National Geographic Expands Global Grants Program, Funding Individuals and Ideas That Push Boundaries, Inspire Solutions

The National Geographic Society today announced the expansion of its grants program to better address the most critical issues facing our planet and ensure a healthier, more sustainable future for generations to come. Under its newly diversified, streamlined grants program, the Society awarded funding to nearly 70 applicants representing 21 countries. For the first time, applicants comprised a wider range of disciplines, including educators, storytellers and technologists as well as the scientists, conservationists and explorers traditionally supported by the organization. Among the new grant recipients are a South African-based photojournalist documenting disappearing seabirds; a biologist studying Chile’s wild cockroaches; and a researcher mounting a public education campaign to identify Ireland’s “holy wells.”

To simplify the process for candidates, the Society also created a new online grants portal that provides an easy-to-use and streamlined application. Funding opportunities are available for bold individuals and transformative ideas that harness the collective power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to change the world.


New grant recipient Thomas Peschak, a German photojournalist, will be documenting the human impact on seabirds in Peru and New Zealand to understand why they are disappearing. Peschak plans to compare his photos to 100-year-old archival imagery to demonstrate population decline and create a virtual reality experience to encourage conservation. According to Peschak: “With support from the National Geographic Society, I can share the seabirds’ story, pull them out of the shadows and galvanize an effort to preserve what is currently threatened.”

Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has been pushing boundaries to explore and document our world, supporting more than 12,500 grant projects along the way. From Hiram Bingham’s exploration of Machu Picchu to Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee behavioral research and, more recently, the discovery a new species of human ancestor in South Africa, the Society has long committed to investing in bold people and transformative ideas and sharing these stories with the world. This year alone, the Society has already awarded a total of 180 grants.

For much of its history, the National Geographic Society has given grants through its Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE). To align with the expanded grants program, the committee has now broadened its ranks to include members from all over the globe as well as those representing the fields of technology, education and storytelling.

The committee will meet to consider the next round of grant applications in August and November of this year. Upcoming 2017 deadlines are July 1 for decisions by November 30. Individuals interested in applying for a grant are encouraged to visit or email to learn more.


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