Nepal Conservation Research Fellowship

Many early-career researchers struggle to envision viable careers in the conservation, particularly because relevant in-country support and opportunities for international travel and study remain limited. In response, Greenhood Nepal, in collaboration with the Tropical Environmental Change and Policy Lab at the Lancaster Environment Centre, has launched a new program to support early-career Nepali conservation researchers. It aims to support a new generation of conservation leaders with the academic, professional and social assistance they need.

The Fellowship links emerging conservationists via a unique peer-to-peer network and connects them with the domestic and international support to design robust research projects that help deliver conservation outcomes and further their professional goals. It also creates new opportunities for international researchers interested in long-term mentorship of aspiring conservationists-researchers in Nepal, facilitating collaborative, mutually-beneficial opportunities for research, joint proposals, international travel and policy engagement.

The first cohort (2018) of Research Fellows were selected via a competitive process and are collaboratively defining the scope and scale of this new programme. Future intakes will be announced publically, although the programme is expected to take the only small number of long-term members.

The 2018 Fellows are:


Ms. Kanchan Kattel is a graduate student and conservation enthusiast. She did her undergrad in  Sustainable Development from Royal University of Bhutan. She is especially interested in community-based natural resource management. Via the Fellowship, she aims to undertake research related to the linkages between livelihoods and conservation in Nepal’s Alpine protected areas.



Ms. Reshu Bashyal holds an MSc degree in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University, she is passionate about conservation and climate action and works to support national and international non-profit environmental organizations, government, and grassroots communities to take leading roles. Via the Fellowship, she plans to research related to illegal wildlife trade and the conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants, especially orchids.


Mr. Regan Sapkota is an environmental conservation enthusiast. He holds MSc in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University, with specialization on biodiversity conservation and climate change. He is interested to study the dynamics of climate change and  biodiversity. In this Fellowship he aims to bridge the existing gap in this sector by providing research-based solutions that increase the effectiveness of conservation practices in the context of changing the climate.


Ms. Sabitri Rai is Master Graduate of Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University, with specialization on biodiversity conservation. She is active in biodiversity conservation education. Via this Fellowship, she aims to evaluate the design and effectiveness of different conservation education approaches to help to improve and strengthen conservation literacy in developing countries like Nepal.


Core Activities & News

Lab Meetings: The Fellows organise monthly lab meetings during which they share research ideas, discuss journal articles, and debate current global and domestic research issues.

  • 18 Jan. 2018: Focused on Balmford and Whitten’s 2003 paper “Who should pay for conservation?” and its implications for conservation policy in Nepal.
  • 16 Dec. 2017: During this first meeting, Fellows introduced themselves and their research interests.

Training: The Fellows organise and participate in a range of training opportunities, including in research methods and professional skills.

  • 2018: Upcoming Greenhood training GIS, R, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Research design and data analysis.
  • 2018: Upcoming WWF Nepal’s The Green Generation training in project and financial management
  • 08 January 2018: 2-day training in social science research methods by Jacob Phelps from the Lancaster Environment Centre

Individual research: Each of the Fellows is developing their own research project, with the support of the group and, where viable, international academic mentors.

Events & networking: Fellows participate in a range of conservation-related and networking events.

  • 11 January 2018: Visit the UK Embassy to meet Ambassador Morris to introduce the new Fellowship Programme
  • Conservation Enforcement in Nepal, a policy event in Kathmandu on 10 January 2018
  • Lecture, “Why Perceptions Matter in Conservation” by Dr. Jacob Phelps at School of Environment Science and Management on 05 January 2018 and Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University on 08 January 2018.