Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships

Awarding the Scholarships at the 2014 Conference Ceremony in Hungary © Gábor Nagy

Investing in young professionals working for Protected Areas

Each year the EUROPARC Federation, with support from the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., awards three Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships to promising young conservationists, who are committed to working for the benefit of Protected Areas. The aim of the scholarships is to enhance international cooperation and to advance the quality, innovation and European dimension of Protected Area management.

Each scholarship is worth €3.000 and enables successful applicants to undertake a study visit on a particular theme to one or more Protected Areas in a European country. After the trip, the scholars are expected to present the Federation with their findings and a report. These reports are made available to EUROPARC members, as they are full of interesting facts on observation and solutions to common Protected Area management issues.

You will find all the reports since 2007 in our library.

The scholarships enhance international cooperation and the advancement of quality and innovation, and promote the European dimension of Protected Area management.

Every year themes of study visits are announced by EUROPARC and the application needs to ensure that the studies being proposed will address these themes.

Call for 2017 is open!


This year, the categories open for applications are:

1. Biodiversity and Climate Change– Importance of values of N2000 sites and protected areas on reducing impacts of climate change and implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy

2. Sustainable Development in Protected Areas – contribution to a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy

3. Opportunities for Health and Well-being in Protected Areas Contribution of protected areas to safeguard the European citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing

4. Parks for PeopleApproaches and strategies to address local communities and how to involve particular groups into activities or management of protected areas

Candidates should indicate which theme they are choosing in the application form and explain their motivations.

How to apply?

Applications are open from the 6th February to the 28th April.  The complete schedule is as follows:

When? What?
6th February 2017 Call for applications open
April 28th 2017 Deadline for applications
May 25th 2017 Notification to selected applicants
August 9th 2017 Deadline for completion of study visits proposals
6th to 10th September 2017 Awarding ceremony at EUROPARC Conference 2017, Portugal
January – December 2018 Study visits

Steps for the application:

  • Read the guidelines and check if you are eligible (in particular in the list of countries)
  • Fill in the application form here
  • Create an outline of your travel plan, where possible with contacts and confirmation
  • Send it to [email protected] before the 28th April

Need an example of a successful application?

Example motivation and application I

Example motivation and application II

Example travel plan

 Application Requirements:

– to be under 35 years and have a European nationality
– to be employed by a European Protected Area or a nature conservation institution
– to be student or graduate of higher educational institutions, studying an environmentally relevant topic related to Protected Area management

Scholars are selected by the EUROPARC Federation.

Need inspiration?

Get to know the previous winners of Alfred Toepfer Scholarship!