Sea Turtle Foundation Research Grant


Are you enrolled at an Australian University to undertake a research project that has direct relevance to the conservation of sea turtles?

You may be eligible to submit an application for a newly established Sea Turtle Foundation Research Grant.

About the grant

Sea Turtle Foundation is dedicated to supporting conservation efforts to ensure that there are “Turtles for Tomorrow”.

Our organisation focuses on three key areas; Research, Education and Action. By supporting practical research projects, we hope to support the creation of a catalyst for change, greater understanding and increased awareness where it is needed……in sea turtle conservation.

We are proud to announce that we are offering two $2,000 grants for eligible Honours or Postgraduate students to assist in the completion of their research projects.

This research grant is designed to provide project-based support to a current student undertaking a research project that makes a clear contribution to sea turtle conservation and management.

Who Can Apply?

The Sea Turtle Foundation Research Grant is open to domestic and international students enrolled in an Honours or Postgraduate research degree in biological or environmental science or similar fields at an Australian university.

How to apply

Before applying for the Sea Turtle Foundation Research Grant, you should read the additional information including eligibility criteria in the Research Grant Application Pack provided. 

Applications must be submitted through the link provided in this website.  

Simply click on the ‘Apply’ link, fill out the Application form, and upload the required documents. 

Submission requirements

  • To be considered, applications MUST be submitted by the due date.
  • Applications must be submitted in English.
  • Proof of enrolment in an Australian University must be provided.

Applications close 31st of May 2018

Tracking gentle giants of the Northern Territory

Leatherback turtles are the largest of the world’s turtle species and are Australia’s rarest sea turtle with nesting now only observed in remote areas of the Northern Territory. They are a listed as Endangered which means without conservation action this turtle is at risk of greater decline. We need your help to unravel the mysterious life of this fascinating and rare animal before they disappear forever.

There are now only anecdotal reports of leatherback turtles nesting on our shores with one report last year and no others since 2011. Leatherback turtle sightings off the NT coast were reported in 2015 as part of a dugong survey but recent research is otherwise limited. Leatherback turtles used to nest along the Queensland and northern NSW coast but have not been observed since 1996. The trend of leatherback turtle nesting in Australia suggests we may see the last leatherback turtle nest on our shores in the next 10 years.

We don’t currently understand where the nesting NT leatherback turtles come from, go to, or how many there are. They may belong to a western Pacific population or to another in the Western Indian Ocean. Our efforts to save the remaining leatherback turtles requires an understanding of important feeding areas and migration pathways and the threats they encounter between these areas. 

There is hope to save these amazing animals but we need help. Funds raised will be used to do weekly aerial surveys along the Cobourg Peninsula, the NT’s only Marine Park – also an area of the highest recorded leatherback nesting in Australia.

The project aims to first detect leatherback turtle nesting along the coast and when found, attach satellite tags to two individuals. If we are able to do this, they would be the first leatherbacks ever tracked with satellite tracking technology in Australia.

Once satellite tags are fitted, the public will be able to track the leatherback turtles online as they migrate away from the Territory coast and return to their feeding areas. The encounter will also allow an opportunity for genetic data to be collected to help in identify which population they belong to.

Sea Turtle Foundation will work in collaboration with researchers from the Northern Territory government to provide another piece in the complex jigsaw of our understanding of leatherback turtles in northern Australia. 

We need your help to make this happen! 

Head over to our donation page if you would like to contribute to our efforts to better understand and conserve these beautiful creatures. And remember, all donations over $2 are fully tax deductible!