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Eligibility & FAQs

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Eligibility

Indian nationals and other nationalities growing up in India (Indian residents).

 

Qualification:

  • Working knowledge of English is mandatory

  • Diplomas, Under-graduates (Bachelor’s degree), Graduates (Master’s degree), Post Graduate Diplomas, Post Graduates (MPhil, PhD), and Post Docs from any field who wish to take up conservation as a career.

  • M.Sc in life sciences (Botany, Zoology, Animal science, Plant science, Veterinary, Forestry, Agriculture, Life Science)

  • Undergraduates (e.g., B.Sc, B.Com, B.E.) or graduates (e.g., M.Sc, M.Phil) from any field with work experience in wildlife/ conservation for a minimum of 2 years

  • Anyone concerned about well-being and conservation of wild species and ecosystems, but lacking knowledge and skills about the same are equally welcome*.

  • Post graduates (Ph.D) in life sciences.

  • Post graduates (Ph.D) in any field with a minimum of two years experience in wildlife/ conservation.  

  • Anyone working in a conservation organisation who wish to either understand the basics of conservation and it’s application or get an exposure in various fields of conservation to enhance their growth, or to add new tools and techniques to their ongoing projects are encouraged to apply.

  • Volunteers and interns of conservation NGO’s with the intention of making conservation their career are encouraged to apply.

  • Must be 21 years and above.

 

Other relevant criteria:

  • Applicants with prior experience as volunteers or interns in the field of wildlife, research or conservation will be preferred

  • Those wishing to change careers to become conservationists can apply with a strong sense of purpose and justification for choosing to do so.

Course-related FAQs

What does RHATC stand for?

A young wildlife enthusiast Ram Hattikudur who had a fascination for wildlife with a particular interest in spiders was training to become a career conservationist. Unfortunately, his life was cut short and this course/fellowship was started by his family to honour his enthusiasm for wildlife conservation. To know more about him, click here

What are the main objectives and duration of this course?

All life science, undergraduates & graduates enthusiasts genuinely interested in wildlife studies and conservation may not get the right break early in their lives to make a career in this field. More often than not, the theoretical knowledge they are exposed to falls short as the challenges in the field are radically different. Practical application demands a more rigorous, versatile and holistic approach to successfully solve conservation issues.

 

The Ram Hattikudur Advanced Training in Conservation bridges the gap for graduates and young professionals between academic learning and on-the-ground conservation by providing real-time training in different aspects of conservation biology gleaned from over 30 years of experience in the field.

 

The three months and a half in house training is based on the unique conservation engineering model developed by Sanjay Molur and the late Sally Walker. Interspersed with conversations with experts from around the world, debates and developing action plans on real-time issues, understanding case studies from around the country and the challenges faced by stakeholders, exploring tools for community conservation, fun activities and local field trips. The course ends with 15 day long onsite internship with one of our partner organisations and mentored by the lead investigator at the site.

What are the various aspects taught in the course and who will be the mentors?

Taxonomy, Research Techniques, Conservation policies, IUCN Red Listing, Integrating Science and Social aspects, Collecting Conservation Evidence, Human-wildlife Interactions, Species and Ecosystem Conservation, Business and Biodiversity, Governance – Laws and Policies are a few aspects taught along with training in soft skills such as Writing Grants, Publications, Conservation Communications, Manuscripts, Presentations, Verbal Communication Skills, Facilitation, etc.

 

We are proud to have a panel of mentors (who are veterans in the field and recognized worldwide for their invaluable contributions) agree to tutor and be a part of this programme in a big way. We vouch their expertise and guidance will motivate our candidates to another level of proficiency and commitment.

Is this a University affiliated course?

No


Does this course teach about GIS, R, molecular techniques, or ecological statistics?

No. This course does not deal with any of the above as there are many opportunities offered by institutions and universities on these topics. While these courses are shorter (3 to 5 days long) and can be done online, the RHATC course learning is holistic conservation action and is conducted offline with a mix of theory, practice and application.

Who gives the certificate?

Zoo Outreach Organisation.

Will this certificate help me get a job?

This certificate will give you a leg up in building a career in wildlife conservation. We will help open the doors in the world of conservation, however, your attitude, hard work, perseverance, dedication, honesty and motivation towards conservation will help you get a career in this field.

Does the course have any community reservations?

There are no reservations. The course is purely based on merit and provides equal opportunity.

Is it a residential program?

Candidates will need to be present in-house (Coimbatore) through the entire stretch of four months failing which his/her training will be deemed incomplete and Certificate of completion will be withheld.

Is it mandatory for all candidates to have the booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, it is mandatory for all candidates to have the booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine (all 3 doses) before the commencement of the course.

 

Is there an age restriction?

