The Leaky Foundation invites applications from students all over the world for her Joan Cogswell Donner Field School Scholarship in the 2020/21 academic session.

Joan Cogswell Donner was elected to The Leakey Foundation Board of Trustees in 1979 and received the honorary title of Life Trustee in 2007.

As an Alumna of Stephens College and Colorado College, Mrs. Cogswell Donner has been an active member of many prominent boards and committees including the Smithsonian Institutional National Board. Currently, she serves as an Emeritus Board Member of the Smithsonian Institution, and on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Mrs. Cogswell Donner also serves as a Trustee of the Draper National History Museum of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.


  • Recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in a country where there are limited resources for academic development. Students from these countries may be enrolled in a university undergraduate or graduate program outside their home country as well.
  • A qualified field school is a program established and affiliated with a university to offer hands-on training and education in the techniques of archaeology, paleoanthropology, and primatology. Examples of training include but are not limited to:
  • Field methods in primatology
  • Field methods in archaeology and paleoanthropology

Worth of Award

This scholarship provides up to $2,000 towards field school tuition for students who are from countries with limited resources to support training in fieldwork related to human origins research.

How to Apply

The application must be submitted by the director of the field school (Host Sponsor). It is not submitted by the student.

The following information is requested in the project description section of the application. We ask that you also submit your answers via email to as a single page PDF on official letterhead.

  • Please describe the training program for the Donner scholar. This should include what opportunities are there for Donner scholars to engage with international participants.
  • Please describe why this student would be a good choice for attending the field school, including current studies, future plans, etc.
  • What is total cost of tuition? What does it cover? What are other sources of financial support. 

If you have questions about the Joan Cogswell Donner Field School Scholarship, please contact them at

Click Here To Apply

Deadline: This scholarship will be awarded year-round. Apply at any time!