Global Raptor Research & Conservation Grant

Costa Rican Pygmy Owl© Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Evan R. Buechley

The grant application is now open. Applications are due 12/31/2022.

HawkWatch International (HWI)’s Global Raptor Research & Conservation Grant supports projects addressing global raptor priorities. The grant aims to increase diversity and inclusivity in conservation while building local capacity.

This page outlines information about the purpose of this funding opportunity, the types of projects we are willing to fund, and how to submit a compelling proposal. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please direct them to .

Grant Overview

In 2019, HWI led an effort to identify global raptor research and conservation priorities (Buechley et al. 2019). This research identified very stark discrepancies in raptor research efforts worldwide. Ten species (1.8% of all raptors) received nearly one‐third of all raptor research (32%) while over one‐fifth of all raptors (21%, 116 species) had zero research publications. Discouragingly, raptors at risk of extinction and those with declining populations are less studied globally. This effort identified tropical regions of Central and South America, Sub‐Saharan Africa and, particularly, Southeast Asia as the highest priority for investment because they host the highest number of total species, understudied species, and extinction‐prone species. Overall, these findings call for a shift in how we invest scientific and conservation resources. This grant aims to provide support and resources to these areas where it is needed most.

Applicants may apply for up to $2,500 USD; more than one applicant may be funded. Continued funding for prior grant recipients is possible if all reporting requirements are met. 

In addition to financial support, HWI will support successful applicants by providing scientific guidance, networking opportunities, and publicizing project results, as possible and as desired by the awardee.

Minimum Requirements

The Global Raptor Research & Conservation Grant aims to fund projects that are: 

  • Located in high-priority countries for raptor research and conservation, broadly Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, as well as many island countries (see Figure 1 below);
  • Focused on a single species of raptor that is recognized as a high priority species for research and conservation (>0.5 RCPI*, see below);
  • Led by an applicant that is a citizen of the country and who is associated with a registered NGO and/or university in the country where the project will take place.


Applications will be scored based on: the importance and/or impact of the proposed project, the overall quality of the application and the financial need of the applicant. Furthermore, preference will be given to projects that:

  • Take place in low-income countries, or those with a high country-level RCPI score (>=0.4);
  • Focus on filling knowledge gaps (i.e. research) or on applied conservation actions, or both;
  • The maximum funding ($2,500) will make up a significant proportion (50%+) of the total budget
  • Are undertaken by early career researchers;
  • Are undertaken by applicants with demonstrated financial need

How to Apply

To apply, please submit the application form by December 31, 2022. If you have trouble accessing/submitting the form, you may instead email the application to . A full list of requirements can be found here

What The Grant Won’t Fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • Occur in the USA, Canada, or Europe 
  • Focus on a raptor species with RCPI* < 0.5
  • Occur outside of the country where the applicant is a citizen
  • Are submitted in any language other than English
  • Cannot complete all grant outputs within 18 months of receiving the grant
  • Lack a relationship with a registered NGO or university that has agreed to accept the grant and disburse it to the applicant
  • Require greater than 10% of grant funds be used for overhead to the sponsoring NGO or university

Previous Awardees 



Raptor Research and Conservation Priority Index (RCPI) was developed in Buechley et al (2019) to provide a single prioritization metric for all raptor species worldwide that accounts for the conservation status and amount of research on each species. RCPI ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 being lowest priority and 1 being highest priority. Find attached spreadsheet with all raptor species and their RCPI score


Raptor PrioritiesFigure 1Global geographic patterns in raptor research and conservation priorities. Areas in red are of high priority for raptor research and conservation efforts, and projects occurring in these areas will be given priority for funding. See Buechley et al. (2019) for detail.Sponsors

This grant is funded by HawkWatch International, with the generous support of our donors, particularly the Circle of Life Fund.


Buechley ER, Santangeli A, Girardello M, Neate-Clegg MH, Oleyar D, McClure, Christopher J. W. Şekercioğlu ÇH. 2019. Global raptor research and conservation priorities: tropical raptors fall prey to knowledge gaps. Diversity and Distributions:1–14. Click here to view file.