Grant Programs Overview

Grant Programs Overview

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation has four environmental grant programs that aim to identify and support environmental leaders.  The cornerstone of all of our programs is the Switzer Environmental Fellowship that selects at least 20 new Switzer Fellows each year.  Once Fellows are selected, they become part of the Switzer Fellowship Network that fosters leadership through skills training and peer coaching, professional development through mentoring and access to other Switzer Foundation grant programs, The Leadership Grant Program provides support to nonprofits and public agencies that work in partnership with Switzer Fellows when they have completed their studies; the Switzer Network Innovation Grants program supports collaboration among Switzer Fellows; and finally, Professional Development Grants offer small grants for Fellows to obtain professional development training or attend conferences that support defined goals for career advancement. All Switzer Foundation grant programs are designed to offer a spectrum of support throughout a Fellow’s career, and require the participation of a Switzer Fellow.

The Switzer Leadership Grant Program is designed to advance the professional careers of Switzer Fellows and to give non-profit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies access to individuals with superior technical, scientific or policy expertise, while working in partnership to build the Fellow’s leadership skills.  Leadership Grant Projects may address any environmental issue, however, there must be a clear partnership between the Fellow and the non-profit agency to build the capacity of the organization and utilize the Fellow’s expertise on a critical environmental issue.  Grants may support salary and project expenses for the Fellow of up to $40,000 for one year.

The Switzer Network Innovation Grants program is designed to foster collaboration among Fellows, tapping the Switzer Fellowship Network's collective potential for innovation and action to advance progress on an issue.  This will be achieved by facilitating Fellow research and collaborative action on an issue.  Fellows are encouraged to reach out to the Switzer Fellowship Network to test their ideas before requesting funding, in order to expand their perspective on both problem definition as well as solutions.

The Professional Development Fund aims to support and facilitate the professional development and career advancement of Switzer Fellows.  Professional Development Grants are primarily for Fellows that are professionally employed or continuing their graduate studies towards improvement of environmental quality and conditions.  The Foundation will respond to individual requests for professional development support of up to $500.  Grants may be used for Fellow participation in conferences, professional meetings or trainings that will advance the Fellow’s career.

Spotlight on Leadership

Leaving Only Footprints? Think again
You’d be surprised by the ripples left by a day-hiker’s ramble through the woods. In 2008 Switzer Fellow Sarah Reed, an associate conservation scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and her colleagues found fivefold declines in detections of bobcats, coyotes and other midsize carnivores in protected areas in California that allowed quiet recreation activities like hiking, compared with protected areas that prohibited those activities.Read more >

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