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Preparing Your Proposal

Here is what you will need in order to complete your proposal.

National Geographic grantee Martin Edström uses 360-degree photography to help preserve the world's largest known cave, Son Doong, in Vietnam.

Photograph by Martin Edstrom

Below is a checklist of what you will need as the project leader to prepare the proposal.
You can also download a sample application for each project focus area—conservation, education, research, storytelling, or technology—to help you prepare. Please review the individual grant agreement or institutional grant agreement you will sign if awarded funding.

You must apply using the online application in the Grants Portal.  We do not accept mailed or emailed applications. All application materials must be in English.

We strongly suggest you type your responses into a word processing program and then copy and paste them into the application. The text fields in the online form do not allow formatting, so do not use bullets, bold, italics, or special characters.

Application Checklist

To prepare your proposal, you will need:

An Understanding of The Requirements

Before you apply, please read the details and requirements of the grant for which you are applying, as well as our eligibility information. You are expected to fully understand these details when you submit your application.

Read about Eligibility

A Primary Project Focus

You will need to indicate a primary project focus. If your project spans multiple focus areas or you have expertise in an additional focus area, you can indicate a secondary focus area. Not sure which category your project falls into? 

Take the Quiz

Download A Sample Application

You can download a sample application for each project focus as a reference to help you prepare your proposal. These documents are meant for people with intermittent access to the internet and are for preparation purposes only. When you are ready, visit the portal to submit a proposal through the online application system.

A Curriculum Vitae or Resumé

We require you to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé, in English, with your application. A CV is an extended resumé that presents biographical data, educational background, employment history, and scientific or media publication history. Do not include social security numbers, bank details, or any other private information in these documents. 

Early Career Grant applicants must also submit a two-minute video that will be used to help evaluate the proposal. You may speak in your primary language, but if that is not English, you MUST add English subtitles or attach an English video transcript.

A Budget

You must submit a budget with your proposal. National Geographic Society funds usually support travel (including for teams) and fieldwork (including equipment and supplies). Grant awards do not cover funding for scholarships, tuition, training courses, travel to conferences, study abroad programs, school living expenses, lethal weapons, journal publication fees or internships. A small amount of the requested budget can be allocated for lab work or analyses. 

Review Budget Guidelines

Team Members and References

You will need to list the name, email address, project role, affiliate organization, highest degree earned, and country of primary residence for all members of your project team. If you plan to work outside of your home country, you must include at least one local collaborator on your project team.

Early Career Grant applicants need to include the name and contact information of one advisor, mentor, or supervisor. 

Start your Application

Begin your online application in the Grants Portal.