Photo: Archaeology students looking for artifacts

Sifting rubble from the Cursus—a Neolithic earthwork half a mile from Stonehenge—archaeology students look for small artifacts.

Photograph by Andrew Henderson

The GEF—Northern Europe Research grants must have hypothesis-based scientific research as a primary focus and are awarded based on potential for new advances in field sciences. All proposed projects must have a geographical dimension and be of broad scientific interest.

Applications are generally limited to the following disciplines: anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology (including fields such as botany, behavioral ecology and zoology), geography, geology, oceanography and paleontology. In addition, the advisory board is emphasizing multidisciplinary projects that address environmental issues (e.g., loss of biodiversity and habitat, effects of human-population pressures).

Researchers planning work in foreign countries should include at least one local collaborator as part of their research teams. Applications seeking support solely for laboratory work or archival research will not be considered. While grants are awarded on the basis of scientific merit and exist independent of the Society's other divisions, grant recipients are expected to provide the Society with rights of first refusal for popular publication of their findings.

This grant program does not pay educational tuition, nor does it offer scholarships or fellowships of any kind.


In order to be considered for funding, the applicant must be a resident of one of the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, or the United Kingdom.

Submissions must be made in English if they are to receive timely consideration by the Advisory Board.

Applicants are expected to have advanced degrees (Ph.D. or equivalent) and be associated with an educational organization or institution. Independent researchers or those pursuing a Ph.D.-level degree may apply, but awards to non-Ph.D. applicants are rare. As a general rule, all applicants are expected to have published a minimum of three articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Researchers planning fieldwork outside of Northern Europe should include at least one local collaborator as part of their fieldwork team.

Grant Amounts

While grant amounts vary greatly, the average award is €20000.

As National Geographic Society funds are intended to function as complementary support, applicants are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding from other funding agencies. GEF Research grants tend to act as seed money and are given for one year's research.

Grant Restrictions

National Geographic Society grants may not be used for indirect costs, overhead or other expenses not directly related to the project. Fringe benefits are also excluded, as are salaries.

Funds may not be used for travel to scientific/professional meetings or conferences, legal actions, land acquisition, endowments, construction of permanent field stations, or publishing research results.

Grant recipients are expected to provide the National Geographic Society with rights of first refusal for popular publication of their findings.

What We Fund

Please visit the What We Fund page to read more about the types of research projects we fund.


To apply for a National Geographic grant, please complete the application form.

Start New Application

Continue Saved Application

Please keep in mind the following when you apply:

  • The application form can be completed in multiple sessions. You will be allowed to save your work and complete it at another time.
  • You will be asked to upload an electronic copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) while completing the form. Instructions will be provided.
  • Please make sure that your browser is configured to receive cookies.
  • If you have any questions about the application form, please email cre@ngs.org.
  • The National Geographic Society accepts applications throughout the year. However, the Committee meets only four times a year (January, April, July, October) and your application must be received at least 4 months prior to be considered in a meeting. Thus, we recommend submitting your application at least 6-8 months before your fieldwork is due to begin.
  • Previous grantees must first comply with all prior reporting and financial-accounting obligations before submitting applications for additional support.
  • Grants funded by the Committee are generally for one year's work. The average amount awarded per standard grant is €20000 (or €4000 for Young Explorers Grants).


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