Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/20/2024

Support for Programs in Developing World

The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation seeks to protect the environment, improve food production, and promote public health in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. 

The Foundation supports projects and applied research that:

  • Generate local or regional solutions to problems affecting the quality of the environment and human life;
  • Advance local leadership and promote professional development in the conservation, agricultural, and health sciences;
  • Develop the capacity of local organizations and coalitions; and
  • Address challenges in the field. 

The Foundation prefers to support projects that address under-funded issues and geographic areas.

The Foundation funds applied research, pilot projects, new initiatives, training, and technical assistance, rather than ongoing support for programs that are already well underway.  An important goal for the Foundation is to provide seed money to help promising projects, organizations, and individuals develop the track record they need to attract major foundation funding in the future.

The foundation has an online, two-phase application system comprised of a short concept application, followed by a limited number of invited full proposals.

The foundation will not consider more than one proposal from an organization in any calendar year.  Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.

Duke is not eligible again until the July 1, 2024 due date.


Deadline for Concept Applications: January 1, July 1

Areas of Interest

The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation supports special projects and programs of non governmental organizations in three primary fields of interest: conservation, food, and health. Examples of areas of interest within these fields follow, but are not meant to be exclusive.


  • Conservation grants help improve ecological and environmental conditions in the developing world. The foundation supports field research and related research activities, training, and technical assistance efforts that:
  • help conserve viable ecosystems and protect biological diversity in developing countries
  • train local leaders in conservation and protection of resources, with an emphasis on technical and scientific training


Food grants support focused efforts to improve access to food for consumption in developing countries. Areas of interest include projects that:

  • promote or develop specific sustainable agriculture practices with potential to advance science and practice in other countries;
  • explore and refine innovative education and training interventions for small scale food producers and farmers; and
  • advance new approaches to control pests and diseases affecting important food crops of developing countries


The foundation supports public health programs that are preventive rather than curative in nature. It supports research, technical assistance, and training projects that:

  • improve public health through community-based efforts that address health promotion, disease prevention, family planning, and reproductive health.
  • increase the understanding and treatment of tropical diseases
Eligibility Requirements


The Foundation supports local, state, and regional organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East in the countries where the projects are based.  It also supports organizations located in upper-income countries working with local partners in these areas.  It does not support projects in post-Soviet states or Balkan states.

Most types of organizations that can provide evidence of their non-governmental status or charitable purpose are eligible to apply, including non-governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations; civil society organizations; community-based organizations; and colleges, universities, and other academic institutions.

Amount Description

There is no minimum or maximum grant size. It is anticipated that most grants will fall in the $25,000-$50,000 per year range.

Grants are made for a one- or two-year period.  Second-year funding is conditional on the provision of a satisfactory progress report, interim financial report, and work plan.  Renewal requests for projects that were not originally approved as a multi-year project may be considered, but require a new application.

Duke Awardees

2016 - Charles R. Welch - Lemur Center - $19,000 to develop conservation priorities for lemurs in Madagascar by mapping populations in core reserves, habitat corridors and forest fragments.

2011 - Nichols School of the Environment
$20,936 to study how lowland Amazonian forests in southeastern Peru regenerate after large seed dispersing monkeys and birds have been eliminated by hunting by settlers.

2009 - Duke University Center for Tropical Conservation
$24,269 to study the migration, ecology, and management of the Orinoco Goose in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru.

Duke University Center for Tropical Conservation
$25,000 to study how lowland Amazonian forests in southeastern Peru regenerate after large seed dispersing monkeys and birds have been eliminated by hunting by new settlers.