4th Grant Call for Prakriti Research Fellowship 2022

Deadline to apply : 15 November, 2021
Six fellowships will be granted an amount of Rs.2 lakhs each

Prakriti Research Fellowship is a small grants programme initiated to support nature conservation research and action with a focus to create a direct tangible long-term impact on nature conservation in Aurangabad and beyond. The fellowship aims to provide seed money for strong on-ground work done by individuals, teams, and small NGOs in this field from various Industry partners. Prakriti Research Fellowship has been started by CARPE in collaboration with Grind Master Machines Pvt. Ltd. and CANPACK India Pvt. Ltd. to support nature conservation research and action in India. 2020 is the 3rd year of the fellowship.

Our Prakriti Fellows

Radhika Kothari 

Project Title: Creating a Bio-cultural portfolio to inform long- term conservation action in eastern Ladakh. 


Radhika Kothari has done her M.Phil in Conservation leadership.


Her project includes developing a detailed profile and map showcasing nature-culture (both tangible and intangible) overlaps including traditional migratory routes of nomads/pastoralists, wildlife movement, land-use, community governance mechanisms, natural resources/ecosystems and management practices etc.) for local planners and decision makers.

The project aims to investigate spatial overlaps between Changpa’s and Tsomoriri ecosystems in Changthang, Ladakh. Thereby, creating a map that showcases interdependencies, interactions or overlaps between nature and cultural systems that can be used for practical application to environmental planning and management. This project will create a nature-culture profile that is aimed at informing future natural and cultural heritage conservation planning and management in the region.

Read more about her project here

Dr. Pankaj Koparde –  

Project title : Studying dragonflies and damselflies in Marathwada region and working on conservation of their habitats


Dr. Pankaj Koparde, an evolutionary biologist and Professor at MIT World Peace University, Pune. Dr. Koparde is . His work is crucial because these insects have inhabited the earth for over 300 million years surviving the challenges which even the dinosaurs couldn’t survive, and are facing an existential threat due to habitat loss today. Dr. Pankaj is an outstanding conservationist.

Read about his project here

Purabi Deshpande

Project title : Studying interactions between urban trees and birds


A PhD scholar at Helsinki University, Purabi is also a science writer bringing the scientific knowledge locked in terminologies to common people in conversational language. Purabi is studying the interactions between urban trees and birds which define the environment of our living spaces. Analysing this interplay between various tree species and birds will help strengthen the case for their conservation and facilitate informed afforestation. 

Read more about her project here

Dr. Anukul Nath

Project title : Conservation of endangered Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus), also known as Assam Rabbit (Khagorikota pohu) in Manas World Heritage Site

Dr. Anukul Nath, Assistant Technical Officer at UNESCO C2C at Wildlife Institute of India. Dr. Nath is working on conservation of endangered Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus), also known as Assam Rabbit (Khagorikota pohu) in Manas World Heritage Site. An indicator species of the grassland ecosystem, Hispid hare is facing multiple threats like poaching and habitat loss today. Do watch this space to know more about the grassroots level work Dr. Anukul is doing for the conservation of the species! 

Read more about his project here


Tushar Pawar

Project title : Community based conservation of Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary

A wildlife biologist and researcher, Tushar is also a conservation activist who worked on grassroots level in Melghat Tiger Reserve for over 5 years. Presently, he is working on community based conservation of Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary under Prakriti Research Fellowship. The most trafficked animal in the world, Pangolin is under severe threat of poaching and anthropogenic pressure. This is our last chance to save the scaled beauty, else the extinction is forever.

Read more about his project here

Jui Pethe

Project title : Anjaneri Hills Conservative Reserve conservation work

Introducing another Prakriti Research Fellow, Mrs. Jui Pethe. She is an ecological researcher and a member of Anjaneri Conservation Reserve Management Committee. Through her community-based conservation approach, Jui has played a crucial role in getting Anjaneri Hills near Nashik, the status of a Conservative Reserve. Anjaneri is home to Ceropegia anjanerica, a plant species found nowhere else in the world. It is also an important habitat of other endangered flora and birds like the Long-Billed Vultures. 

Read more about her project here

Dr. Aabid Mir

Project title: Lost for 50 years and found: Conserving the last survivors of Endemic and Critically Endangered Gentiana kurroo in Kashmir Himalaya  


Location: UT of Jammu and Kashmir

A doctorate in plant diversity assessment, Dr. Aabid Mir is the President of the Community of Education, Research and Development Foundation which is working on a range of issues including environment conservation, women empowerment and social welfare in Kashmir.  

Under the Prakriti Research Fellowship, Dr. Mir is working on conservation of Gentiana kurroo, a highly medicinal and Critically Endangered and Endemic plant species in Kashmir, Himalayas. The species was considered extinct for the past 50 years until it was recently rediscovered in a protected area. Indiscriminate exploitation and habitat destruction are leading to its extinction, let’s hope Dr. Aabid succeeds in saving it for the upcoming generations.

Read more about his project here.

Dr. Arshiya Bose 

Project title: Conserving Keystone Species through Community Stewardship and Biodiversity Ambassadors in Coffee Landscapes in the Western Ghats


Project Location: Biligirirangan Hill, Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka

Dr. Bahar Baviskar 

Project title: Capacity building of front line staff for conservation of threatened species by conducting wildlife investigation through forensic techniques.


Project  location: Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR), Maharashtra

Mr. Vishal Rasal 

Project title: Assessment of utilization, economics and sustainability of Wild vegetables harvest in and around Mumbai. 


Project location: Mumbai 


“Our World is witnessing/causing the 6th Extinction – an irreparable loss to biodiversity and ecologically diverse habitat. Research into these areas are must for directing Conservation Action. The PRF is aimed at funding individual researchers and has been successful in initiating excellent projects on diverse subjects such as Herbs, Odonates, Pangolins and also demonstrated Conservation action. We are excited with all the ON GROUND ZERO work happening with support of the PRF and Forest Department.

We believe it is important to conduct a lot more research and awareness of our rich biodiversity and PRF is acting as a catalyst in attracting and retaining talented researchers in this field’.

Sameer Kelkar

CEO, Grind Master Machines Pvt. Ltd.

“I had never imagined that there is such an amazing world of dragonflies out there. Through this workshop, I got to learn so much about dragonflies, which I always considered as a mere insect and ignored. Here onwards, I will look around, take photos of dragonflies, and contribute my data to the Marathwada Citizen Science Project to do my bit of research and conservation.”

Rushika Shirsat

BSc Zoology student, SBES Science College, Aurangabad

``Forest officials, especially the patrolling staff, were trained to monitor the activity pattern of hispid hare in the grasslands of Manas. Since 80% of people are unaware of the presence and importance of the species in their forest beat, our ongoing capacity building has initiated excellent results on the field. This initiative will also help in large scale monitoring of the Hispid Hare survey, which we plan to organize this winter.``

Forest guards, Bansbari Range, Manas National Park, Barpeta Road, Assam