The Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) Program in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida (UF) announces a competition for Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships to support Master’s and Doctoral level study in various disciplines. Awards cover tuition and typically provide a $18,000 stipend for one academic year of study at UF, usually matched by a second year of support from the student’s department.

The TCD Program offers an extensive range of classroom and field opportunities for students committed to an interdisciplinary understanding of biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource use, and human well-being issues in the tropics, including sub-tropical and temperate areas in developing countries (e.g., southern Africa, southern cone of South America, Greater Himalayan region). The TCD Graduate Assistantship is provided to allow students to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Florida. TCD Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships are made possible by an endowment from the Ford Foundation and the State of Florida.

Click here for a printable version of this call.


  • Recipients must be admitted to a graduate degree program at UF or be a current student in the TCD graduate certificate program.
  • For new students, if admission results are not available by the deadline, the award will be contingent upon acceptance by UF.
  • Recipients are required to participate in TCD sponsored activities and to complete the 12–15 credit TCD interdisciplinary graduate certificate.
  • TCD Graduate Assistantships do not support off-campus field research.

Criteria for Selection 

Applicants will be evaluated according to:

  • Research/academic interests and approach:
    • Strong applicants will be those that demonstrate: A) a commitment to multidisciplinary approaches that integrate biological conservation, local peoples, and/or natural resource management; and B) a good match with TCD goals and community
  • Plans and potential for career and leadership in conservation and development, especially in tropical or developing world contexts:
    • Strong applicants will be perceived to: A) have potential to multiply impact of the TCD mission by applying and sharing knowledge and approach in new realms; B) potential contribution to tropical countries (or regions of interest to TCD including southern cone in South America, southern Africa, Greater Himalayan region), communities, ecosystems.
  • Experience relevant to conservation and development, especially in tropical or developing world contexts, including regions of interest to TCD such as southern cone in South America, southern Africa, Greater Himalayan region:
    • Experience that strengthens a student’s application might include: A) volunteer, life or work experiences (private, government, NGO, Peace Corps, etc.); and/or B) partnerships and collaborations, such as with TCD alumni or partners, local organizations, NGOs.
  • Academic record and qualifications (i.e., GRE, TOEFL, grades, coursework that demonstrates interest and experience in TCD program related areas).

For current UF/TCD students: Emphasis will be placed on the degree and quality of participation in TCD related activities, current enrollment in TCD certificate, intellectual growth and progress in program, and demonstration of student leadership in TCD.

For students applying from UF/MDP program who are not completing thesis/dissertation research, special emphasis will be placed on career and leadership potential in conservation and development arena.

Application Deadline:  February 5,  2018

Application Requirements

  • TCD Fellowship/Assistantship application form
  • A letter of support from your current or future faculty adviser or department Graduate Coordinator stating: the reasons why you should be considered for a TCD Graduate Fellowship/Assistantship; your status at UF (e.g. incoming student, second year student, etc.); and, if possible, an agreement to provide a year of departmental support for every year of TCD Graduate Fellowship support awarded.  Incoming students are encouraged to begin contact with potential advisors early in the process (e.g., 4-6 months prior to February application) in order to secure a letter of support.
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A two page statement of purpose explaining what you plan to do during your graduate training at UF and why you should be considered for a TCD Graduate Fellowship/Assistantship. Include details about your research interests, career goals, leadership potential, and related work experience (see ‘criteria for selection’ section above).  Current students should also highlight past involvement in TCD activities.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae.
  • Originals or photocopies of academic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable.

*Important Note: If you are applying for support during the last year or semester of your graduate program, please be sure to identify the following on the TCD application form:
– Identity of other sources of funding that you have applied for
– Status of these applications (i.e. pending; approved; denied)

Electronic submission required

  • Please send documents as single PDF
  • Required documents in the same order as listed above
  • Recommendation and support letters should be sent directly by email to the contact below.


Patricia Sampaio
Program Coordinator
343 Grinter Hall