Funding Opportunity: Africa Seed Grants Program at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo

With generous support from the Cleveland Zoological Society, the Africa Seed Grants Program provides funds to support field conservation and research projects in Africa. Annual awards ranging from $1000 to $3500 USD will be made to conservation and research initiatives involving wildlife and their habitats, and educational or cultural activities that involve or impact wildlife and their habitats. The pre-proposal deadline is November 6th. 

Date published: 2017/10/23

Ideal projects have clear and direct conservation impact, positively affect local people and create opportunities for capacity building in country. Projects focusing on the following areas of special interest to the Zoo are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Wildlife protection (law enforcement, illegal wildlife trade issues, etc.)
  • Human wildlife conflict mitigation
  • Development and promotion of sustainable environmental practices
  • Habitat protection and restoration (terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems)
  • Capacity-building, education/training, community-based conservation and development
  • Conservation biology, ecology and natural history studies (terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems)
  • Species/taxa based projects that focus on species within the Zoo’s collection will be given priority.


  • Pre-Proposal Deadline - 6 November 2017   
  • Pre-Proposal Notification - 1 December 2017
  • Full Proposal Deadline - 22 January 2018
  • Final Notification - 28 February 2018

Award amount:

  • $1,000-$3,500 


Application materials: 


  • Requests for funds should provide adequate information for evaluation of the project and the specific request, including a detailed experimental design and methodology
  • Projects that designate local/public education/awareness as a significant program outcome must include an evaluation component
  • Projects should begin in the year that they are applying for funding, (but not before funds are to be awarded) and contain a clearly defined beginning and end point
  • Funds will not be awarded for elements of a project that will have already occurred before awards are made
  • Although exceptions can be made, ongoing costs such as salaries of permanent staff and other administrative costs are generally not considered
  • Funds to cover contingencies or indirect costs are not granted
  • Partial funding of a project may be considered if a particular component of the project can be supported and completed independently, or if it is made clear that additional funding has been obtained or is being sought from other sources to cover remaining costs
  • Proposals requesting more than the maximum amount of funds allowed for the specific grant program will not be accepted
  • Subsequent phases of previously funded projects may be submitted
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is not required to be a collaborator for a project to be eligible for funding
  • Highly invasive, terminal research projects or projects that collect/voucher specimens will not be considered for funding


Please refer to the timeline above for deadlines and notification dates. Pre-Proposal Applications should be sent to the Conservation Assistant at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The principal investigator (PI) will be notified via email that the pre-proposal has been received and is being considered for funding. All pre-proposals will be reviewed and applicants notified via email. A limited number of applicants will be asked to submit a full proposal for review. Full proposals will be submitted to a scientific committee for final review and award determination. Final award notifications will be made via email. Projects involving research will be reviewed by scientists familiar with the research techniques and/or the species being studied. Non-research based proposals will be reviewed by persons familiar with the field, situation or topic of the request. All aspects of the project and proposal will undergo careful review by multiple reviewers, and all research, whether it is by students or professionals in the field, must adhere to the rigors and ethical principals established for valid and responsible scientific study.

Applicants previously funded through one of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s competitive grants programs may apply for additional funding for the same or a new project only after all of the requirements have been met for the previously funded grant. If applying for additional funds for the same project, the applicant is limited to two grants. After two grants have been awarded for a project, the PI is not eligible to apply for further funding for that project. There is no limit to the number of applications one can submit for different projects. The application process is the same for both new and second-time applicants.

All correspondence with regard to the proposal and review process will be directed to the PI using the contact information provided in the the Pre-Proposal/Proposal Application Form. Award and decline notifications are made via email for all proposals received for review, and are made based on the final decisions of the review committee. Upon notification of award, PI must contact the Conservation Assistant to provide written acceptance of awards and conditions, and complete fund transfer information before funds are disbursed.


  • Provide written acceptance of awarded funds including verification of funds received, and agreement to terms and conditions detailed here
  • Provide a few photographs (digital files 4x6in and 300dpi preferred) of your project that can be used in our zoo publications or promotions (may be of animals, habitat, yourself/others working on the project, etc.). We would appreciate having these within a few months of the award. Photos used in publications will credit the photographer if noted
  • A short "thank you" video clip.  This video should be of sufficient quality for web publication, and will be edited together with videos from the other projects awarded.  The video clip may be used internally and published on our website.  Each clip should contain the following information: 1.) the specific location of the project (park, region, country); 2.) information about the project including, but not limited to the species involved, the conservation issue, your approach in solving the issue, and why this is important to you; and 3.) a thank you to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society
  • Maintain contact with and provide periodic updates to the Conservation Assistant. At the minimum, provide a 6-month update via email. Updates should generally describe the progress of the project to date and need not include detailed information requested in the final report (below). A few paragraphs to one page of text is appropriate
  • Acknowledge the financial support of Cleveland Zoological Society/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in any presentations, meetings, publications and/or materials resulting from the project.
  • Submit a final report, including accounting of funds; within one year of receipt of the award (see guidelines below). If the project is more than one year in duration, a progress report should be submitted one year following the award in addition to a final report at the end of the project.

Reporting guidelines:

All reports and follow up information should be directed to the Conservation Assistant at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Final reports should be sent within one year following the award. The following format should be used when submitting reports:

  • Date Submitted
  • Progress Report or Final Report
  • Grant Program: (Scott Neotropical Fund, Africa Seed Grants, Asia Seed Grants)
  • Year Funded
  • Amount Awarded
  • Project Title
  • Project Location
  • Primary Investigator
  • Organization Affiliation
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Project web page (if available)
  • Person completing report (if different from above)


Provide a concise summary addressing the main findings, outcomes and successes of the project in 500 words or less.

Additionally, expand on the following questions in 2-3 pages:

  • What were the major goals and objectives of the project? Were these accomplished?
  • What impact will your findings and/or accomplishments have on the species/habitat/community? Also note any partnerships or collaborations that were created as a result of the project.
  • Did/will your findings and/or accomplishments influence existing conservation/research priorities or policy?
  • What are the long-term implications of the project? What is the next step?

Share a meaningful experience/story from the project that illustrates its impact /accomplishments- 
(in your own words/conversational)

*Information provided in reports may be edited and posted on the Zoo's website.Required supporting materials:


Detail budget expenses and include a copy of original budget requested.


 Include three photographs ( digital files 4x6in and 300dpi and attached separately from report preferred) that describe your project. Please number photographs and include appropriate captions for each. Each caption should include basic information about the activity, animal, habitat in the photo and the significance of the picture to the project. Please include the name of the photographer (for photo credit) as well as the names of any persons appearing in the frame.*Please send photos cleared for publication.

Additional supporting materials:

Copies of published short reports, journal articles, and popular media articles, etc. are appreciated.