Call for proposals

The Application process



The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund has two ways of allocating funding for research projects. 

  1. Open competitions advertised on the AWR website

  2. Direct funding

Open competitions advertised on the AWR website

Once or twice a year, AWR will call for project proposals according to the Fund's long term Scientific research plan. We strongly advise applicants to study these guidelines thoroughly for a better understanding of AWR's research goals and the criteria for project evaluation.

The scientific research plan has been developed by the AWR Science Advisory Group (SAG).

The role of SAG is to evaluate and prioritize scientific research proposals submitted to the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund. The SAG will base its evaluation upon a number of criteria when selecting and prioritizing proposals for funding. Each proposal will be assessed on a numerical scale (0-10) by the SAG. 

Based on the SAG prioritization, The AWR Board will make the final decision on which proposals to fund.

The first AWR Call for proposals was made on March 16, 2015, and the projects awarded the first grants were made public in September 2015.


The following criteria shall be used in the assessment and when determining priority for funding:


There is no simple definition of research excellence. Proposals may build directly on prior work, or may involve a speculative leap forward. It may involve progress along an established research direction or a tangential switch into a new or different area, or may bring together expertise and approaches from different discipline areas. All of these approaches could demonstrate excellence.

A proposal that demonstrates excellence can be characterized by terms such as: novel, ambitious, timely, exciting, at the international forefront, adventurous, elegant or transformative, but need not demonstrate all of them.

Fit to scheme

Each grant round will have previously specified objectives and requirements, both scientific and non-scientific. When assessing a research grant proposal, the SAG will assess the proposal against the grant round objectives and requirements, as expressed in the specific announcement of opportunity.

Cost effectiveness

The cost/cost effectiveness of requested funds will be evaluated by SAG. 

Track record

In making its evaluation, the SAG may consider any past reports from previously funded projects.



Direct funding

On rare occasions, the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund may make direct grants to fund particular projects at specific research institutions and/or with individual scientists. 

Direct funding will only be granted if the AWR has received a substantial contribution from a beneficiary which has been leveraged through a collaborative effort of scientists, NGOs and industry. 

In such cases the AWR will still obtain a project evaluation by the Scientific Advisory Group and will only award a grant if the evaluation shows the project to meet the criteria list above under competitive funding.



Confidentiality of research grant applications 

Research grant applications are submitted to the AWR in confidence and applications will be kept confidential and will not be used or disclosed except as required for the peer review/funding decision process or as is required under any law or regulation to which the AWR or any member of the SAG is or may become subject.