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Baldwin Fellowship

The Leakey Foundation’s prestigious Franklin Mosher Baldwin Fellowship program builds the future of science by investing in aspiring researchers around the world.

Many countries abundant in fossils and living primates lack graduate school programs for students who wish to study prehistory or primatology. The Baldwin Fellowship program breaks barriers for talented young scholars, empowering them to earn graduate degrees and become leaders in their chosen field. 

Since 1978, the Baldwin Fellowship has been instrumental in advancing human origins research and building scientific capacity in regions where fossils and wild primates are found. Initially created to support African students pursuing graduate degrees in paleoanthropology, the program now includes scholars from any country with limited educational opportunities in fields related to human evolution. 

Each Baldwin Fellow receives up to $15,000 annually for up to two years, supporting not just their studies but also providing access to essential training, mentorship, and professional networks. This comprehensive approach ensures that Baldwin Fellows are well-prepared for successful and fulfilling careers in science.

Bidisha Chakraborty, 2022 Baldwin Fellow

Information for Applicants

The Baldwin Fellowships help students from countries where there are limited opportunities for advanced education in fields of research related to human origins.

When to apply

Applications are accepted once each year. There are two deadlines depending on your status.

  • February 15 for new applicants
  • March 1 for returning applicants


  • Up to $15,000 per year
  • Limited to two years of support

Who can apply

  • This program is open to applicants with citizenship in countries with limited opportunities for advanced training and education in fields related to human origins.
  • Applicants must be accepted to or currently attending a program of advanced training or studies leading towards a master’s degree or PhD either outside or inside the applicant’s home country.
  • The applicant’s field of study must be related to human origins.

Eligible expenses

  • Baldwin Fellowships may be used to cover tuition, travel, living expenses, student fees, insurance, books, and other relevant expenditures. 
  • Aid is not provided for family expenses or dependent support, salary and/or fringe benefits of the applicant, nor institutional overhead. 
  • While all applications and budgets are considered on a case-by-case basis, the Baldwin Fellowship is typically meant to cover educational expenses.

If you are seeking project-related funds, please apply for a Research Grant. You may hold a Baldwin Fellowship (for educational expenses) and a Research Grant simultaneously.

Additional eligibility requirements

  • The applicant must have a “Home Sponsor,” who is a member of the institution where the applicant is affiliated in their home country, as well as a “Host Sponsor,” who is a member of the institution where the candidate plans to pursue education or training. 
  • In some cases, the home and host sponsor may be in the same country if the applicant is planning on obtaining advanced training and education in their home country. 
  • Should an award be made, the “Host Sponsor” must assume responsibility for overseeing the candidate’s education/training. Since the Baldwin Fellowship is intended to be a partnership between the candidate and both the Home and Host institutions, candidates are expected to be offered support by these institutions in the form of financial assistance and, upon completion of training, employment in the home country.

Is a Baldwin Fellowship right for you?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I enrolled in or have provisional acceptance to an MA, MS, PhD or equivalent program related to the study of human origins and evolution?
  • Have I been accepted or have a provisional acceptance to a host institution where I can earn an MA, MS, or PhD or receive advanced special training leading towards an MA, MS, or PhD.
  • Do I intend to return and work in my home country upon completion of training?

If you answer “Yes” to all of the above questions, you are likely eligible for a Baldwin Fellowship.

How to apply

  1. Download the instructions and materials packet.
  2. Read and follow all instructions.
  3. Submit your application online.

If you have questions about the application or your eligibility after reading the instructions, please email grants at

Start application

Start application by clicking the button that best describes you.

The Origins of the Baldwin Fellowship

The Baldwin Fellowship program was the brainchild of former Board President Dr. Edwin Munger and Elisabeth G. O’Connor, the widow of Franklin Mosher Baldwin. Baldwin was a distinguished attorney who took a lively interest in the search for human origins. Hoping to honor her late husband’s dual interests in early humans and education, O’Connor embraced the idea of a program to educate African scholars in prehistory and paleoanthropology. The first Baldwin Fellowships were awarded in 1978. Today the Fellowship has been expanded to include studies in primatology and is available to citizens from any country that does not have the programs or facilities available to fulfill the students’ human origins research goals.

Berhane Asfaw, 1980 Baldwin Fellow, former Director of the National Museum of Ethiopia

I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Sharal Camisa Smith sharal at 

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