GUIDELINES FOR PROJECT PROPOSAL

The goal of the Catalyst Science Fund is to support proof-of-concept science that advances the development of new biotechnology tools for conservation. Please note: The Catalyst Science Fund Science Advisory does not accept or review unsolicited proposals. To be considered for proposal, please follow these detailed guidelines.

Review current Catalyst Science Fund projects.

More Information

STEPS FOR INVITED PROJECT PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

  1. First, review the entirety of guidelines provided on this page to see whether your project idea aligns to our focus areas, funding criteria, and preferences described below.
  2. If so, email Program Manager Bridget Baumgartner, bridget(at)reviverestore.org describing your project’s main goal and potential conservation impact in 400 words or less.
  3. If there is interest in reviewing your proposal, you will receive an application template to help you develop an invited proposal for review by our Science Advisory.
  4. It is our goal to complete the Science Advisory review process and inform proposers of a funding decision within 30 days of invited proposal submission.

Focus Areas

The Catalyst Science Fund currently supports six research areas, presented here in order of increasing technical difficulty, with Genomic Insight applications considered less difficult to develop than De-extinction applications. Proposals will need to be clearly linked to one of these focus areas:

Genomic Insight

A species’ genome can reveal ways to better manage populations, natural resources, and entire ecosystems.

Example: Identifying the genes that control the metabolic pathway triggering coral bleaching.

Synthetic Alternatives

Cell culture and bio-engineering techniques have the potential to replace the use of wildlife products.

Example: Bio-engineering a synthetic replacement to fish oil rich in essential fatty acids

Restoring Genetic Diversity

Maintaining viable genetic diversity is imperative for the health of shrinking wildlife populations.

Example: Optimizing advanced reproductive technologies to promote genetic variation in endangered species.

Facilitated Adaptation

Desirable traits like drought resilience or disease resistance may help species thrive into the future.

Example: Developing inherited resistance to disease in an endangered species.

Invasive Species

Disruptive non-native species are a difficult and costly problem that calls for innovative intervention.

Example: Editing genomes to limit or eradicate mosquitos without the need for biocides.

De-Extinction

Modern biotechnology offers the potential to develop hybrid, ecologically functional proxies of lost species.

Example: Developing assisted reproductive technologies to help revive extinct (and endangered) bird species.

selection criteria

Invited proposals are evaluated according to the following selection criteria:

  • Technical merit: How likely the proposed approach will be successful. What the greatest technical risks of the project are, and the likelihood they can be mitigated.
  • Potential for conservation impact: If the project is successful, how it may improve, facilitate, and advance conservation efforts.
  • Realistic budget and schedule: The proposed budget and timeline must feasibly meet the project’s goals.

Funding preference

Funding preference will be given to invited proposals with the following characteristics:

  • A pressing conservation need: Addresses a species with a clear conservation need or can serve many conservation needs.
  • Non-technical challenges and mitigations addressed: Issues such as community acceptance and regulatory requirements should be carefully considered and planned for.
  • Matching funds are available: Other funding may include government agencies, universities, or private sources.