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The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Tropical Botany

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Category: Botany

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Application deadline: January 15


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

Level of Education

Ph.D candidates


Applicants to the Fellowship in Tropical Botany must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, and currently enrolled in a U.S.-based institution.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 U.S. university.


Provides two or more grants of $5500 annually to enable field study in tropical botany. Generally, one grant is awarded in the area of tropical plant systematics and a second is awarded in tropical forest ecology.


The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) began overseeing this program in October 2023. Selection is by a panel appointed by the NTBG and is approved by the GCA's Scholarship Committee. 


The Arundel Scholarship, the first fellowship in tropical botany, was established in 1983 with a grant from the Wildcat Foundation. The incentive grant was created by Mrs Russell Arundel, horticulturist and dedicated environmentalist from the Warrenton (VA) Garden Club, and provided two grants per year to support doctorical candidates pursuing independent field study in the tropics. The awards were made permanent by the GCA Executive Committee in 1989 and are currently named simply the GCA Fellowship in Tropical Botany. Previously, the World Wildlife Fund oversaw from 1983-2023. 

To Apply

Candidates should submit an application packet to the National Tropical Botanical Garden, 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 pages, 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 file to the NTBG contact below by January 15.



Katie Magoun, Science and Conservation Executive Assistant

National Tropical Botanical Garden

3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, Hawai'i 96741 USA

OFFICE: (808) 826-6608

CELL:  (808) 346-7354


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

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