These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to help prospective applicants decide whether or not they are eligible to submit an application to CLP and to help answer questions relating to the application process.

If you have any questions that are not covered here, please email us on clp@birdlife.org. Unfortunately we are not able to respond to queries by phone. We have grouped the FAQs into General FAQs, FAQs relating to eligibility, and FAQs relating to the application process. Applicants should read this in conjunction with the application guidelines.


General FAQs

Which award should I apply for?

If you have not received a CLP grant before, you can only apply for a Future Conservationist Award. If you previously received a CLP Future Conservationists Award, you can apply for a Follow-up Award. If you area previous winner of a Follow-up Award, you can apply for a Conservation Leadership Award.

How much funding can a project receive?

CLP can offer support up to the value of $15,000 for Future Conservationist awards, $25,000 for Follow-up awards and $50,000 for Leadership awards. Funds from other donors can be included in the project budget; however, the total amount of funds requested from CLP must cover at least 50% of the project budget. For example: a Future Conservationist award budget can include $15,000 requested from CLP and up to $15,000 maximum from other donors. In another scenario, a Future Conservationist budget could consist of $15,000 requested from CLP with no other donors.

When should my CLP project start?

Where possible, plan for a project start date in August 2022, after the Conservation Management and Leadership training that CLP plans to offer in June-July. Most project teams refine their project plan after the CLP training to improve project delivery. An earlier start date is acceptable when other circumstances, such as seasonal sampling period, require this. Also, note CLP cannot send funds to successful projects until June 2022 as certain documents are required from the project teams in April and May once the award is confirmed.

FAQs relating to eligibility:

How long can CLP projects run for?

The length of a CLP project varies, depending on the type of award you receive. For Future Conservationist Awards, projects must be between three and 12 months in length. Follow-up awards can last up to two years and Leadership awards up to three years. The team is expected to carry out all fieldwork, analysis, and final reporting during these time frames.

How many people can be on a CLP team?

All CLP projects must have a team of at least three people. There is no limit to the number of people that can participate in a team; however, clearly defined and meaningful roles must be established for each team member. Most teams range in size from three to five people.

Which countries are eligible for CLP funding?

All low and middle income countries are eligible, with the exception of countries with whom trade or other dealings are prohibited under any sanctions or restricted party regime imposed by the UN, EU, UK and USA: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea, Venezuela. High-income countries are ineligible with the exception of some countries in Latin America & Caribbean and some Pacific Island nations – Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, French Polynesia, Chile, Aruba, Guam, Panama, Bahamas, New Caledonia, Seychelles, Barbados, Northern Mariana Islands, Uruguay, Bermuda , Palau, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands. See guidelines for full details.

Can team members come from high-income countries?

Team members who are from other, ineligible countries (with the exception of those subject to sanction by UK/EU/US/UN) are permitted to take part in CLP-funded projects provided that at least half of the project team are from the target country and the project is either led or co-led by a national of the target country. Please note that selectors will not look favourably on large portions of a project budget being used to cover international flights for team members.

Can CLP awards be used to fund a Masters/PhD?

It is possible for a team member to use the data gathered as part of a CLP project for a university level thesis. However, this cannot be the main focus of the project and any proposal that includes data collection for a thesis must show how the project goes beyond this research. A team can achieve this, for example, by asking a supplemental research question to a thesis that will be explored during the project, by adding a community engagement or policy component, or other conservation-oriented activity. The project should demonstrate how it aims to build conservation capacity. CLP funding cannot be used to cover costs relating to tuition fees, conferences or scholarships.

What do we mean by capacity building?

For CLP, to build capacity is to enhance technical conservation skills as well as leadership competency. CLP applicants must demonstrate how the project will build capacity for all team members.

My target species is classed by the IUCN as NT/LC/Not assessed. Is my project eligible?

To qualify for the current funding round, target species must be globally threatened. Species must have an IUCN categorisation of Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN), or Critically Endangered (CR). Projects focused on Data Deficient species (DD) are also eligible provided the applicant can demonstrate an urgent need for conservation action. For projects that focus on multiple species, at least one species per taxonomic group being studied should be classed as threatened. If a project has target species that are not in any of the above categories, an applicant must provide sufficient evidence – usually in the form of peer-reviewed literature – that suggests that urgent conservation action is required. The most up-to-date IUCN listings are available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/search

Can CLP funding be used to cover laboratory work?

