Scholarships & Funding

Morpho Institute Explorer Scholarship Program 

As part of our commitment to rainforest education and professional development, The Morpho Institute is pleased to offer $1250 Explorer scholarships to the Educator Academy in the Amazon.  We are looking for applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to bringing the Amazon experience back to their classrooms and communities in very tangible ways and sharing their experience with future academy participants.

Eligibility:  K-12 education professionals

Deadline:  February 1, 2021, 11:59 PM EST


Vernier Software & Technology STEM Fellowship

Exclusively for AP and HS Environmental and Biology Educators.  Fellow will partner with the Morpho Institute and Vernier to establish a long term field study in the Peruvian Amazon with direct connections back to HS classrooms.  Fellow will be required to submit pre and post field reports and collaborate on classroom activities that utilize Vernier software and technology in outdoor field studies. This fellowship covers the full tuition,  in-country costs for participation in the Educator Academy in the Amazon, and $500 towards airfare to Iquitos, Peru.

Eligibility:  HS or AP Environmental Science or Biology Educators

Sign up to receive updates on the 2021 Vernier Fellowship opportunity

The Courtney R. Wilson Memorial Fellowship

This fellowship is dedicated to the memory of Courtney Wilson, a talented and passionate environmental scientist and global educator whose star shone brightly and was diminished far too early.  This fellowship covers full tuition,  in-country costs for participation in the Educator Academy in the Amazon, and $500 towards airfare to Iquitos, Peru.

Eligibility:  K-12 Education Professional

Sign up to receive updates on the 2021 Courtney Wilson Fellowship Opportunity

Fund For Teachers Fellowships

Fund For Teachers® (FFT) offers competitive fellowships for full funding of teacher professional development opportunities like the Educator Academy. Over the last 7 years, we have had more than 10 fellows join us in the Amazon.  Click HERE for links to their FFT Field Reports

The FFT application goes live on October 1, 2020

FFT Application Info

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation also awards grants to teachers in the amount of $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.  Over the last 7 years we have had at least 3 NEA award winners join us in the Amazon.

NEA Application Info

Deadlines:  Due to COVID-19, this funding is temporarily not available.

Additional Funding Suggestions

While many educators who attend our professional development programs fund their own travel, a number have received funding through district and state level professional development funds.   Others have had success with corporate funding and even national education foundations.  Below are some suggestions for where to look and how to proceed with locating funding.

Be Creative

Consider a grassroots, creative fundraising campaign and use your social networks to jumpstart your fundraising.

  • Ask for friends or family to donate frequent flyer miles to cover the cost of your airfare
  • Crowdsource your fundraising efforts.  Consider creating an Indiegogo or Donors Choose project that connects the Amazon to your classroom.  Include your travel expenses in your project budget.
  • Be creative and persistent! Think outside the box and use the Amazon as a launch for bigger, better initiatives in your school and community.
  • Don’t forget to reach out to business and organizations in your community.  Offer to do presentations at rotary, optimist, and garden clubs in exchange for funding.   Look for potential partners  that could help fund a joint project in your school or district and partially fund your Amazon experience as launching or focal point.
  • Seek funding from more than one source. Include updated information in your proposal as you are awarded monies from each source.
  • Inquire with family members or benefactors who may help support you or help you network and find untapped sources of funding.

Make Connections

Read the Academy Syllabus as a source of inspiration for your funding. Note that the rationale, goals and objectives are written to be consistent with K-12 goals for professional development and readily fundable. Use this document to inform your grant writing!

  • Identify how your experience in the Amazon will benefit your students, your colleagues, your curriculum, and your community when you return. How many people will you reach? How will you measure your results? How big will your impact be?
  • Use the Amazon experience as a lens. Consider comparisons of local environmental issues with global issues, such as climate change, global health, sustainable development, energy, population, water, quality of life and community.

Do Your Homework

Research local funding sources. District and state funding projects are often more easily accessible than national funding projects.

  •  Consult with your principal or head of school and district  curriculum supervisors.  What  professional development initiatives are underway or being planned in your district that could  dove-tail with this Amazon program?  What kind of a school  program or global relationship could you develop as a result of your Amazon experience?
  • Get to know local funders. What are their fund's objectives? To whom have they made their grants? Consider their goals when drafting your proposal. Consult with a person whose job is to know about local funding sources, e.g. a  development officer, local fundraiser or PTA advocate.
  • Would creating an interdisciplinary team or collaborating with teachers from other public or private schools improve your chances for a locally funded grant?
  • People  award money to people. Let your motivation,  values, and commitments be known to your potential funders. Consult with them on your project ideas.

Keep Us Posted!

If you are applying for outside funding PLEASE let us know.  We are more than happy to read grant proposals and offer suggestions and details that will help your application shine!  We often hold spots on the roster for those seeking funding, but only if you let us know.

Email Morpho Institute Director, Christa Dillabaugh at or call (913) 214-6126