This activity is supported by:

Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships

Investing in young professionals working for Protected Areas

Please, note that due to the COVID-19 situation, the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship will not be awarded in 2021. We aim to continue in 2022.

EUROPARC strongly believes that young people have a vital role to play in caring for Europe’s natural heritage. Like everything else, the future of Protected Areas relies on the young generation taking an active and informed role. 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 European countries.

While there are many opportunities for students to get scholarships to improve their skills abroad, there are few for those who have already entered the working world. Hence, the aim of this scholarship is to give the opportunity to those young professionals that have chosen to develop a career in protected areas, to improve their skills and learn from other professionals by carrying out study visits to protected areas across Europe.

The Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship is a great opportunity for young professionals who have chosen to develop a career to our natural and cultural heritage. The winners of the Scholarship will have the chance to improve their skills and learn from other professionals, by carrying out study visits in European Protected Areas. The call is open to all young professionals working in topics related to Protected Areas in Europe. Conditions to apply:

  • candidates must be under 35
  • have a European nationality
  • be employed by a Protected Area or nature conservation organisation or be employed by an organisation that develops its work in a Protected Area

Applications for study visits to prepare master or doctoral thesis will not be considered.

5 steps to win your Scholarship:

1) Choose one category

The application must address one of the following selected themes faced by Protected Area Management:

2) Apply

To apply, candidates must submit:

  • Online application form– that includes your Curriculum vitae, your motivation letter, the proposed programme of your study visit, and contact details of protected areas you want to visit
  • Proof of employment if pre-selected

3) Be awarded at the next EUROPARC Conference

The winners of the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship are regularly awarded at EUROPARC annual Conference.

The Alfred Toepfer Stiftung E.V.S will generously cover your travel expenses and participation at Europe’s biggest gathering of Protected Areas professionals! Generally, the event offers a great opportunity for the applicants to learn, network and share experience on their exciting topics.

The winner of the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship in Jurmala, Latvia – EUROPARC Conference 2019

4) Travel and Learn

The scholarship covers your travel costs to one or more protected areas in Europe. Visiting different countries enables you to gather new perspectives and deepen your subject of study. Check out the example of Baiba Ralle or Csaba Bereczki, who visited different protected areas in several countries, or Eduardo Batista who made a deep study in just one protected area.

You will find all the reports since 2007 in our library and on this page you can learn more about the past scholarship winners.

5) Share your results

After the trip, the scholars are expected to present the Federation their findings in a report and a short film. 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. Here’s some inspiration from Agné and Tymur!

for more information or questions, please contact Teresa Pastor at teresa.pastor @