General FAQs

Full Application FAQs

Current Grantee FAQs

To which Global Exploration Fund—Northern Europe grant program (Research, Conservation, or Exploration) should I apply?

Research grants must have hypothesis-based scientific research as a primary focus and are awarded based on potential for new advances in field sciences. Conservation grants will be awarded for innovative and applied approaches to conservation issues with potential for global application. Exploration grants support exploration and adventure around the world and are approved by media experts looking for engaging stories and topics suitable for National Geographic media.

Can you mail me an application?

No. Please apply for a grant using the online application.

I am a student. Should I apply in my advisor's name?

No. The individual who will be responsible for carrying out the fieldwork should apply in his/her own name.

My application was not successful; can I get feedback?

We do not provide feedback to declined applicants.

Do you provide funding for scholarships, tuition, travel to conferences, or studies abroad?


Does the grant get paid to the individual principal investigator/applicant, or to their affiliated organization (e.g., university, agency or NGO)?

Grants are awarded to an individual, the Principal Investigator. However, the PI may request that payment be made directly to, and administered by his or her affiliated organization.

Can I apply to more than one program at a time?

No. Please apply to only one program at a time unless you are applying for different research.

How do I apply for a continuation of a previous National Geographic grant or a supplemental grant?

Please complete and submit a new application in order to apply for a continuation of the same project previously funded by NGS.

Why do you ask about fieldwork being done in the countries of Somalia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cuba, Iran, or Syria?

If your application is approved for fieldwork in one of these countries, you will be required to obtain an Office of Foreign Assets Control license through the U.S. Treasury before National Geographic is able to disburse your grant funds.

When should I submit my full application?

Full applications should be submitted at least eight months in advance of anticipated project dates.

What is the page limit for the project description, and does this include references?

We ask that you keep your project description under 3 single-spaced pages, or approximately 1500 words. The text fields in the online form do not allow you to format your text - do not use bullets, bold, italics, or any other type of formatting. Please enter your references in the separate text field labeled “Bibliography/References.”

What are the "Other Sources"?

This refers to the funding requests you have made to other organizations for your project. Any funding already received should be listed in the section "Budget - Other sources of funding."

Are reviews of my application confidential?

Yes. While the three names that you recommend to serve as reviewers will be visible to all reviewers, the reviews themselves are kept confidential. We do not share reviews with the applicant or other external reviewers.

I need a computer and other equipment. Can I use the grant to purchase these items?

Major non-expendable equipment requests (over 750 euros) may be included in your budget. However, you will be asked to explain how the equipment is integral to your project and not available through other sources of funding.

Is it possible to change or extend my field dates once an application has been submitted?

If your reasons are legitimate, field dates can be extended after checking with the Program Officer. Start dates may be changed, but changing them will not expedite the review of your application.

My additional documents will not upload properly OR I was not prompted to upload my additional documents (i.e., CV, budget, figures, map, etc.). How do I resolve this?

You will be prompted to upload documents on the last page of the application.

If you are unable to upload files, please email them to gefneurope@ngs.org. Please include your last name in the subject line of the email. For example: "Smith, Research Budget."

I am having problems with the fields "Amount Requested From the Society" and "Total Project Budget."

Please type in only numbers. No text or punctuation is allowed in these fields.

Can I include research assistant stipends or consultant fees in my budget?

The hiring of assistants, consultants or specialists should be restricted to the actual need for such services; you will be asked to justify this need. Assistants should receive compensation above food and lodging that is consistent with local rates of compensation. For students from developed countries, funding is normally limited to per diem expenses.

Can I include salaries for the Principal Investigator in my budget?

No. Salaries for PIs are not allowed.

I am a PhD student but do not have three or more publications. Am I still eligible for funding?

Research: Generally, competition is very keen for PhD students. If you do not have peer-reviewed publications your application will probably not be successful.

Conservation & Exploration: Though advanced academic degrees are not required, applicants are expected to have qualifications and experience pertinent to the expedition or project they propose.

Can I attach letters of recommendation?

No. You will be asked to provide contact information for three references. These references will confidentially review your application. We do not accept letters of recommendation outside of this review process.

I cannot access my saved application form; when I type in the URL I am directed to a new form.