The fellow needs to be above 21 years (as on 1 October 2024) to apply for the course. There is no upper age limit for a fellow to participate.

Who is the course director/ mentor?

Dr. Sanjay Molur, Executive Director, Zoo Outreach Organisation

What is the cost of the course and how much do I have to pay?

The course enrolls 10+2 fellows and will be called ‘Ram Hattikudur Fellows’. There are three types of fellowships: 4 Fully-funded Fellows, 6 Mostly-funded Fellows, and 2 Self-funded Fellows.

 

Candidates can compete for 4 full scholarships made available thanks to the Coromandel International Scholarship for Conservation, which are available for deserving candidates based on need & circumstance and as decided by the jury. 

 

The 6 mostly-funded fellowships will take care of the majority of the course costs, which includes accommodation, food, tuition, course materials, and course related travel . The successful candidates with mostly-funded fellowship are required to give a donation of is Rs 30,000 towards the course.

 

We are opening two seats for self-funded applicants from India and abroad. If you are interested to know further, please get in touch with us at rhatc@zooreach.org or call us at 7605035455, 9385339863, before 31 July 2024.

What other costs do I have to bear?

Successful candidates of the RHATC course will have to bear their own travel costs to and from Coimbatore at the times of joining and leaving.

 

All personal costs that are not covered by the fellowship will have to be borne by the candidates, e.g., personal dietary and beverage requirements, travel for shopping or sightseeing. Other than these, there are no additional costs.

Can foreign nationals apply for this course?

If a foreign national would like to apply, please  get in touch with us at rhatc@zooreach.org before 1 Aug 2024.

 

What happens if I am unable to qualify for the top ten scholarship seats?

Overwhelmed with responses for the past two years, we are happy to announce that we are opening up two self-funded seats for 5.15 Lakhs each. Should you be selected for the course post the interviews, but do not qualify for the scholarship ( granted based on merit but financially needy) you can self fund your seat. We wish to encourage as many people on board, if you qualify on merit and are able to pay you will be helping another person who cannot achieve a career in conservation.  

Application-related FAQs

Who is eligible for this course?/Who can apply?

Graduates & Undergraduates from any field with field/work experience in conservation (including volunteers/interns with a certificate/letter from the organisation) for a minimum of 2 years, and fresh Graduates in life sciences. Please refer to the eligibility section at the top of the page.

If I don’t fit into the above criteria, can I still apply?

Anyone who is genuinely concerned and wanting to work aggressively for the well-being of wild species and ecosystems can submit the application and attach an additional letter of justification.

How to apply?

Read the eligibility criteria and the Application-related FAQs. If you qualify and have understood the application requirements

What are the documents required to apply?

  • Passport-size photo.

  • Certificates (Final Degree / Diplomas).

  • Vaccination Certificate.

  • Why do you want to take up this course? (150 words).

  • References from two referees on their letterhead.

  • Identity Proof (Aadhaar / Driving License or Passport).

  • 600-word Statement of Purpose  – What motivates you to take up a career in wildlife conservation?

  • Publications (Peer-reviewed or popular) if any.

  • Letter of Support from the organization head If your application and attendance to RHATC is supported by your current organization.

  • Curriculum Vitae.

What is a Reference?

A reference is a letter from a person (referee) knowledgeable of your expertise/ qualifications/ experience/ personality who can provide a formal letter of recommendation for the fellowship.  The person should also vouch for your behaviour and provide a character statement.

What should the reference statement include?

A referee should provide an account of the applicant's professional skill sets, passion for wildlife conservation, character, and achievements. A reference statement should also provide information on the applicant's career in conservation, if applicable.

What is a statement of purpose?

It is a 600-word statement indicating your motivation for conservation based on your personal experiences/case studies with a convincing justification to indicate your candidacy for this course.

How and where do I submit the documents?

The documents need to be uploaded along with the online application form.  Each document should not exceed 2mb file size.

 

I am not able to submit the form. What do I do?

Please check if you have filled in answers to all the mandatory questions. If you are still unable to submit the form, contact – rhatc@zooreach.org or call the Course Coordinator +917605035455, 9385339863.

 

How long is the course?

The course is 4 months long with 3.5 months of theory and 15 days of internship.

 

What is the selection process like?

  1. Applications will be internally assessed.

  2. Shortlisted applicants will be called for a virtual interview conducted by a selection jury.

  3. Selected applicants will undergo a final interview.

  4. The final selected fellows will be intimated by email.

 

Will the fellows be given a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, this is a certificate course and on successfully completing four months of rigorous training and field activities fellows will be provided with a certificate of completion of RHATC. Please note - Only Fellows completing the course work in full, all the assignments, project work, internship, field trips and has the right demeanor towards conservation will be given the certificate.

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