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The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany

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Category: Botany

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The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany


History, Arundel Scholarship: The first Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany was established in 1983 with a five-year incentive grant of $50,000 from the Wildcat Foundation. They were created by Mrs. Russell Arundel, horticulturist and dedicated environmentalist from the Warrenton (Virginia) Garden Club, and provided for two $5,000 grants a year so that doctoral candidates could pursue independent field study in the tropics. During that five-year period, over 100 applications were received for the grants. In 1989 the GCA Executive Committee voted to establish the awards on a permanent basis, and subsequently allocated $100,000 to fund the Arundel Scholarship.  

History, Visiting Gardens Scholarship: The Visiting Gardens Scholarship was established in addition to the Arundel Scholarship with a $100,000 donation from the Visiting Gardens Committee. These monies represented donations to the GCA by participants in the Visiting Gardens' trips.

Purpose: To promote the preservation of tropical forests by enlarging the body of botanists with field experience.

Provisions: Provides two or more grants of $5500 annually to enable field study in tropical botany. (Award amounts were increased from $5000 in 1994.) Generally, one grant is awarded in the area of tropical plant systematics and a second is awarded in tropical forest ecology.

Eligibility: Open to students who anticipate completing the requirements for a Ph.D. in Botany within two years. Applicants must already be Ph.D. candidates enrolled at a US university. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution. 

To Apply: There is no formal application form. Candidates should submit an application packet including the following:

  • A personal letter describing the candidate's plans for the future and commitment to tropical conservation; and

  • A two-page statement of the proposed research, including its relevance to conservation, beginning with a summary statement of the proposal’s purpose, field location, plant group/vegetation type and questions to be answered;

  • One letter of recommendation from the student's graduate advisor that includes an evaluation of the student's progress to date and a statement confirming Ph.D. candidacy;

  • Evidence of foreign language capability, if necessary for country of research; and

  • A brief curriculum vitae (1-2 pages).

Please submit all information as one PDF document. Please use standard 8.5" x 11" size paper, no smaller than 10-point, Times New Roman font, single-spaced or greater, and 1" margins on all sides. References and graphics do not count toward the two-page limit. Please email the document to

Applications must be postmarked by January 15 preceding the proposed period of study. 



Selection: World Wildlife Fund has organized and managed the program since its inception. A panel of botanists appointed by WWF screens and selects candidates, and final approval is at the discretion of the GCA Scholarship Committee.

Fund: The Marjorie Arundel Awards in Tropical Botany Fund and the Visiting Gardens Tropical Botany Scholarship Fund are managed by the GCA.

Contact: Kimberley Marchant, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. , email:


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