reporting

You MUST supply updates on your project throughout the year and a final report on completion, copies of which will be published on your webpage.

Further Funding

On successful completion of a 1st Booster Grant and having provided updates and a final report, you can apply for a 2nd Booster Grant.

2nd Booster Grant

Background Information

  • This is the fourth stage of funding from The Rufford Foundation.
  • A 2nd Booster Grant is for up to £10,000.
  • Activities MUST focus on developing important elements identified in the project supported by the 1st Booster Grant.
  • Applicants MUST have submitted updates and a final report on the work supported by the 1st Booster Grant.
  • Of the three required referees, at least one should not have been used for a previous application.
Co-funding

We stress the importance of long-term sustainability of projects and, therefore, you should have some co-funding. We suggest you aim to raise at least £3,000 of funding from other sources. We will require evidence of support from the other sources.

Reporting

You MUST supply updates on your project throughout the year and a final report on completion, copies of which will be published on your webpage.

Further Funding

On successful completion of a 2nd Booster Grant and having provided udpates and a final report, you can apply for a Completion Grant.

Completion Grant

Background Information

  • This is the fifth and final stage of funding from The Rufford Foundation. Once an applicant has received a Completion Grant they cannot apply for any further funding from us.
  • A Completion Grant is for up to £15,000.
  • Activities MUST focus on developing important elements identified in the project supported by the 2nd Booster Grant.
  • Applicants must have submitted updates and a final report on the work supported by the 2nd Booster Grant.
  • Of the three required referees, at least one should not have been used for a previous application.
Co-funding

We stress the importance of long-term sustainability of projects and, therefore, you should have some co-funding. We suggest you aim to raise funding from other sources equivalent to the amount which you are requesting from us. We will require evidence of support from the other sources.

Reporting

You MUST supply updates on your project throughout the year and a final report on completion, copies of which will be published on your webpage.

Further Funding

Once you have received a Completion Grant you cannot apply for further funding. It is expected that by this stage you will be in a position to access larger-scale funding.