National Geographic Society-Waitt Grants


Quintana Roo Underwater Cave Project ~ Beneath the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula, Sam Meacham, Explorer and NGS/Waitt grantee, and his team are exploring and mapping the longest underwater cave system in the world.


Funded by the Waitt Foundation, the NGS/Waitt Grants Program targets projects around the world in the cultural and social sciences at the cutting edge of technology and exploratory research. The program helps qualified individuals launch what is often the most difficult stage of a project to secure funding—the search—and awards grants for exploratory fieldwork with the potential for new breakthroughs. NGS/Waitt Grants place a special emphasis on expedited award processing and is able to fund “proof of concept” research for applicants at an earlier stage in their careers.

Administered by National Geographic Mission Programs, the NGS/Waitt Grants Program makes grants between $5,000 and $15,000. Proposals are considered as they are received then those meeting the guidelines are evaluated by a committee that convenes monthly. Generally, awards are made within 8 to 12 weeks of application submission. To date, the program has granted nearly $3.5 million and has funded close to 300 field projects in sciences such as anthropology, archaeology, nautical archaeology, biology, geography, geology, oceanography and paleontology.

How to Apply

Complete information on eligibility, frequently asked questions and more is available through National Geographic.

About National Geographic

Founded in 1888, National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world with interests in geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation. National Geographic has a rich history of grant-making that dates back to the Society’s earliest days and over the years, has awarded more than 8,000 grants for exploration, research and conservation efforts.


NGS/Waitt Grants Program
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