Unique opportunity for 16–25 year olds to apply for a 90% subsidised, Darwin-inspired scholarship, combining environmental education and ongoing support. 

Applications closed on June 5th 2022

The Field Studies Council has a charitable mission to engage and connect everyone with the outdoors and will cover 90% of the cost of the scholarship. Scholars will pay the remaining 10% (Only £45-£90! location dependent) 

The Young Darwin Scholarship is funded through grants and donations from the Field Studies Council and external donors and organisations such as the Our Bright Future project (The National Lottery Community Fund), Generation Green project (Defra and Dept Education funds), the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) and Groundworks, who all believe in the benefits of supporting young people.

What is included in the scholarship?

The scholarship starts with a heavily subsidised and immersive 5 day residential trip, or series of days,  which involves a lot of time outdoors in environmentally engaging locations. During the week or series of days you will: 

After the residential trip/day series you will be supported in several ways, which are exclusive to Young Darwin Scholars: 

  • Dedicated FSC staff member to advise and assist with your chosen environmental pathways 
  • Access to the Young Darwin Scholar mentoring scheme, which consists of experts from various backgrounds who are available to chat via email.
  • Access to our wide range of Eco-Skills courses at a heavily discounted rate. There are close to 200 courses covering 30+ subjects that run online and at locations across the country. 
  • Opportunities to meet and connect with other scholars at events throughout the year
  • Series of online webinars covering career and academic advice, current environmental topics and projects, and wider environmental themes. 
A Young Darwin Scholar looking in the grass
Practise a range of field and identification skills

We have been successfully running this programme since 2012  and have awarded scholarships to 195 young people. This year, we are awarding another 75 places to young people from across the UK.  

The FSC Youth Council and other environmental organisations have had significant input on the content of the scholarship to ensure what is being offered is relevant to the young people of today.  

Locations and dates:

Aged 16-17 Residential

5 days Residential

£90 cost to Scholar

  • 1st – 5th August at FSC Preston Montford (Monday to Friday)
  • 15th – 19th August at FSC Castle Head (Monday to Friday)

Apply Now

Aged 18-25 Residential

5 days Residential

£90 cost to Scholar

  • 18th – 22nd  of July based at YHA Manchester
  • 29th of August to 2nd of September based at YHA Bristol

Apply Now

Aged 18-25 London Day Series

London Day Series

26th-29th of July (Tuesday to Friday)

£45 cost to Scholar

15 places in total

Note no accommodation is included but majority of sites are based in Central London.

One application form is for all four London locations. Full attendance would be expected to get the best experience:

  • 26th July – Meet at FSC Regents Park classroom
  • 27th July – Meet at Stave Hill Ecology Park
  • 28th July – Meet at FSC Bushy Park
  • 29th July – Meet at Linnean Society

Apply Now

Useful information to know before applying. Accessability and Support

The residential cost includes food and accommodation.

The content between the residential and day series is similar, with the main difference being no overnight experience.

We welcome all young people regardless of their backgrounds or experiences. You do not need a degree or any qualifications to be a scholar. All we ask is you have an interest in nature and are open to learning new environmental skills and discovering more about the environmental pathways you can follow while being part of a group of like-minded young people who all share an interest in the natural world.

If you have any support needs or any other questions about accessibility or criteria that you want to discuss before applying for the scholarship then please get in touch.

If the cost of travelling to the course or the 10% contribution is stopping you from applying please do talk to us. FSC Youth Engagement Officer has access to some funding to support those most in need as we want more young people to take part in this scheme. Financial help will be dealt with on a case by case basis. We understand this is sensitive information and no financial information will be shared with other scholars.

Email: [email protected]

Application Process 
The application process is an easy-to-use online form which includes three main questions:

  • What are your interests in the natural world? (Max 300 words)
    Ideas for answers – Note these are ideas and not all points have to be covered:  What is it about the natural world that interests you, what has inspired this interest, where did it come from and why is it important to you? What topics about the natural world grab your attention? Do you have a favorite plant, animal or fungus?
  • What do you do to connect with the outdoors, and why? (Max 300 words)
    Ideas for answers – Note these are ideas and not all points have to be covered: Think about the places you visit, what do you enjoy about them,what activities do you do while there? Are you a part of any clubs or societies, do you do any volunteering? Do you practice any environmental skills. Are they any local green spaces you like to explore. Why is this connection to the natural world important to you? – you may attach any relevant links to content you have created to help with your application
  • Why should you be awarded a Young Darwin Scholarship? (Max 200 words)
    The scholarship is a 4-5 day immersive experience followed by ongoing support. What is it you hope to gain and learn while being a Young Darwin Scholar, what are your environmental goals and interests – these can be academic, career or personal. How would you like to be supported while being a Young Darwin Scholar?

If you find answering online forms difficult and would rather talk through and answer the application questions please contact [email protected] with your contact phone number and availability to call. 

Some people find it easier to write their answers to the above questions on Microsoft word or Google docs and paste the answers into the application form.

Scholars will be chosen based on their answers in the application. All answers will be assessed against scoring criteria and the FSC Youth Council will be part of the selection process. There is no follow up interview process. 

Applications must be submitted by June 5th 2022. Successful applicants will be contacted by June 10th 2022 and will have a week to accept the scholarship.  

To keep up to date with all opportunities for young people (16-25) in FSC, make sure to sign up to our Youth Mailing List. This is highly recommenced as the mailing list gets first access to FSC offers, discounts and opportunities. 

I have loved my time on the scholarship. I have learned a lot of new skills and had some great experiences with great people. I’d recommend the scholarship to anyone with any environmental or wildlife interest.

Young Darwin Scholar 2021
  • Two young people outdoors looking at wildlife ID guide

If you have any questions regarding your application or the scholarship please email:
[email protected]