You are likely trying to access your application from the wrong URL. Please make sure to quit your browser completely, then launch it again and go to https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_69?SA=AM. You can log into the system as normal and will find your saved application.

I am trying to access my account page, but when I type in the URL I am directed to the last page of the form I was working on.

Please quit your browser completely, then launch it again and go to https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_69?SA=AM. You will be directed to your account page.

I found mistakes in my application after it was submitted and would like to edit them.

Unfortunately, there is no way for you to edit your application once it has been submitted. You are welcome to email any changes to the appropriate grant program to gefneurope@ngs.org.

How do I choose my Final Report and Financial Accounting due dates, as required in my Grant Agreement?

As written in each program’s Grant Agreement, the Research and Conservation programs require that you turn in your Final Report and Financial Accounting within eight months from the end of the fieldwork dates you provided in your application. The Exploration grant program requires that you turn in a Final Report within two months from the end of your fieldwork, and Financial Accounting within six months. Using these guidelines, please write your reporting due dates into the Grant Agreement before signing and mailing it. If your project fieldwork dates have changed since your original application, please inform a Program Officer, as this may also change your expected reporting dates. We encourage you to print out your grant paperwork on both sides of your paper to conserve natural resources.

Is the grant paid to the individual PI or to their affiliate organization (e.g. university, institution)?

Grants are awarded to an individual, the Principal Investigator. However, the PI may request that payment be made directly to, and administered by his or her affiliated organization. Regardless of the method you choose, please make sure the “payee” of the grant fills out an appropriate tax form.

My country of citizenship has not adopted the euro.  Can my grant be paid in a currency other than the euro?

No.  At this time, all Global Exploration Fund - Northern Europe grants are awarded in euros.

What is the best way to correspond with National Geographic?

In your grant agreement paperwork you should find a contact list for National Geographic staff members that are involved in various aspects of our grant programs and media coverage. To expedite e-mail responses, please place your full name and grant number in the subject line.

Do I need to mail you my original grant documents, or can I just fax them once they are completed?

If you have just been notified of a grant award and are going into the field in less than two weeks, you may fax us your grant paperwork first, but since the difference in processing time is only about two to three days, we encourage you to save natural resources and mail us your original documents outright. Regardless, all grantees or their institutions must mail us the original, signed grant documents soon thereafter. Failure to do so may affect the outcome of future grant applications to NGS.

Do all of my team members need to sign a Project Member Agreement (Research and Conservation) or Expedition Member Agreement (Exploration) before I go into the field, or can I mail it in later?

Research & Conservation: For those PIs who cannot feasibly have all of their team members sign a Project Member Agreement before they start their fieldwork, we will accept a signed original once you have met them in the field.

Exploration: PIs of Expeditions Council grants should make every effort possible to have their team members sign an Expedition Member Agreement and mail it in before they go into the field. This will help prevent delays in any media-related activities resulting from your expedition.

All Programs: If you cannot obtain all the necessary signatures of your collaborators in time for your fieldwork, please include an explanation with your grant paperwork, and the date that we can expect them. Failure to complete a Project or Expedition Member Agreement may affect the outcome of future grant applications to NGS.

What format should I use for the Financial Accounting?

The format of your Financial Accounting should be similar to the budget page that you submitted within your application. If there are any discrepancies, an explanation is required.

Should I send in receipts of the expenditures accrued during the project?

No. Do not send in your receipts. Keep them for your own records.

Do I need to account for any other funding I received for my grant project?

No. Your Financial Accounting should only document the funds awarded to you by the National Geographic Society.

I have two (or more) fieldwork seasons. Do I need to submit a Report after each season?

If you have multiple fieldwork seasons, we prefer that you e-mail a Progress Report (no more than two pages or approximately 500 words) after your first season of fieldwork. It is not necessary to send us a hard copy of your Progress Report. For Research and Conservation grantees, a Final Report is due within eight months from the end date of their final season of fieldwork. Exploration grantees must submit a Final Report no more than two months after their fieldwork.

Where can I find further information on Reporting Guidelines?

Please see the document entitled “Reporting Guidelines for Grantees” which was attached to your Award Letter.


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