CLP awards do not usually cover significant costs relating to laboratory analysis. Projects that involve laboratory analyses must justify why this work is critical and urgent for conservation.

Can CLP funding be used to help support existing projects?

NO. Projects must be undertaking new work as opposed to supporting the continuation of an already established project. The exceptions to this are the Follow-up and Leadership Awards, which are offered to projects that have already been the recipient of a CLP award.

Can CLP funding be used to cover salaries?

CLP awards cannot be used to cover salaries for team members or external advisers. However, CLP guidelines do allow for reasonable stipends to cover basic living expenses. It is important that your proposal includes clear justification and itemisation of costs for any stipends you wish to cover using CLP funding.

Can applicants participate in more than one CLP project?

Applicants can participate in only one CLP project at a time. Applicants can participate in up to three CLP Future Conservationist Award projects in total provided they are serving as team leader no more than once.

Who can be a member of a CLP project team?

We encourage diversity of backgrounds and expertise in teams. A project team can consist of people from a variety of fields, backgrounds, and locations of employment. Not all team members need to be biologists. For example, a team could consist of a university student who has experience working with the media, someone who is carrying out fieldwork at a local NGO, someone from a local community and a person who wants to work in conservation education. Alternatively, a team could consist of three people who all work for the same local NGO but have different areas of expertise that contribute to the project.

Can applicants be employed by CLP partner organisations?

No, a team member cannot be a part- or full-time employee or contractor with any of the CLP partner organisations, i.e. BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Please note that this criterion only applies to those directly employed by the above organisations and does not apply to those employed by a separate organisation affiliated to any of the above, for example BirdLife International or Fauna & Flora International partner organisations.

Can a CLP project team change (e.g. if a member can no longer participate)?

CLP strongly encourages building a team that is committed to the project from the beginning to the end. However, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can make this challenging at times. Yes, a project team may change, but teams must notify CLP of any change to a team and new members must be approved by CLP before officially joining. New team members must meet CLP eligibility criteria. Teams should contact clp@birdlife.org to request any changes to the project team.

What do we mean by ‘early-career conservationist’?

All applicants for Future Conservationist awards and new members of a team applying for Follow-up and Leadership awards must be early-career conservationists. By this we mean that applicants must have no more than five years’ paid conservation experience each. Each applicant must provide evidence to prove that they meet this criterion, for example in the form of a detailed employment history on the application form. Academic pursuits such as a PhD do not count as paid experience.

What are the qualities of the ideal applicants?

For us the ideal applicants for a CLP award are early in their careers, show excellent potential for capacity and leadership development, already have some practical or academic experience of conservation and display a passion for conservation issues.

FAQs relating to the application process

What kind of support can CLP provide during the application process?

We encourage Future Conservationist Award applicants to contact one of our CLP Alumni Reviewers for application review at least two weeks before the application deadline. CLP Alumni Reviewers have volunteered their time to support applicants. The CLP team can also review proposals and provide feedback on draft proposals submitted to clp@birdlife.org up to two weeks before the final deadline (i.e., by 26 September, 2021, at the latest). In addition, the CLP website contains detailed information relating to project planning and implementation. The CLP team can also help to put applicants in touch with CLP country partners and/or previous award-winners who can provide support to applicants during the application process. For full details, including application guidelines, please visit our application pages.

Can applications be submitted in a language other than English?

No. All applications must be submitted in English, because the reviewers on whom we rely to provide feedback on applications are overwhelmingly English-speaking. If English is not your first language we strongly encourage you to have your final proposal checked by a native English speaker. We do provide access to manuals translated into Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Portuguese, but these are designed to act as a reference point to help applicants familiarise themselves with our guidelines and application format. All applications must be written by the applicants themselves and submitted in English using the online application platform.

I am having problems entering all my information into the online application form.

