Skip to content

All proposed projects should be bold, innovative, and potentially transformative and have a primary focus in conservation, education, research, storytelling, or technology. Projects should also align to one of our three focus areas. 

We do not usually consider applications that support strictly laboratory or collections work. Grants are awarded on the basis of merit and exist independent of the Society's other divisions. 

Please note that this is a highly competitive grant program; we receive many more applications than we are able to fund.

Project start dates should be a minimum of six months after the submission deadline to ensure any awarded funds are received in time. Learn more about our review process and timelines. 

Grant Opportunity

Requests for Proposals

As part of supporting a planet in balance, National Geographic offers Exploration grants that concentrate on certain key issues. Applicants may propose projects focused in conservation, education, research, storytelling, or technology in response to the special Requests for Proposals (RFPs) listed below.

Visit our How to Apply section to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to prepare your proposal. Please see specific RFP pages for funding levels and acceptable project duration.

 

AI for Earth Innovation

We seek to support projects that create and deploy AI tools to improve the way we monitor, model, understand, and ultimately manage biodiversity and climate change risk. 


Equity and the Natural World

We seek proposals from around the world that will illuminate and document underrepresented communities that have traditionally been given less consideration in stories of the environmental movement.


Stories of Tropical Rainforests

This RFP will support storytelling projects that highlight ecosystem-scale stories and solutions-oriented attempts to mitigate or reverse human impacts around tropical rainforests. Local storytellers are highly encouraged to apply. 


Big Cats Conservation

We seek proposals for field-based, action-oriented, and direct conservation efforts to halt the decline of big cats.



Recovery of Species on the Brink of Extinction

We seek proposals from around the world that will implement IUCN SSC Species Action Plans as well as conservation actions that are endorsed by the relevant IUCN SSC Species Specialist Group.



Picture of an archeological site

Enduring Impacts: Archaeology of Sustainability

The Enduring Impacts: Archaeology of Sustainability RFP focuses on the gathering and analysis of archaeological, paleoenvironmental, and paleoclimatological data for the purposes of increasing our understanding of human-environmental interactions over time, to ultimately contribute to mitigating contemporary environmental and climatic crises.


Plastics washed up on a beach

Reducing Ocean Plastic Pollution

This RFP will support projects that are directly addressing the threat of plastic pollution in our waterways—before it reaches the ocean. 

Grant Opportunity

Exploration Grant

An Exploration Grant application is a request for funding by an experienced project leader in the areas of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology. The applicant and his or her team members are expected to demonstrate successful completion of similar projects with measurable and/or tangible results. If you have received a grant from National Geographic in the past, you may submit a new proposal after you have closed your previous grant record. 

Grant projects last one calendar year or less. If you apply for more than one year of funding, your proposal will be sent back to you to revise and resubmit for the next deadline. Projects are typically funded for between US $10,000 and US $30,000.

Visit our How to Apply section to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to prepare your proposal.

Please note: We have postponed the upcoming deadlines for this opportunity in response to global disruptions from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). January 20, 2021 is the next deadline to submit a proposal for this funding opportunity.

Please refer to the Process and Timelines for quarterly grant cycle dates.

 

Download Sample Applications


Grant Opportunity

Early Career Grant

Early Career Grants are designed to offer less experienced individuals an opportunity to lead a project.

Grant projects last one calendar year or less. If you apply for more than one year of funding, your proposal will be sent back to you to revise and resubmit for the next deadline. Projects are typically funded for US $5,000 and cannot exceed US $10,000.

There is no maximum age limit for Early Career Grant applicants. However, applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application submission. Applicants are not required to have an advanced degree. Anyone with more than five years of professional experience in the field of their project focus does not qualify for an Early Career Grant and should apply for an Exploration Grant instead.

If you have previously received an Early Career Grant or a Young Explorers Grant from National Geographic, you may submit a new proposal after you have closed your previous grant record.

Visit our How to Apply section to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to prepare your proposal. Early Career Grant applicants may be asked to submit a two-minute video that will be used to help evaluate the proposal. You may speak in your primary language, but if that is not English, you MUST add English subtitles or attach an English video transcript.

Please note: October 21, 2020 is the next deadline to submit a proposal for this funding opportunity.

 

Sample Application  


Have questions about our grants program?

Contact us via the form below. 

 

Photograph By Photograph by Brent Stirton/Getty Images reportage for National Geographic Explorers (Top Image)