National Geographic


You must meet National Geographic's eligibility requirements in order to be considered for a grant.

National Geographic grantee Dr. V. V. Robin studies bird ecology and evolution on the sky islands of Western Ghats, India alongside Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan.

National Geographic grantee Dr. V. V. Robin studies bird ecology and evolution on the sky islands of Western Ghats, India, alongside Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan.

Photograph by Prasenjeet Yadav

All applicants and grantees must meet the following requirements,
regardless of which grant type they are pursuing. 



All applications must be submitted through our online application system . We do not accept mailed or emailed applications. All application materials must be submitted in English.

Early Career Grant and Exploration Grant projects last one year or less. Project start dates should be a minimum of six months after the submission deadline to ensure any awarded funds are received in time. See the Grant Opportunities page for information about exact deadlines.

Learn more about Preparing your Proposal.

Project Leadership

You may submit a proposal as the project leader for only one project at a time. However, you may be a project member or co-applicant on multiple grants simultaneously. You must submit a final report and media from any previous grants for which you were the leader before applying to lead a new project.

Organizations can apply for grants, but the person within the organization who will lead the project—not the institution—should be the applicant and will be expected to meet the requirements of the grant.

Students should not submit in their advisor’s name. The individual responsible for carrying out the project should apply and write the application.

Age Restrictions

All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time they submit an application. There is no upper age limit for Early Career Grants. However, if you have more than five years of full-time, professional experience in the field of your project focus, you do not qualify for an Early Career Grant. Time in graduate school does not count toward this experience limit. Visit our Grant Opportunities page for more information about grant types. 


We encourage applications from around the world. If you are planning to work outside of your home country or community, you must include the name and contact information for at least one local collaborator as a project team member in the application. Please note that the National Geographic Society does not assist with visas. Learn more about our regional offices and programs.

Current Grant Restrictions

  • As a result of changes in Chinese law effective January 1, 2017, the National Geographic Society is unable to support new grantee work in mainland China. This applies to any individual or organization proposing work in mainland China, regardless of citizenship. We will still accept applications from residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau as long as the proposed work is outside of mainland China. The National Geographic Society continues to actively pursue registration with the Chinese government and will restart grant making once the registration process is complete.
  • You may be required to obtain an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license through the U.S. Treasury before the National Geographic Society will deliberate on your application if you are a resident/citizen, or are proposing to conduct fieldwork, in an OFAC-sanctioned country or region. See further information about these restrictions on the OFAC website. Please work with your legal counsel to determine what authorizations are required.
  • You are prohibited from engaging in any grant-funded work with any individual or organization who is on the Specially Designated National (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Treasury. Again, please work with your legal counsel if you have any questions.


Ethics and Anti-Corruption Compliance

Applicants are responsible for securing all necessary permits and agreeing to the National Geographic Society’s ethics policies. Grant applications require compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.K. Bribery Act, and other anti-corruption laws. Virtually every country where we conduct grant-related activities has laws that prohibit corruption, including bribery. Some of these laws apply globally, including the U.S. FCPA and the U.K. Bribery Act. We take compliance with these laws very seriously. We expect our grantees to maintain the highest standards of ethical behavior, honesty, fairness, and transparency. We do not pay bribes or engage in other forms of corrupt financial conduct, and we will not tolerate a grantee or anyone else doing so with our funds.

Award Guidelines and Requirements


If you are awarded a grant, we'll need a few documents and materials from you to get your grant started and release funds. Please review the individual grant agreement or institutional grant agreement you will sign if awarded funding. All your onboarding documents and requirements can be found in the Resources section of the Grants Portal.  


During the application process you will be asked to add and categorize the expected results and outputs of your project. If your grant is awarded, you will be expected to report back on these results at the time of your final report.





How Does Your Project Align?

Potential grantees will need to indicate a project focus—conservation, education, research, storytelling, or technology.
Not sure which category your project falls into?

Take Our Quiz





Start your Application

Begin your online application in the Grants Portal.

Project Alignment Quiz Image: Cory Richards/National Geographic