Please contact clp@birdlife.org if you are encountering an problems with the application site. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Teams should submit their application using the online platform.

I am having problems entering information into the site area/budget fields on the online application form.

Some fields on the online application form are numerical only, for example only enter 750 as opposed to 750km2, or 300 as opposed to $300. Most fields also have restrictions on the number of characters you can enter.

How much detail should I give in the budget?

Your budget must provide a detailed breakdown of your expected expenditure and should allow the review panel to assess whether your costs are reasonable. Justification must be given for any individual item over $1,000 and full details must be given for any section of the budget that takes up a significant portion of the CLP award. For example, it is not enough to only put transport costs = $5,000; an itemised breakdown of this figure must be given, detailing how much of this will be spent on fuel, vehicle hire, bus tickets etc.

When is the application deadline?

For the current call, the application deadline is 10 October, 2021. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a draft of their proposal to a CLP Alumni Reviewer or CLP staff member (clp@birdlife.org) at least two weeks before the deadline, in order to allow time for us to provide feedback prior to final submission. Applicants for Follow-up and Leadership awards must submit a logical framework to the CLP team for review (clp@birdlife.org or henry.rees@fauna-flora.org) by 8 September, 2021; CLP will aim to provide feedback on these by 27 September, 2021. If the Logical Framework is approved, a full application must be submitted by the final deadline (10 October, 2021).

Where do I submit my application?

Final submission must be sent by via the online application site.

If I am unsuccessful this year, can I re-submit my application during the next award cycle?

Yes, we welcome re-submission of proposals provided that all the reasons given for the proposal’s initial rejection have been addressed. We always aim to provide the applicants with the feedback received from reviewers.

What other benefits are available to teams that receive a CLP award?

All team members who participate in a CLP award-winning project become members of our global Alumni Network. As members of this network, alumni have access to a number of resources and opportunities including: CLP-sponsored training courses in high-priority subject areas, travel grants to attend training and conferences (or online learning grants), mentoring from other alumni and CLP partner staff, and access to the exclusive CLP social networking site.

What is the CLP International Training course like?

One person from each award-winning team is invited to attend an intensive ‘Conservation Management and Leadership Training Workshop’ held in June-July of the award year. The training workshop focuses on the following topics: personal and collective leadership development, project planning and management, behaviour change strategies and communication, fundraising, gender and conservation, and training best practices. Each participant will be able to network with other participants and develop a strong, professional network, facilitating future international collaboration. By the end of the course, award-winners have many of the tools necessary to plan and carry out a project and communicate outcomes to a broad range of audiences. All workshops will have a strong practical element, with group discussions between the facilitators and participants. The team should ensure that the chosen participant will benefit from the topics listed. All course instructors conduct their sessions in English and all worksheets and CLP communication will be in English. It will be difficult for participants who don’t speak English to benefit fully from the course. We strongly encourage you to select a representative who has good command of the English language. If this is not possible, we may be able to provide an interpreter, subject to availability of budget. The training participant will be a representative of their team and will give a presentation on their CLP-funded project. The participant is also expected to bring the skills and knowledge gained at the training back to their team, and conduct training of their own. CLP covers all reasonable costs associated with the training, so this should not form part of the project budget. Click here for a video that will help to give an idea of what the international Conservation Management and Leadership Training course involves. Please note that the 2020 and 2021 Conservation Management & Leadership Training Workshops have been delivered online. 

Can I receive help during the application process?

Yes. You can receive support from a CLP Alumni Reviewer.

How does the review process work?

The review process is made up of four separate stages: an initial first cut of applications that do not meet the basic award eligibility criteria; a second round of selection based on the comments of our expert reviewers; a third round of selection carried out by the three CLP partner organisations; and a final stage, with award-winners decided by a panel of judges who make up the final selection committee. After each stage, the CLP team will provide all unsuccessful applicants with external feedback in order to encourage them to strengthen their application.

Who are the reviewers?

We draw our reviewers from a wide range of sources including academia, conservation NGOs, research institutions and the CLP alumni network. CLP reviewers are typically experts in their geographic or taxonomic field. Reviewers provide guidance on the feasibility of a particular project.