Apply for an Award

Timing of applications

Before you apply to the African Bird Club (ABC) for a Conservation Award or an Expedition Award, please note the following timetable for receiving and processing applications.

Deadlines for receipt of applicationsDecision dates
end OctoberFebruary
end FebruaryJune
end JuneOctober
A project must not start before the decision date (i.e. before funding is awarded, if the application is successful). For example, project proposals seeking a decision in February must be submitted by the end of the previous October (and have a start date after February). This is to ensure that there will be sufficient time for the Conservation Committee to review the proposal and request any further information they may need from the applicant, and for ABC to ensure that adequate funds are in place.  

An applicant may only submit a single project proposal for a Conservation Award or an Expedition Award in any funding round. You may not apply for both at the same time.

Application requirements

A detailed project proposal is required and applicants must complete and submit our standard application form, which can be downloaded here:

Conservation Award Application Form

Expedition Award Application Form

Applicants must only use the application forms downloadable from this web page. ABC will not consider any other form of application.

Expedition Awards are only available for larger, more ambitious projects outside the applicant’s home country and should not be applied for to support projects that do not meet this criterion.

Completed application forms should be submitted by e-mail to

Expedition Award applications may include Appendices of up to 3 sides for maps, supporting documents, figures and/or photos.

Applicants should look through the Past Projects pages of this website to check if there has been a similar project undertaken previously. This will inform your application and allow you to contact others who have carried out relevant work. You should also ensure that you have researched the subject thoroughly before applying, including past work contained in other published literature.

Applicants should also consider, and address where possible, fieldwork ethics (e.g. ethicalfieldworkcodeofconductpdf-1 ( and the environmental impacts and carbon footprint of their proposed project.

All applications should include the following:


This should give a brief description of the aims of the project, the people and organisations involved, the location, and an outline of the methods.


This section is extremely important, as ABC cannot fund every application it receives and has to target high-priority projects. You should include:

  • For species-based projects, the IUCN conservation status of the species involved.
  • For site-based projects, a description of the habitat types, current threats and whether the area has any designation such as that of a protected area or Important Bird Area.
  • How the proposed project will benefit the species, or the area in which it is found.
  • A description of any training or skills transfer involved in the project.
  • For education projects, what the benefits of the proposed project will be.
  • For Expedition Awards, reference to any relevant published action plans, e.g. reserve management plans, biodiversity action plans, etc.


The Conservation Committee will look for the following points:

  • A description of the methods to be used.
  • Why these methods are being used.
  • A timetable of the various stages of the project, including the dates when the preliminary and final reports will be produced.

For Expedition Awards, the Conservation Committee will in addition look at:

  • The time that will be spent in the host country, e.g. preparatory work, familiarisation period, survey work, writing preliminary reports, presenting results to government departments or agencies of the host country, etc.
  • Whether the project has the approval of the host country’s government or leading conservation NGO and whether local counterparts from the relevant government department or agency/NGO will work with the project team.
    Please provide copies of letters of support from the host country government, affiliated academic institution, conservation NGO or recognised natural history or bird club in the Appendices.

Project outputs

Give details of reports, workshops, educational materials, training, etc. undertaken or produced, and how these outputs will be disseminated to local communities, government officials, and conservationists.
For Expedition Awards, also include any scientific papers to be produced.
Quantify these outputs where possible.

Conservation impact

Describe how your project will benefit conservation.

Qualifications of project proponents

Give the names and brief summaries of the qualifications and experience relevant to the proposal of the key personnel. For example, if your project involves mist-netting and ringing, give details of accreditation to a national ringing scheme.
For Expedition Awards, please provide a one-page CV of the named applicants in the Appendices.


Give the name, address, email, and phone number of someone who can comment knowledgeably on the application. This could be an ABC Country Representative (email addresses are published in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club and on this website), a staff member of a BirdLife Partner or other conservation organisation, or someone from an academic institution.


Provide a list of the main references used to produce the project proposal.


Provide a complete breakdown in table format of the costs of the project including materials, transport, living allowances, report production, etc. Give costs in local currency and show the conversion rate to pounds sterling (GBP).
If the application is part of a larger project, indicate the total cost and clearly identify the elements you are asking ABC to support.
Please also explain what will happen to any equipment bought with ABC funding.

Bank account details

Awards will usually be paid by ABC by bank transfer to a reputable third party such as the local BirdLife Partner, a locally registered conservation NGO or an academic institution.
Please provide the beneficiary account name, the name of the beneficiary bank, and the last four digits only of the bank account.
Successful applicants will be contacted by email and asked to supply the full bank account details.

Final project report

A condition of all awards that ABC makes is that the successful applicants must submit a final project report (including a financial summary) to us, which we may choose to publish on the Past Projects pages of this website and/or in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club. We reserve the right to reclaim the full amount of an award made to a successful applicant who does not submit a final project report to us. Any such applicant will also be excluded from consideration for future awards.

All successful applicants must also send us up to five images (in .jpeg format) with their report, which we may use to publicise the results. We also request that successful applicants give us a quotation that we can use about the impact of the award on their work.

All final project reports must include a Summary at the beginning of the report, and suggested report headings are:
• Title, authors, date
• Summary
• Introduction
• Field or study sites
• Methods and study dates
• Results
• Discussion and application of results
• Conclusions
• Suggestions for further work
• Acknowledgements
• References
• Appendices, including any species lists, maps or photographs

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