Pairi Daiza

Pairi Daiza Foundation Grant for Biodiversity and Conservation Research

The Pairi Daiza Foundation was created from the desire to draw attention to the value of biodiversity, to create a stronger bond with nature, and to create a lasting commitment to its conservation. Apart from the objectives of conservation and education, we are convinced that the presence of animals in zoological parks must also be synonymous with scientific progress that is beneficial for endangered species. Pairi Daiza Foundation provides opportunities to Researchers via project funding or sampling agreements. Pairi Daiza Park belongs to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Pairi Daiza Foundation is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Since 2021, the Pairi Daiza Foundation and the Royal Belgian Zoological Society aim to encourage with a grant (2.500 euros) research dealing with Animal Biodiversity Conservation.

The Pairi Daiza Foundation aims also at reaching Science advances to the general public and, therefore, the research supported by the grant could be communicated to the public through Pairi Daiza communication media (including – but not restricted to – social media, print, and television media) and therefore obtain significant visibility in a general public.

The call is open between 15 February and 15 November 2024 – The winner will be announced at the ZOOLOGY 2024 congress organized at UMons in December 2024.

Application guidelines

1. The application needs to be a scientific project. The grant will not finance congress or conference assistance. The scientific activity must be linked to Animal Biodiversity conservation (in its broadest sense), focusing on one or several animal species;

2. Applicants may be a master’s student, a Ph.D. student, or a post-doc with a maximum of 5 years of seniority after the PhD.

3. Applicant must belong to an academic institution (University, Museum or Institute). All countries are eligible.

4. Field trips, and stays in a Zoo, Aquarium, Museum, or Institution are eligible. Multi-institution projects are encouraged but not mandatory. Importantly, projects involving the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) will have the preference of the Jury and are strongly encouraged. Nevertheless, involving a Zoo or an Aquarium is not mandatory. All countries are eligible (including Belgium).

5. Application documents should include (mandatory: for master and PhD students, a letter of support from the thesis supervisor):

A. All info concerning the place and the date of the stay/internship/field trip. Acceptance/support letter by a host is a plus.

B. a scientific project (1000 words max plus a table and/or a figure if needed), highlighting the potential benefits (in situ and/or ex situ) for the targeted species in terms of conservation. The scientific project must include a. a short description of the scientific context of the applicant project (master or Ph.D. thesis or postdoc project) (including general objective or scientific question), b. a description of the grant project (i. specific objectives, ii. planned scientific activity, iii. work plan (including schedule), c. a provisional budget. For the provisional budget, allowed expenses are travel costs, lodging costs, sampling, and analytical costs. Equipment expenses are not allowed; d. Ethical aspects dealing with sample collection or use should be addressed in the final paragraph of the scientific project (e.g. collection permit, Nagoya protocol,…).

C. IMPORTANT: a paragraph dealing with the outreach/communication aspect must be added to the proposal. Pairi Daiza Foundation will be potentially involved in the outreach of the granted project (science education, TV broadcast, social media).

D. a short CV (2 pages max, including professional address, professional e-mail, and a bank account where the grant can be paid);

Application documents must be sent to the RBZS secretary before the deadline (

Other information

  • Selection: This is a three-step procedure: 1. Eligibility checking, 2. Scoring/ranking by a Jury involving both RBZS members and Pairi Daiza Foundation representative, 3. Approval by Pairi Daiza Foundation. The Pairi Daiza Foundation grant will be not awarded if no application fits excellence expectations or grant call rules.
  • The grant is attributed only one time to an applicant; the Pairi Daiza Foundation manages grant payment according to its own internal financial rules.
  • Granted applicants should acknowledge the RBZS and Pairi Daiza Foundation in publication(s) related to their stay. Society logos should be added to posters or communication slides. To contribute to the Society journal, namely the Belgian Journal of Zoology, would be very appreciated (now totally open access with no page charge, FI 2022: 1.0, increasing) but is not mandatory.