“This program gives those of us in the field the necessary monetary
and infrastructural support that we need to turn participatory research
into a reality that actually makes a difference in people's lives.
What a revolutionary concept: research done in the name of helping
people and the environment.”
- Stephanie Lynn Gripne, Fellow 2001, University of Montana, Missoula
CFERP will not be accepting applications for fellowships in 2010.
CFERP is reaching the end of its current funding cycle
and is redirecting existing monies to programmatic changes
which we hope will translate CFERP into a new and more enduring program
for supporting community-driven participatory research for the benefit of people and places.
If you have questions or want further information,
you may contact Jill Belsky (jill.belsky[at]umontana.edu or 406.243.4958)
from the CFERP steering committee.
We've changed our name!
In 2006 we celebrated our tenth anniversary of providing graduate level students with fellowships in community forestry and participatory research. As part of this milestone we commissioned an independent evaluation of the program and its activities.
The evaluation results confirmed our core mission of nurturing new scholars committed to engaging constructively with communities to enhance the sustainable management of natural resources.
Through this process it also became evident that our name, Community Forestry Research Fellowship Program, did not reflect the broad scope of the work done by the program, the fellows and the community partners. While we have always funded research that fits into a broadly defined concept of community forestry, it was time to change our name to reflect our goal of building capacity for stewardship of natural resources and the environment.
To better reflect the work that we do we changed the name of the program to Community Forestry and Environmental Research Partnerships (CFERP).
CFERP Background and Mission Statement
Founded in 1996, the Community Forestry & Environmental Research Partnerships program supports collaborative research on natural resource management with communities in the United States.
It is our belief that for natural resource management to succeed, policies, procedures and organizations need to be sensitive to local social and cultural realities and to achieve this, ideas, knowledge and scientific data needs to be shared among communities, scholars and natural resources professionals.
CFERP's mission is to nurture a new generation of scholars and university-community partnerships to build scholarly and community capacity for stewardship of natural resources in ways that are socially just, environmentally sound, and economically sustainable.
The primary purpose of the fellowship is to enable graduates students and communities to work on participatory, community-based research that promotes mutual learning and advances the conditions and practices that support sustainable natural resource management, capacity building, viable local economies and more democratic decision making.
For a complete list of past fellowships click here.
Implementing our mission
To effectively build capacity for stewardship of natural resources, we are especially interested in research that falls within the scope of one or more of the following themes:
- Promoting place-based conservation – Research in this theme examines community participation in the sustainable management of natural resources.
- Promoting social and economic justice in environmental management – This theme entails inquiries into inequities in environmental management.
- Strengthening connections between cultures and the land – Investigations of community ability to maintain traditional lifeways and land uses in the face of outside encroachments and/or competing interests are the central concern of this theme.
For more information on our program themes, click here.
Why participatory research?
Participatory research is founded on the principle that local people are knowledgeable about the environments in which they live and that the active engagement of community members in research can enhance analysis by diversifying the knowledge base and encouraging the examination of the research problem from many perspectives. Community members are full partners who participate in all phases of the research from question formulation, through data collection and analysis, to dissemination of results. As an essential component of the CFERP fellowships, participatory research produces robust, policy-relevant information rooted in local environmental, social, and economic needs and realities.
For more information on Participatory Research click here.