(c) Aaron Wilton, 2024 View from Mount Barrosa, Canterbury. Photo by Aaron Wilton.

GBIF Graduate Researchers Awards

The GBIF Graduate Researchers Awards are an annual programme that aims to foster and recognize innovative research and discovery in biodiversity informatics by graduate students whose master’s and doctoral studies rely on GBIF-mediated data.

The 2024 Graduate Researcher Awards will provide a pair of 5000 prizes recognising the work of two early-career reseachers. Preferably one Masters and one PhD candidate who receive formal nominations from the Heads of Delegation of Node Managers of GBIF Participant countries.

A jury organized by GBIF Science Committee will select two award recipients from the pool of nominees whose names are received by the GBIF Secretariat by 24 June 2024. The GBIF Secretariat will announce winners before the 31st meeting of the GBIF Governing Board (GB31) and present the winners’ work at the meeting in Portugal in October 2024.

New Zealand deadline

19 June 2024

Eligibility for nomination by New Zealand

To be eligible candidates must be affiliated with a graduate programme at a New Zealand tertiary institute. New Zealand nomination(s) must be submitted to the GBIF Secretariat by the New Zealand Head of Delegation and Node Manager.

Submission process and deadlines

Students seeking nomination must apply to the New Zealand Head of Delegation (HOD) before the stated deadline. Email: gbif.newzealand+hod@gmail.com

All proposals will be reviewed by GBIF-NZ for suitability prior to submission to GBIF by the New Zealand HOD.

If more than one nomination per category (i.e. Masters, PHD) is received by the NZ HOD then proposals will be reviewed and prioritised by the New Zealand HOD and Node Manager, and endorsed by MBIE. If required, this process may draw on relevant experts at Universities, Crown Research Institutes or government agencies to assist with this process.

Proposals that are not selected may be updated and resubmitted for consideration in subsequent years.

Award nomination packet

GBIF and GBIF-NZ will not consider any incomplete proposals that are submitted.

Candidates should prepare their proposal and nomination packets to include:

  1. Research summary (200 words)
  2. Project description (maximum 5 pages, 12-point Arial). This should describe: a. How their research advances biodiversity informatics and/or the conservation of biological diversity. b. The role of data accessed through GBIF in addressing these questions. c. The research scope, plan, methodologies, relevant literature citations and timetable. d. If relevant, a description or an excerpt from a data management plan that outlines: i. how data related to the research is published or will be prepared for publication through the GBIF network. ii. Consideration of the FAIR and CARE principles
  3. Curriculum vitae of the student applicant including full contact information at the home institution.
  4. Supporting documents a. An official letter from the student’s faculty supervisor certifying that the applicant is a student in good standing in the graduate programme of the university. b. At least one, and no more than three, letters of support from established researchers active in a field that encompasses and incorporates biodiversity informatics (e.g., genetics, species composition and traits, biogeography, ecology, systematics, etc)

The four documents specified above will be submitted to the GBIF Secretariat by the NZ HOD.

To support the New Zealand prioritisation and selection process, candidates may optionally provide a brief statement (maximum 2 pages, 12 point Arial) that demonstrates how their research will benefit New Zealand. If relevant this may be done through showing alignment with key New Zealand data and biodiversity strategies (e.g., as Te Mana o te Taiao, Long-term Insights Briefing) or reports (e.g., PCE reports).

Selection process and criteria

Research proposals must clearly demonstrate how the study incorporates data mobilised through GBIF.

GBIF-NZ will review and prioritise all full proposals received from New Zealand affiliated candidates, and submitted the top proposal in each category to the GBIF Secretariat as the New Zealand nominations. Proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the criteria applied by the GBIF Science Committee, as well as any additional criteria noted above.

The GBIF Science Committee will review the nominations received from participant countries and select winners of the Graduate Researchers Award.

The criteria for the awards include:

  • Originality and innovation
  • Use of and strategic significance for data accessed through GBIF
  • Measurable effectiveness and impact in advancing biodiversity informatics and/or the conservation of biological diversity

Awardees are expected to acknowledge GBIF support when disseminate research results via peer-reviewed publications, presentations at professional meetings, and other media.

Students with questions about GBIF-enabled data should work with academic advisors and the GBIF-NZ node. If required, GBIF-NZ may also refer them to the GBIF Secretariat or members of the Science Committee.


19 June 2024cut off for submission of proposals to NZ Head of Delegation
24 June 2024Deadline of proposal submission to GBIF by NZ HOD
30 June 2024Candidates informed of the nomination status of their proposals following confirmation of recipient by the GBIF Secretariat
31st Governing Board (GB31) - October 2024Recipients of the Awards announced. Presentation of the recipients work.