Bee eater in Okavango Delta, Botswana, 2007. —Cecilia Simon, 2014 Fellow


Chicago, IL—Kinship Foundation today announced the opening of applications for its 2019 Kinship Conservation Fellows program. 18 applicants will be selected as Fellows and awarded a $6,000 stipend.

The month-long, in-residence Fellowship focuses on market-based conservation. Delivered by a faculty of global experts, the leadership training program takes a case-study approach. Through interactive discussions, systems-thinking exercises, and peer-learning sessions, Fellows are presented with innovative solutions that they can apply to challenges they face in their work. 

“When I applied to the Fellowship, I was at a point in my career where I wanted to better understand market-based tools for conservation. I had a project that was looking to incentivize private land owners to do more groundwater recharge across the Central Valley in California,” said Kelli McCune, a 2014 Fellow. “I learned about access to capital and how, through lending mechanisms, you can create an incentive. I developed an idea with partners out of my experience at the Fellowship, and now we're working on a loan product for farmers related to water stewardship.” 

Beyond the training, Fellows become part of a global community, supported through regional chapters and affinity groups, where they can connect with past cohorts and conservation practitioners to combine skills and resources to accelerate change and maximize conservation impact.

“What's unique about Kinship Conservation Fellows is first, we focus on one tool, which is incentives for conservation,” said program director, Nigel Asquith. “And second, we now have a community of more than 250 Fellows with a wealth of experience that touches all corners of the globe.” 

The Fellowship is open to conservation practitioners with at least five years of experience. Successful applicants should be familiar with business and economic principles, and work in settings where these principles can be integrated with conservation work. The Fellowship will be held at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, from June 30-July 31, 2019. Housing for the month is included with the award. Applications are only accepted online and must be submitted by January 8, 2019. 

About Kinship Conservation Fellows
Established in 2001, Kinship Conservation Fellows’ mission is to develop a community of leaders dedicated to collaborative approaches to environmental issues with an emphasis on market-based principles.
About Kinship Foundation
Kinship Foundation is a private operating foundation established to advance the institutional philanthropy of the Searle Family. The Foundation has three areas of focus: biomedical research, environmental conservation, and education. Its work includes developing and supporting Chicago-based grant making initiatives through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; administering the Searle Scholars Program, a national biomedical research grant program; and operating Kinship Conservation Fellows, a global environmental leadership program.