UF/IFAS Programs & Projects

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative


Please note the application deadline for students at University of Idaho has passed. For University of Florida, University of Arizona, North Carolina State University, and Cornell University, the application deadline will be 2/28/2017 at midnight in your time zone.

To apply to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at one of the 5 participating universities, you will need to complete the following three steps:

1) Fill out the electronic application form.

2) Provide your college and high school transcripts. High school transcripts are optional but encouraged. Unofficial copies are fine, and they are much easier for you to obtain. You can scan your transcripts and send them as PDFs by email to ddcsp@ifas.ufl.edu. If they must be mailed, they can be sent to: Rena Borkhataria - DDCSP, UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center, 3200 E. Palm Beach Rd, Belle Glade, FL 33430.

3) Have two people who can serve as references provide letters of recommendation. We suggest asking teachers, professors, or mentors, what is important is that they have played a major role in your learning and education, will be able to write about your activities and successes, and can also speak to your level of desire and commitment to further conservation and work with people from underrepresented groups.

Letters are due by the application deadline for your university. Letters should be emailed as PDFs rather than sent by mail where possible. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your letters of recommendation are received by Program staff. If you have questions about whether a letter has been received, send an email to ddcsp@ifas.ufl.edu and we will check for you.

The online application form has five sections:

1) In the first section, you will provide basic information about yourself and your academic and work history.

2) In the second section, you will complete 2 long essay questions and 3 shorter essay questions that will help us get to know you better.

3) In the third section, we ask you to commit to the conditions of the award.

4) In the fourth section we ask you for contact information for your two references.

5) The fifth and final section is optional and asks for some information on your background that is for statistical purposes only. Your responses are entirely voluntary and this information will be separated from your application and will not be used to evaluate your application.

You may save and return to your application while it is in progress. Once you move past section 4, your application will be considered to have been submitted and you will no longer be able to return to it. Furthermore, the save and continue function uses cookies, so you can only return to your application on the same computer you started on. If you clear your cookies or switch computers, you will no longer be able to return to your application and will have to start over. For this reason, we recommend that you work on your answers in Word and cut and paste them into the application. Also note that pressing the restart button will clear all of your answers and you will have to start over.

The selection criteria are available here. If you are having trouble with any of the questions or application itself you can email or call the Program Director, Dr. Rena Borkhataria at ddcsp@ifas.ufl.edu or 561-993-1599. If you are trying to skip a required question, simply write "NA" so that you can move through the form. Just remember to come back and replace those "NAs" with your real answers. You are welcome to ask about the status of your application at any point by sending an email to ddcsp@ifas.ufl.edu.

Selection Criteria
  • At least 1.5 years remaining before graduation (at least 2 years preferred);
  • An interest in exploring opportunities to study and pursue careers in conservation fields;
  • An interest in engagement in rigorous research experiences in conservation science;
  • Intellectual capability to succeed in mathematics and science fields, whether or not presently majoring or minoring in a science or mathematics discipline, as indicated by high school and college GPA and curriculum. Other indicia of accomplishment and capability (individual circumstances that provide a context for these indicia and progress may weigh as heavily as cumulative accomplishment where appropriate in assessing individual applicants);
  • Demonstrated community service orientation and personal qualities to succeed in conservation fields (including perseverance and resilience, ability to scale barriers, communication skills and other characteristics);
  • Are the first in their family to attend college (socio-economic factors and first-generation status are not requirements for selection to the program, but they increase chances of selection); and
  • Regardless of each applicant’s own race or ethnicity, demonstrated commitment to and experience with breaking down ethnic barriers to create a welcoming environment for all—including individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups.

Each applicant will be assessed under the same criteria, holistically as an individual and as a member of the DDCF Conservation Scholars group, to assemble a Scholars group that will both benefit greatly from, and make substantial contributions to, the program. Qualified sophomores will be given preference in the selection process but highly qualified freshmen and students with only 3 semesters remaining will also be considered and students can apply to the program in multiple years.

Collaborators     ‌      ‌‌     ‌‌