Maderas Rainforest Conservancy Scholarship for Education and Training in Field Primatology

Funded through an educational grant from the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy (MRC), the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) offers one scholarship annually to outstanding undergraduate and/or graduate students for research and career training in a field course at La Suerte Biological Research Station, Costa Rica or Ometepe Biological Research Station, Nicaragua. The goals of the MRC are to advance research, education and conservation of primates and tropical forests. We encourage interested students from anywhere in the world to apply.

The scholarship provides full tuition for an approximately one-month basic field course including room and board (3 meals/day), instruction, access to all facilities at the field site and in-country transportation to and from the field site. Information about the history and location of the field sites, facilities, course offerings, course syllabi, research opportunities, primate species present, and a list of La Suerte/Ometepe teachers and alumni can be found at All courses are taught in English and, based upon availability, students can select the course and field site they wish to attend. The scholarship does not include airfare to Costa Rica or Nicaragua, books, supplies, field equipment, medical insurance, or hotel/meals the first and last night in San Jose, Costa Rica or Managua, Nicaragua. Field courses are offered during December-January and from May through August. 

Students awarded a scholarship will be selected by the ASP Awards & Recognition Committee based on the strength of the student’s academic record, responses provided in the application materials, and a letter of recommendation.

Applications will only be accepted through the ASP online submission system, which is now available in the Members section. Non-members of ASP will need to create a Guest Member login to access the grant submission system. Guest Members can access some ASP web pages (e.g., grant applications and conference registration) but do not join ASP or pay dues. Non-members please follow the prompts under "New registration."

To apply for this educational scholarship, applicants must first apply to and be accepted into one of the basic level field courses offered by the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy. Applicants must then submit the following required materials to complete the scholarship application:

  1. A completed information form (download form) including a personal statement detailing the student’s goals for talking the field course, how completing the field course is expected to enhance the student’s educational and professional career, and the field course(s) of interest. You will upload this completed information form during the online submission process.
  2. A letter of reference from a professional educator familiar with the student’s academic progress (e.g., academic advisor, major professor, teacher). We ask the letter writer to comment on how the student is likely to respond to living in another environment and culture. You will be prompted to provide the name and email address of your referee during the online submission process.  Your referee will automatically be contacted via email and instructed to provide a letter.
  3. An unofficial copy of the student’s transcript. Transcripts should be emailed to:
    Justin A McNulty, Chair, ASP ARC
    708 Limon Lane
    Austin, TX  78704
  4. The student must submit his/her completed application materials to the ASP Awards Committee by March 1, 2019. Past awardees will be ineligible. 

Once a student is notified by ASP that s/he has been selected for the award, the student will be required to complete and sign the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy scholarship form available at their web site. The form includes the student’s accurate medical, contact, and insurance information and a signature on all waiver forms. Depending on the student’s age the signed consent of a parent or legal guardian may be required. These forms and information can be found under the ASP Scholarship Link at Students must complete the field course within twelve months of official notification of the award.

For questions concerning the scholarship application, please contact Justin A. McNulty at

For questions concerning course offerings, course content and field site facilities, please contact Paul A. Garber at