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Applications for Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant open

Africa’s conservationists and environmental researchers can now apply for the 2020 JWO Grant

Applications for this year’s Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant (JWO Grant) have officially been opened. This will be the second JWO Grant to be awarded and is worth $150 000 (+/- R2697700.00). The applications are open to environmental researchers and conservation leaders from Africa. The closing date for applicants pre-proposals is 27th May 2020. 

The JWO Grant was founded in honour of the late Mrs Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer who was passionate about preserving Africa’s natural heritage. Oppenheimer’s widower and former South African businessman, Jonathan Oppenheimer stated that he was excited about the possible solutions that could be found by emerging scientists.

“Jennifer was committed to the preservation of Africa’s natural heritage, and the need for investment into science to enable development. I am excited about the potential solutions that brilliant, young researchers, from the continent, will bring to this important endeavour.”

The JWO Grant aims to support an African-led research programme that will contribute to advancing environmental sciences and environmental priorities across the African continent. The grant also wishes to focus on real-world issues that affect Africa. 

Dr Hayley Clements, a postdoctoral research fellow from Stellenbosch University, won the 2019 JWO Grant for her research towards quantifying the biodiversity planetary boundary for Africa. 

Upon receiving the award, Clements said that she felt excited and stated that she would make full use of the opportunity.

“I am thrilled to receive this award that honours the legacy of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer. I’m committed to harnessing this opportunity to undertake research that effects positive change towards sustainable development in Africa.”

Online applications can be accessed here.

Who can apply?

Applicants should be an emerging African-born scientist and affiliated to a credible African institution. 

The proposed research should have a focus on solving an African issue. 

The JWO Grant specifically targets inter- and multi-disciplinary research, concentrating on the natural environment, approached through a direct or supporting field.

How to apply

The application process consists of two stages: the pre-proposal, which is open to all eligible applicants, and the full-proposal stage, which is by invitation only.

Pre-proposals must include the lead applicant’s details, a 2-page research concept note and an abbreviated CV. Closing date for pre-proposals is 27 May at 5pm.

Successful applicants will be notified via email by 8 July and asked to submit a full proposal by 12 August at 5pm.

The JWO Grant Award winner will be announced at the annual Oppenheimer Research Conference in October 2020 in Midrand, Johannesburg, and will be required to present an overview of their research programme at the event.

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