At the Nature Conservation Foundation, in philosophy and in practice, we have been attempting to bridge the gap between on-ground conservation and science for the last decade. An institution set up and run by conservation scientists, NCF’s programmes involve rigorous interdisciplinary research on wildlife ecology and human society, followed by setting up of hands-on conservation and monitoring programmes.
To expand the reach and effect of this approach, NCF initiated its doctoral programme in 2006 to foster the highest standards of interdisciplinary scientific research and use this as a basis for effective conservation. NCF is formally affiliated with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, for this programme.
The PhD programme is designed to provide a strong and interdisciplinary academic focus for each project. It will equally encourage applied and basic research, although we anticipate that many projects will culminate in actual, on-ground conservation programmes. Selection of candidates will be based on academic merit and conservation commitment, and will be in line with NCF’s staff policy including gender and ethnic issues. To the extent possible, we will give preference to competent local candidates drawn from communities living in the biologically important regions where the research projects are to be conducted and a continued on-ground involvement is necessary to extend science to conservation practice.
Using a combination of innovative coursework, personal mentorship, and field research, we expect our students to develop a high level of independence in designing and implementing good research projects, possibly with tangible conservation outputs. Studies that address priority issues in conservation will be encouraged, along with those that objectively measure the success or failure of on-going conservation programmes, besides providing the space for research into fundamental and basic questions in biology and cutting-edge research areas.
A detailed PhD Manual provides more information.