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Grant Opportunities: National Geographic Society Grants Program

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Deadline: 12-Apr-23

The National Geographic Society is accepting applications for its Grants Program to illuminate and protect the wonder of their world.

Whether you are an aspiring Explorer or already a luminary in the field, each opportunity has unique criteria and benefits to ensure that their Explorers receive support and funding aligned to their specific needs and goals. Each year, a small number of grants are awarded to individuals who are just beginning their National Geographic journey, as well as those who are working on more advanced projects.

The National Geographic Society warmly welcomes and encourages applicants from historically and currently underrepresented and underserved populations to apply. National Geographic is committed to funding a diverse and globally representative cohort of Explorers. The National Geographic Society does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, age, or disability.

  • Level I Grants receive funding up to USD $20,000 and offer unique opportunities for training, networking, coaching, mentorship, and more from fellow National Geographic Explorers, experts, staff, partners, and forums. They are looking for individuals who are interested in becoming an active part of the Explorer Community.
  • Level II Grant recipients receive funding up to $100,000. Smaller requests will be accommodated and will not be more or less competitive. At this funding level, grantees will provide mentorship to others within the Explorer community, contribute their expertise, and may participate in relevant speaking engagements upon request.
What they Fund
  • They fund individuals working on projects in science, conservation, storytelling, education, and technology that align with one or more of their focus areas.
  • And they don’t just support their incredible work. They actively seek to help them network, connect, and learn with National Geographic and each other, empower them with cutting-edge tools, technology, and training, and further their impact and recognition through their storytelling.
    • Ocean: They explore, understand, and conserve marine and coastal systems and inspire and empower local and global audiences to better understand and protect the ocean.
    • Land: They explore, understand, and conserve terrestrial and freshwater systems and inspire and empower local and global audiences to better understand and protect their lands, lakes, and rivers.
    • Wildlife: They discover, understand, and conserve individual species or genera of animals, plants, or other forms of life and inspire and empower local and global audiences to better understand and protect them.
    • Human History and Culture: They preserve cultural knowledge and better understand human history, culture, diversity, and evolution — past and present; and inspire and spark curiosity in local and global audiences with stories or lessons about humanity.
    • Human Ingenuity : They develop creative, novel, or scalable solutions to global sustainability challenges and projects that highlight breakthrough solutions and innovations.
Eligibility Criteria
  • You must be 18 or older to apply for a National Geographic Society grant.
  • Project start dates should be a minimum of six months after the submission deadline to ensure any awarded funds are received in time.
  • If you are working on a project outside your home country or community, you must include at least one local collaborator on your team who is significantly involved in the project.
  • You may submit a proposal as the project leader for only one project at a time.
  • You must submit a final report and media from any previous National Geographic Society grants for which you were the leader before applying to lead a new project.
  • The individual responsible for carrying out the project should write the application and be listed as the project leader.
  • Level I Grants are designed for individuals who may be earlier in their career, those looking to establish themselves better in their field, those seeking mentorship from others in their field and beyond, or those who want to grow their network and enhance their impact by joining a global community of National Geographic Explorers. This opportunity is best suited for individuals who have the potential and desire to make significant positive contributions to their field by leveraging the funding, capacity, and additional support provided by the National Geographic Society and connections to other Explorers. These grants are highly competitive and priority will be given to applicants who thoughtfully demonstrate how joining the Explorer Community will help to advance their career.
  • Individuals who are already National Geographic Explorers (i.e., those who have already received a grant from the National Geographic Society) are NOT eligible to apply for Level I Grants. Level I Grants are only available to individuals who are entirely new to the National Geographic Society network, as well as individuals already in the network who are not yet Explorers, including team members on previous grants, National Geographic Young Explorers awarded in 2019 or later, recipients of discretionary funding opportunities such as the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists and the COVID-19 Remote Learning Emergency Fund, and recipients of grants from the China Air & Water Fund.
  • If you are more established in your field, have previously received a National Geographic Society grant, or are seeking a higher level of funding, you may apply for a Level II Grant. You are not required to have previously received a National Geographic Society grant to apply for this opportunity. These grants are highly competitive and reserved for select projects that push boundaries to achieve significant and tangible impact in your field. Projects can be up to two years long.

For more information, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/society/grants-and-investments/

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