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National Geographic Society
Web Site:

Director: John Francis, Ph.D.
Fax: 1 (202) 429-5729   E-Mail:
1145 17th Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036-4688 UNITED STATES
Department: Committee for Research and Exploration

Mission: The National Geographic Society, through the Committee for Research and Exploration, supports scientific research and exploration by providing grants for basic, original field research in disciplines including anthropology, astronomy, biology, botany, geography, geology, oceanography, paleontology and zoology. Particular emphasis is currently being placed on multi-disciplinary projects of an environmental nature. Priorities favor research that addresses pressing environmental concerns -- loss of biodiversity or habitat, impacts from increasing population, etc. All projects must have geographic relevance or significance. Applications solely for laboratory work or archival research will not be entertained.

Principal Research Programs: Funding is worldwide, and is not limited to U.S. citizens. When research is planned in foreign countries, one or more collaborators should be identified and included in the research team. Projects may focus on local issues, although those with a broader orientation relevant to global geographic issues may be given preference. Grants are awarded on the basis of scientific merit and are separate from the Society's magazines, publications or television divisions. Recipients of grants, however, must give the Society first opportunity to publish, publicize or promote (through print, photograph, film or video) any research results. Investigators with advanced degrees (Ph.D. and above), and associated with institutions of higher learning or other scientific and educational non-profit organizations or museums are eligible to apply. Independent researchers or individuals pursuing a Ph.D. level degree may submit applications, but the competition is keen. As a basic guideline, an individual must have published a minimum of 3 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals to qualify. Grants vary in amount, depending upon the need and nature of the project, but average between $15,000 and $20,000 per annum. Before receiving an application form, each potential investigator must submit a short project preproposal (500 words maximum). This should explain the significance of the research, who will be participating in the project, and where it will occur. It should also include a schedule of the fieldwork portion on the project, as well as an estimate of total anticipated expenses. Please include a curriculum vitae for each prinicpal investigator, along with a list of his or her scholarly publications. Those whose projects are deemed appropriate for the Committee will receive an application form. While applications have no deadline, all require up to eight months for processing.

Training Opportunities: The Society does not offer scholarships, fellowships or pay educational tuition through this program.

Last Updated: 2007-02-27

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