WWF's Russell E. Train Fellowships 2017 - Building Capacity In Sustainable Food Systems And Conservation


March 01, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - WWF's Russell E. Train Fellowships 2017 - Building Capacity In Sustainable Food Systems And Conservation


Within the next 15 years, the planet will need to support an additional one billion people. Emerging economies will grow exponentially, putting a strain on fragile political and social systems as well as vital ecosystems such as the Congo rainforest and Mekong River Delta. In developed and developing countries alike, food productivity and the degradation of natural resources will worsen with climate change. This will further exacerbate food insecurity in developing countries. Food production already generates more than 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and has rendered 85% of marine stocks fully exploited or overfished. Agriculture alone accounts for 70% of human fresh water use, 30% of global energy consumption, and 38% of land area conversion. It is also the biggest driver of deforestation globally. Declining soil health and destruction of freshwater and marine ecosystems are among the myriad of environmental current impacts food production has on the planet. 

To mitigate these increasing strains on our ecosystems, WWF is committed to improving efficiency and productivity while reducing waste and shifting consumption patterns. In doing so, the goal is to produce enough food for the world’s population without using more natural resources. WWF knows that supporting individuals with the ambition and imagination to create more sustainable food systems is imperative to successfully meeting the challenge to conserve nature and feed humanity.

Focus Areas

To advance knowledge and expertise in the most urgent areas of need, successful candidates will focus their studies and research on one or more of the following areas:

  • Landscape approaches and land-use planning to reduce deforestation
  • Food policy, legality, and governance to promote sustainable food systems
  • Climate smart agriculture/aquaculture to incorporate natural capital into decision-making
  • Innovative technologies to support sustainable food systems and decrease food waste
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Sustainable finance for food production
  • Agriculture sociology (e.g. behavior change and better practice adoption)
  • Post-harvest technology to decrease food waste and promote value creation (i.e. reduce post-harvest loss)
  • Plant/livestock pathology (e.g., push-pull pest management, integrated pest
    management, improve sustainable yields, etc.)
  • Mitigation of human/wildlife conflict around food production
  • Women’s empowerment and enhanced social equity via food systems
  • Food-Energy-Water Nexus
  • Reduce agro-industrial footprints – sustainable agriculture (smallholders agriculture for food security) and agro-industrial (Palm oil, Cocoa/Coffee) best practices (RSPO, …)
  • Increased food security through integrated livestock and wildlife management

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a citizen and legal permanent resident of an eligible country.
  • You must have at least two years of conservation-related work or research experience.
  • You must have a demonstrated commitment to working in conservation in an eligible country.
  • Your research or academic program must address one of the focus areas listed in the guidelines.
  • You must be enrolled in, admitted to, or have applied to a master’s or PhD program anywhere in the world.
  • You must plan to begin your studies no later than January 2018.
  • You must commit to working for at least two years in your home country after the completion of your degree.
  • You must not have received a Train Fellowship or Scholarship in the past.
  • You must notify EFN if you are a WWF employee, consultant, or previous EFN grant recipient.
  • You must submit all required documents by the application deadline.

Selection Process

Train Fellows are selected through a competitive, merit-based process. An independent, interdisciplinary panel of experts is convened in each country to review applications and to identify the top candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Professional qualifications as evidenced by previous and current conservation-related positions, references from colleagues in the field, publications, and other sources
  • Demonstrated leadership through involvement in community and volunteer activities, the workplace, local and national government, and other areas
  • Prior academic achievement as shown by grades, academic awards, and references from professors
  • Motivation and commitment to contribute to conservation in a participating country and to share what is learned with others in their field and in their home communities
  • Potential impact of proposed study/research on conservation efforts in the home country or region


You may access the application for all Train Fellowship competitions via original web page. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2017 by 11:59pm EST.

New users will be required to create a new account in the application system. New user instructions can be found in the original web page.

For more information please click on "Further official infrmation" below.

Publish Date
October 28, 2016
Link To Original