Witney Award:

The Whitley Fund for Nature is a fundraising and grant-giving nature is a fundraising and grant-giving nature conservation charity offering recognition, training, and grants to support the work of proven grassroots conservation leaders across the Global south.

Whitley Awards are for dynamic, mid-career conservationists who are leading wildlife conservation projects in the Global South. Winners tend to be nationals of the country in which they are working who are seeking to scale up proven work that would benefit from further funding, a profile boost, and international support. To be eligible, projects must involve communities at the grassroots level and deliver practical action that is founded on science.


Applications for the 2022 Whitley Awards are currently open and close at midnight GMT on 31 October 2021. Subject to COVID-19, we hope to hold the Whitley Awards Ceremony in spring 2022 either as a physical or virtual event.

How Much Funding Can I Apply For?

Whitley Awards are worth £40,000 GBP in project funding over one year.

How Do I Apply?

Anyone can apply for a Whitley Award. You do not need to be invited or nominated.

       1. Check your eligibility

  • Not High Income Economy countries– Wildlife conservation projects led by local leaders based in countries that are not defined as a High Income Economy by the World Bank. Exceptions to this criterion include Equatorial Guinea and certain island nations in the Caribbean. If you have any questions about eligible countries, please contact WFN.
  • Nationals with local support– A key focus of the Whitley Award is to boost the profile of leaders who are nationals of the country in which they are working. There are some exceptions, for example, long-term residency (15+ years) or commitment to country/region/ building capacity of local team members for future leadership.
  • We seek grassroots conservationists from locally incorporated NGOs in developing countries, rather than in-country staff employed by NGOs headquartered in developed countries – but if you are in doubt please contact us.
  • Good communicators and passionate people –people who will inspire others and importantly, who will collaborate and share results. Please note applicants must be able to communicate in English.
  • Leadership and teamwork– Whitley Awards are won by individuals backed by an appropriate team/organization. Individuals working in isolation and team/joint entries are not eligible.
  • Projects that are based on scientific evidence and understanding – this can be in the leader, expertise on the team, or via partners/collaboration.
  • Work involving (and benefitting) the local community and stakeholders is essential.
  • Ecosystem/landscape level projects are preferred. Genuine flagships are accepted, but not if results are purely species-specific.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate past success and an evidence-based approach. We do not fund pilot projects or work that is at the start-up stage.
  • Grassroots, pragmatic work that is realistic, but ambitious too. We look for applicants on the cusp of ‘something big’ and work that is replicable or scalable.
  • Actions that will have clear, measurable outcomes – we look for applications that have given careful thought to what indicators can be measured to evidence impact.
  • Sustainable projects– we want the work to continue into the future, well past the Whitley Award. Successful proposals will demonstrate long-term planning.
  • Projects that demonstrate value for money and the ability to manage funding at the Whitley Award level (£40,000). Organizations with Audited Accounts are preferred.
  • Projects for which an Award will make a big difference. Priority will be given to those that can demonstrate need.
  • Work that needs publicity– ones that will do well if ‘doors can be opened via the media and enhanced recognition


You need to ask three referees to submit references to WFN in support of your application. Check who is eligible to be a referee in our FAQs, and read the application guidelines to find out what is required of them.

You will be asked to submit your referees’ details in the application portal, and they will receive an automated email requesting their submissions independently before the deadline of midnight GMT on 31 October 2021.

Opening Date: 2nd September 2021

Closing Date: 31st October 2021


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