Explorers

Photo: Young Explorer grantee Ian Nichols

Photograph by Dr. Kathryn Jeffery

THE BASICS OF APPLYING FOR A YOUNG EXPLORERS GRANT (PDF)

Young Explorers Grants (YEG) offer opportunities to individuals ages 18 to 25 to pursue research, conservation, and exploration-related projects consistent with National Geographic's existing grant programs, including: the Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), the Expeditions Council (EC), and the Conservation Trust (CT).

Eligibility

The Young Explorers Grants Program supports a variety of projects—and an age-range of applicants—that are generally not covered by other sources of funding.

Applicants are not required to have advanced degrees. However, a record of prior experience in the fields of research, conservation, or exploration should be submitted as it pertains to the proposed project.

Funding is not restricted to United States citizens—foreign nationals are invited to apply. Researchers planning work in countries abroad should make great effort to include at least one local collaborator as part of their team.

Where Should I Apply?

The Committee for Research and Exploration funds hypothesis-based scientific research. Consult the CRE website for more information on the fields of research funded.

The Conservation Trust funds innovative and applied approaches to conservation with potential for global application. Consult the CT website for more information on the types of projects funded.

The Expeditions Council funds exploration and adventure around the world. Consult the EC website for more information on the types of programs funded.

Grant Limits

Young Explorers Grants vary in amount depending on significance of the project, though most range between US $2,000 and $5,000 at the maximum. National Geographic Society funds often serve as complementary support—thus the program encourages applicants to seek additional, concurrent funding from other sources.

Grant Restrictions

National Geographic Society grants may not be used for indirect costs, overhead, and 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, tuition, vacations, study abroad programs, volunteer activities, legal actions, land acquisition, endowments, construction of permanent field stations, or publication of research results.

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

APPLY FOR A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GRANT

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

Fill out YEG application for Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE).

Access your saved CRE application form.

Fill out YEG application for Expeditions Council (EC).

Access your saved EC application form.

Fill out YEG application for Conservation Trust (CT).

Access your saved CT application form.

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 the question to the fund you are applying to: cre@ngs.org, conservationtrust@ngs.org, or council@ngs.org. Please remember to include Young Explorers Grant in the subject line.
  • 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 maximum awarded per standard grant is $30,000 (or $5,000 for Young Explorers Grants).

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