Graduate Research Fellowships

OTS offers graduate research fellowships to work primarily in its Costa Rica field stations. (The Bossuyt and Hovore-Horn Fellowships are exceptions explained below). OTS fellowships are open to graduate students enrolled in degree programs at OTS member institutions and to OTS graduate course alumni.

We are accepting applications for projects that will end by June 30, 2021. We review applications every first and third Monday of the month and will notify accepted applicants two weeks later.

The deadline for projects starting after July 1, 2021, is March 1, and we will notify accepted applicants by June 1.


Questions can be directed to fellowships@tropicalstudies.org

General Information for Fellowship Applications:

  • Awards are intended to assist thesis-related field research in tropical biology and similar fields.
  • Pilot awards for exploratory research cover up to 30 nights at OTS field stations, for the fellow and a field assistant if necessary, plus $150 toward OTS services to obtain research/export permits.
  • Thesis research fellowships cover up to 60 days at OTS field stations, for the fellow and a field assistant if necessary, plus $200 toward OTS services to obtain research/export permits.
  • OTS graduate research funds are limited. Most awards will be restricted to OTS field stations in Costa Rica (La Selva, Palo Verde, and Las Cruces), with the exception of one annual fellowship for research in Peru; and the Hovore-Horn Entomology awards which may be used in any Latin American country. Proposals for research at other sites will not be considered.
  • Only one research award may be held at a time.
  • The Hovore-Horn Entomology funds are intended for Latin American entomology students, for small amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500 (see full description below).
  • The Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship is prioritized for research at Cocha Cashu, Peru (see full description below).
  • Researchers must find outside resources to cover international and local travel expenses, research equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Applicants need not specify the award for which they are applying, with the exception of the Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship or the Hovore-Horn Entomological fellowships.
  • Completed proposals must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for funding. Proposals may be submitted in English or Spanish.
  • Notification of decisions will be about two months after each deadline; please plan accordingly.
  • Successful applicants must complete the proposed research within the original time frame of the project approved for funding, usually within one year of the award.

Proposal Guidelines

Submit the following items, typed in 12-point font. Items 2-9 should be no more than seven pages for research fellowship awards and no more than four pages for pilot awards. All pages must be numbered. Items 1-11 must be submitted by email to fellowships@tropicalstudies.org. A letter of endorsement from the thesis advisor should be sent directly by your recommender by email to fellowships@tropicalstudies.org. Proposals that are incomplete or do not comply with guidelines will not be processed.

  1. Fellowship Cover Sheet OTS Fellowship Cover Sheet (Download)
  2. Project abstract
  3. Project objectives
  4. Project methods
  5. Project significance
  6. Project schedule and expected outputs
  7. Project budget
  8. Budget justification
  9. Literature cited
  10. Name, address, telephone, fax, and email of four people who can comment on the scientific merit of the proposal
  11. Curriculum vita of applicant
  12. Letter of endorsement from thesis advisor

Direct English or Spanish proposals/questions to:

Graduate Program, OTS, Costa Rica Office
Tel: (506) 2524-0607 • Fax: (506) 2524-0608
E-mail: fellowships@tropicalstudies.org

Graduate Endowed Fellowships

When you apply for a fellowship, it is not necessary to indicate for which fellowship you are applying, with two exceptions (Hovore-Horn and Francis J. Bossuyt).

  • Donald & Beverly Stone Fellowships: The Donald and Beverly Stone Fellowship was created to honor Donald and Beverly Stone for their more than 20 years of service with the Organization for Tropical Studies. Don served as the Executive Director and Bev as the Administrative Assistant from 1976 to 1996 and during that time built OTS from a small organization to a large consortium of over 50 universities. The Donald and Beverly Stone Graduate Fellowship was established by OTS alumni and friends to recognize Don and Bev for the tremendous advances that they helped promote in the fields of tropical biology.
  • Francis J. Bossuyt Fellowship: The Francis Bossuyt fellowship was created as a memorial to the life of Francis Bossuyt (1969-2000). At the time of his untimely death, Francis had been collecting his final year of data for his dissertation on Titi monkeys at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Manu National Park in Peru. In recognizing Francis’ love for the Titi Monkeys and for field-oriented research, the Bossuyt family established this graduate fellowship with the following order of priority funding: 1) on animal behavior (preference for Callicebus) in Cocha Cashu and the surrounding areas, 2) on other subjects in Cocha Cashu, 3) by Peruvian students working in tropical ecosystems in Peru, and 4) at other locations in the tropics.
  • William L. Brown Fellowship: The William Brown Fellowship was created by the family and friends of William Brown, a distinguished entomologist at Cornell University, who conducted research at the La Selva Research Station.
  • David and Deborah Clark Fellowship: A fellowship established by the JiJi Foundation in recognition of the pioneering work undertaken by Drs. Deborah and David Clark at the OTS La Selva Research Station.
  • Rexford Daubenmire Fellowship: The Daubenmire fellowship was created in memory of Rexford Daubenmire (1909-1995) by his wife Jean Daubenmire. Dr. Daubenmire was a widely-recognized expert in plant ecology and professor of botany at the University of Idaho and Washington State University.
  • Dole Food Fellowship: The fellowship is funded by Dole Food Company in Costa Rica. Dole Food produces more than 150 products, including bananas and pineapples, marketed worldwide. Dole is a long-time supporter of OTS.
  • Emily P. Foster Fellowship: The Emily Foster fellowship was created by the family and friends of Emily Foster (1967-1994) as a memorial to her life. Emily treasured the beauty and wonder of the Costa Rican biodiversity and the generosity of the Costa Rican people. Emily worked in Costa Rica for a number of years before her untimely death.
  • Glaxo Centro America Fellowships: This fellowship was established by Glaxo Centro América. Now part of GlaxoSmithKline, an international pharmaceutical company with offices throughout Latin America, Glaxo Centro America recognized the importance of providing research support for Latin American graduate students.
  • Hovore-Horn Fellowship: The Hovore-Horn research fellowships in entomology are available exclusively to Latin American students for work in any Latin American country. Funded through an endowment established in 2005 by biologist Frank T. Hovore in honor of his parents, Alice and Andre Horn, this fellowship also honors Frank himself, who succumbed to a heart attack in September 2006 while doing what he loved, collecting beetles in Ecuador. Awards will usually range from $500 to $1,000 and may not exceed $1,500.
  • Henry Leigh Fellowship: A research fellowship established in loving memory of W. Henry Leigh, to be awarded annually to the most qualified graduate student applicant from throughout the United States.
  • Lillian and Murray Slatkin Fellowship: A research fellowship established by Joan Slatkin Barton in honor of her parents. Ms. Barton was a member of the OTS Board of Visitors from 1994 until 2003.
  • Christian and Betty Thompson Fellowship: A research fellowship established by F. Christian and Betty Thompson of Kingstowne, Virginia.
  • Christiane and Christopher Tyson Fellowship: A research fellowship established by Christiane and Christopher Tyson for U.S. and Latin American graduate students. Christiane and Christopher Tyson have been involved with the OTS Board of Visitors since 2001.
  • (Other designation) Thomas Bishop Memorial Binocular Endowment: Thomas Bishop Memorial Binocular Endowment: These funds are available for purchases of binoculars and similar equipment to assist researchers in their work. Please inquire about these funds.