Defra’s Darwin Initiative Announces New Funding Round

The Darwin Initiative is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and was announced at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. It supports developing countries to conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty and is the UK’s primary mechanism to champion biodiversity conservation and support the development of vibrant in-country conservation sectors.

Round 27 of the initiative is now open to applications for three of its programmes.

Main Projects

Main Projects support projects tackling key threats to biodiversity in developing countries. Projects must also be able to demonstrate how they will help to achieve the international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Applicant organisations can be based in any country although applications should preferably have a UK connection, consistent with the UK Aid Strategy.

Projects should be a minimum of £50,000 and no more than £500,000

The minimum length of a project is 1 year and the maximum length is 3 years. Any budget commitment must end by 30 March 2024.

Fellowship Awards

Darwin Fellowships are targeted at promising individuals who have links with recent or current Darwin Initiative projects who are working in biodiversity or related fields or whose work may have an impact on biodiversity, and are from countries which are rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources (including the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom).

The host organisation where the individual will carry out the training or research must be in the UK. Applications for Fellowship funding should come from the UK organisation.

There is no specific minimum or maximum level for a Fellowship Award, however, a typical award is around £20,000 to £25,000.

Fellowships are provided for up to 14 months, and should start on or after 1 July 2021 and finish on or before 30 September 2022.

Partnership Projects

Partnership Projects are small grants intended to help organisations who are new to the Darwin Initiative to develop a robust application. The awards do this by:

Connecting organisations new to Darwin with partners who have experience of managing successful Darwin Projects; and/or

Supporting work to build new partnerships between applicant organisations.

Applications for partnership projects must be to establish new partnerships and must not simply be to continue existing working relationships. Defra would normally expect applications from partnerships involving around 2-4 organisations.

Funding up to a maximum of £10,000 is available.

In most cases, travel should commence after 1 July 2021 and, at the latest, be completed by 31 March 2022.

The application deadlines are as follows:

Main Projects programme Stage One applications: 1 September 2020.

Partnership Project and Fellowship Awards: 19 January 2021.

More information about this funding opportunity and the application process is available on the GRANTfinder funding information platform. GRANTfinder provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on funding news and policy. To find out more about how GRANTfinder can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.