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Applicants are invited to submit applications for Darwin Initiative's Main Project Funding which is a competitive grant scheme, to support projects in developing countries. The Darwin Initiative aims to build local capacity to manage local biodiversity and the natural environment for the future, securing the benefits of these natural resources for people.
The objective of the Darwin Initiative is to protect and enhance biodiversity and in doing so, to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries. It does this by funding projects that help developing countries to meet their obligations under at least one of the international conventions/agreements. Projects supported should contribute to one, or more, of the following:
protection or enhancement of ecosystems, species or genetic resources through in-situ or ex-situ conservation or remedying environmental damage;
integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services within host country development objectives and economic decision making, through institution building, capacity development, strengthening regulatory and policy frameworks or research; or 
assisting host countries’ efforts to meet their obligations under at least one of the international conventions/agreements.

Project Length
The minimum length of a project is 1 year and the maximum length is 3 years. Any budget commitment must end by 31 March 2022.
Applicants for Round 25 of the Darwin Initiative:
should plan to start on or after 1 April 2019. Applicants cannot start earlier and it is unlikely the final list of projects will be accepted until end of February 2019 at the earliest.
must ensure their budget commitments end by 31 March 2022.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Applications must come from an organisation, and not an individual. Applicant organisations can be based in any country. 
  • One of the aims of the Darwin Initiative is to build capacity. It is therefore common for an organisation from a developed country to be working with an organisation from the eligible developing country hosting the project, to jointly manage its implementation. Darwin Initiative would encourage joint management of the project through a formal agreement setting out the responsibilities of each partner in advance.
  • Funding would be awarded to the lead organisation who would normally provide the named Project Leader, but on a day to day basis the project could be managed by two or more individuals. These arrangements should be described in the application form.
  • Darwin Initiative does not expect governments and their agencies to lead on projects, though they may be partners. Darwin funding cannot be used as a substitute for activities that would normally be part of a government’s core functions (such as full-time staff salaries or routine management activities). 

Organisations applying for funding must:

  • have a credible record of working on similar types of projects
  • have demonstrated experience managing projects of a similar size
  • nominate a Project Leader who will be responsible for the technical direction of the project and be the main point of contact

More Information


How to Apply

You will need to apply online for Round 25 Darwin Initiative main projects through the Flexigrant application portal.

Before applying, please read the Round 25 guidance (PDF, 458KB, 51 pages). You will also need to read the Finance for Darwin & IWT and the Darwin initiative main projects flexigrant user guide (PDF, 139KB, 8 pages) and our Privacy policy (PDF, 131KB, 3 pages) .

Once you have read the guidance, please complete the Darwin Initiative round 25 - stage 1 application form (MS Word Document, 172KB) .

If you are invited to Stage 2, please complete the Darwin Initiative round 25 – stage 2 application form (MS Word Document, 253KB) [by invitation only].