How to Apply / The Basics

Scope of Funding

JRS funds projects that expand biodiversity data and information systems in sub-Saharan Africa in our three Program Areas. Our grants are focused on technologies and processes for data enhancement, data mobilization, data visualization, and data sharing with aims of connecting knowledge to users and building capacity. We also support grants focused solely on building capacity and all of our grants are required to have strong capacity-building elements.


All proposals for funding to the JRS Biodiversity Foundation must be submitted in response to a specific invitation to apply called an RFP. RFPs are posted on our website and distributed to our mailing list and are indicated on our website by links to Current Opportunities.

Unsolicited Proposals

Unsolicited proposals are not considered; however, brief Letters of Inquiry are welcomed at any time. Please do not go the effort of developing a proposal unless invited to do so. Generally, JRS can give you feedback on whether your interests intersect with our interests based on a one-page description.

Charitable and Non-Charitable Organizations

JRS funds a variety of U.S. and international organizations, including those that do not have U.S. 501(c)3 status as charitable organizations. We do not fund individuals such as for individual travel grants or student fellowships.

Indirect Costs (also known as Overhead Charges)

JRS is willing to support expenses typical of indirect costs but requires these be directly accounted for. JRS is a charitable entity and does not match the indirect cost rates of the U.S. government or other entities. Please see our Policies page for more detail. The rates we reimburse are:

  • Up to 15% rate: Non-Profits and Educational Institutions are eligible for up to 15% of indirect costs.
  • Up to 10% rate: Government agencies of African countries.
  • 0% rate: Government agencies of OECD countries and for-profit organizations.

What we don’t fund

  • We do not fund projects on the continents and sub-regions of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, or Antarctica unless they support biodiversity data and information systems in sub-Saharan Africa..
  • We do not fund grants to individuals such as grants solely for an individual’s course study, individual travel, or an individual’s post-graduate tuition and projects.
  • We do not fund emergency projects, land acquisition, or endowments
  • We do not fund agricultural or community economic development projects such a tree plantations, beekeeping, fish farming, livelihood development, education of children, or public health interventions.
  • We do not fund efforts that directly engage in political activities, lobbying, or influencing legislation.

Applying for a Grant

We only accept full proposals in response to an open call for proposals or a specific solicitation from JRS. We fund any type of organization but do not fund individuals.


Funding Inquiries

Ideas are always welcome! We are happy to respond to a funding inquiry to inform you of how our interests might intersect with yours.


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