Rare and Endangered Tree Conservation Fellowship

Osa Conservation invites applicants to the 2022 Rainforest Science and Conservation Fellowship in Rare and Endangered Tree Conservation.

We are seeking innovative and ambitious early career scientists and graduate level students who are interested in researching the next big topics in tropical ecology, restoration, and conservation; and the best ways to tell the story of habitat and biodiversity conservation. If you want to live and work at our Osa Conservation Campus for 6 months in the heart of Osa Peninsula’s rainforest, in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific region, then we want you to apply.

The selected fellow will:

  • Explore the world of botanic discovery, first hand. The Rare and Endangered Tree Fellow will work alongside Osa Conservation’s botanic team to protect understudied tree species throughout southern Costa Rica – from the Osa Peninsula to La Amistad National Park. Advancing knowledge on species ecology and physiology is fundamental, especially in the face of climate change, land-use change and natural resource extraction in the region. 
  • Help lead botanical expeditions deep into the tropical rainforest to locate and protect key species, allowing us to better understand distribution, improve propagation and planting methods, and prioritize immediate conservation actions needed.
  • Conduct research in the new Osa Arboretum, which spans coastal, wetland/mangrove, riparian, grassland, secondary forest, and old growth forest habitats located within Osa Cosnervation’s 3,000 ha wildlife refuge – protecting more than 300 native, endemic, rare and threatened tree species. With a trail network spanning 250 ha, the Osa Arboretum is on its way to becoming one of the largest arboretums in Central America.
  • Work alongside local botanical expert Marvin Lopez, Ridge to Reef Director M.Sc. Andres Sanata, IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer M.Sc. Ruthmery Pillco.  and the rest of the Osa Conservation team, led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Andrew Whitworth.

The Osa Conservation Campus

Fellows will live at our Piro Biological Research Station in the Osa Peninsula. Located about 1 hour from the nearest town, the biological station  is uniquely positioned to inspire and equip early career scientists. At the OC Campus, state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research, extraordinary landscapes and conservation technology fuse to create an elite field site. 

Nestled in the heart of the Osa Peninsula, the surrounding geographic and biological uniqueness makes this an exceptional place to conduct research and tell conservation stories. The peninsula is a global biodiversity hotspot, with over 400 species of birds, 140 mammals, 115 amphibians, 500 trees and 6,000 insects, and exceptionally high levels of endemism and rarity. The research station is often visited by troops of endangered spider monkeys, Red-capped Manakins and White-lipped peccaries.

Within a single location, the OC Campus allows one to explore a diverse array of ecosystems including mature and secondary lowland and premontane forests, coastal and marine ecosystems, mangroves, lagoons and rivers. The campus boasts over 28 km of maintained trail system and a sprawling arboretum of over 301 species of rare, endangered and endemic trees.

Fellows will be immersed not only in a unique geographical setting, but also in an outstanding scientific community of local and international conservationists, biologists, media-specialists, educators and community outreach leaders. The team is led by renowned tropical ecologist and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Andrew Whitworth, Executive Director of Osa Conservation and Associate Researcher at University of Glasgow. Dr. Whitworth and the OC team of 20+ conservation practitioners and scientists.

The fellowship is valued at $12,000 and the 6-month fellowship starts in March 2021; the exact start date is flexible (earlier start dates will be given preference).


The fellowship provides funding for:

6-months of room and board, including 3 meals/day 

Equipment and supplies needed to complete fellowship activities

International travel to Costa Rica and domestic travel to the OCC

Monthly stipend to provide for personal expenses

Health and accident insurance while at OCC

6-month visa and all permits to conduct research


Applying is easy! 

Please send your CV, a 1-page research proposal, and a short video* explaining why you are the best person for the fellowship (maximum 2 minutes) to Andres Santana [[email protected]]. Please include “Rare and Endangered Tree Fellow” in the subject line. Deadline to apply is 7 February, 2022.

*Make sure the security settings on your video allow anyone with the file to access and share it.