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, for which we select 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 opportunities, and access to other Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation grant programs described below. All foundation grant programs are designed to offer a spectrum of support throughout a fellow’s career.

The Switzer Leadership Grant program is designed to advance the professional careers and leadership capacity of Switzer Fellows, and to give nonprofit organizations access to a Switzer Fellow with superior scientific, policy or technical expertise. Leadership grant projects may address any environmental issue; however, there must be a clear partnership between the fellow and the nonprofit agency to build the capacity of the organization and elevate the fellow’s expertise on a critical environmental issue. One-year grants may support salary and/or project expenses for the fellow.

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. Prior to submitting a proposal, fellows must reach out to the Switzer Fellowship Network to seek feedback on their ideas before requesting funding in order to expand their perspective on both problem definition as well as solutions. Grants of up to $10,000 are available and are best suited for project startup or seed funding.

The Professional Development Fund aims to support and facilitate the professional development and career advancement of Switzer Fellows. Professional Development Grants may be used for fellow participation in conferences, professional meetings or trainings. The foundation will consider fellow requests for professional development support of up to $500. 

Spotlight on Leadership

Studying the role of infectious disease and perceptions of ecological change
2014 Fellow Andrea Adams’s dissertation research involves the study of disappearing frogs in Southern California. “One species, the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) disappeared from the region during a short period of time in the mid-1960s to early 1970s,” Andrea explains. “One thing that can cause such rapid declines in amphibians is the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus. I study this fungus’s distribution and disease dynamics in different amphibian species in Southern California to see if it could have been a major contributing factor to the disappearance of the foothill yellow-legged frog in the region. To do this, I conduct molecular work in the laboratory, as well as field and museum work.”Read more >

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