The Young Darwin Scholarship is a Field Studies Council initiative supporting young people with a real interest in the natural world and inspiring the next generation of ‘Darwins’.

Applications for 2024 are now open!

This has all been possible thanks to previous support from Our Bright Future project (The National Lottery Community Fund), the Generation Green project (Defra and Dept Education funds), Groundworks, The Jean Jackson Trust, The Cross Hills Naturalists’ Society Duncan Clough Grant, The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, The Royal Entomological Society and individual donations.

  • Young people outdoors looking in at insects
  • Ian Cheeseborough teaching Young Darwin Scholars about bees
  • Young people looking in to microscopes
  • Two young people outdoors looking at wildlife ID guide
  • Young Darwin Scholar looking at insect with hand held microscope
  • Two young people looking in to an insect net
  • Young people looking in to microscopes
  • Young Darwin Scholars looking at insects

The scholarship starts with a heavily subsidised 5-day residential trip, or series of days, at locations across the UK, with each experience centring around time outdoors in environmentally engaging spaces. During these experiences, scholars will:

  • Practice a wide range of field and identification skills, observing a variety of plants, trees, invertebrates, and other wildlife.
  • Gain practical observation, planning, and recording skills through a series of real-life application tasks to help with wildlife and habitat conservation and management.
  • Explore a range of landscapes and learn how these areas are managed and conserved.
  • Meet inspirational speakers and experts from different backgrounds to discuss current environmental issues and projects, offer advice, and answer any questions.
  • Build confidence while exploring the outdoors with like-minded people who share similar interests.

“I hadn’t considered that one small application would forge such a pathway through my life. The Field Studies Council Young Darwin Scholarship planted and continues to grow my passion for the environment and sustainability. I have met two of my now closest friends, and it has provided a strong link to a community of fellow young people with similar passions and interests.” 

Previous Young Darwin Scholar

Scholars will continue to be supported for three years following their experience through a range of exclusive webinars and events, subsidised places on our natural history courses and environmental activities, all supported by a dedicated staff member.

Past scholars have continued to study natural history through university degrees and PhDs. They have secured green careers in ecology and conservation, and many are volunteering with various environmental organisations.

#SponsorAScholar: finding the next generation of Darwins 

Field Studies Council has supported over 250 Young Darwin scholars across more than a decade.

In 2023, nearly 400 young people applied for a scholarship. This included people from communities who struggle the most to access environmental education and careers. Right now, the demand for scholarships far exceeds our charitable funds.

Help us to help them.

To keep up to date with all Youth updates offered by the Field Studies Council, sign up for our dedicated Youth Mailing list!

See our other young people opportunities