The Expeditions Council consists of representatives from National Geographic editorial divisions (magazines, television, books, and so on) who review and vote on grant applications and an advisory board of external consultants.
The Expeditions Council is editorially driven; projects must have the potential to yield compelling stories and images. Applications are also judged on the qualifications of applicants and their teams and on the merit and uniqueness of the project.
Major fields of study the Expeditions Council funds:
– Natural History and Conservation
– Underwater Exploration
In addition to financial support, the Expeditions Council offers its grantees the opportunity to work effectively with the National Geographic’s many divisions. Grantees are therefore able to share the results of their expeditions with National Geographic’s global audience.
International applicants are encouraged. However, submissions must be made in English if they are to receive timely consideration by the Expeditions Council.
Applicants are expected to have qualifications and experience pertinent to the expedition or project they propose, and advanced academic degrees are not required. Those planning work in countries other than their own should consider including at least one local collaborator as part of their expedition team.
Grants generally range from U.S. $5,000 to $35,000 and are to be used for direct field expenses: transportation, supplies, subsistence, and permit costs as well as other related fees (e.g., interpreters, guides, and porters).
The Expeditions Council does not provide fees for photography, videography, and writing. Such fees are negotiated separately with editorial units.
In order to generate the best story, coverage of the expedition may be assigned to National Geographic photographers, writers, and film crews.
Grant recipients must provide a full accounting of their expenditures on completion of the project. They are also required to submit a report summarizing their findings within two months of returning from the field.
National Geographic requires that grant recipients give right of first refusal for coverage to National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Television & Film, and all other publication and broadcast media of the National Geographic Society and its subsidiaries. This right specifically includes books, all other National Geographic Society magazines, lectures, exhibits, our Web site and other electronic media, as well as publicity about the project.
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, 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.
Obtaining a Grant
Applying for a grant from the Expeditions Council is a two-step process.
Step 1: Pre-Application
Before receiving an application form, each team leader must submit a pre-application form online. There are a few things you should know before doing so:
- The pre-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.
- This system works best on Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape 6.0 or higher.
- If you have any questions about the online pre-application form, Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Expeditions Council accepts pre-applications throughout the year. Please submit your pre-application at least six months before anticipated project dates.
Within eight weeks, the team leader will receive a decision. If the pre-application is approved, the council will send the team leader an email with a link to the full application online.
Step 2: Application
After receiving an application, the team leader must complete and submit their application online. There are a few things he or she should know before doing so:
- The Expeditions Council accepts applications throughout the year. However, please allow six months from the receipt of your application for the Expeditions Council to formally review and consider it.
- Previous National Geographic Society grantees must first comply with all prior reporting and financial-accounting obligations before submitting applications for additional support.
- We strongly encourage electronic submission of all documents. If this is not possible, please submit your information to the following address:
National Geographic Society
1145 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036