NGS/Waitt Grants

The National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program helps qualified and experienced individuals launch the most difficult stage of a project for which to secure funding—the search. Grants are made for exploratory fieldwork that holds promise for new breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences. NGS/Waitt Grants applications are processed throughout the year and grants are awarded expeditiously to help researchers take advantage of immediate opportunities. The NGS/Waitt grants are an initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Institute.

Funded through a five-year grant from the Waitt Foundation, the NGS/Waitt Grants Program is administered by National Geographic Mission Programs and makes approximately one hundred grants annually of $5,000 to $15,000. Proposals are considered as they are received and awards are made within weeks of application.

The Waitt Grants Program upholds rigorous standards of review and scientific merit, but does not shy away from risky or unproven ideas. In that spirit, NGS/Waitt Grants support projects at the cutting edge of technology and research. The Program encourages applicants to think big—but travel light—as they look toward new frontiers around the globe. Grants are made to explorers and scientists in research fields such as biology, anthropology, and the geosciences who are working across disciplines and reacting quickly to field opportunities.

The NGS/Waitt Grants Program targets nascent initiatives and untested concepts that may have trouble finding funding through traditional sources. Where time is short and the stakes are high, NGS/Waitt Grants can ensure that opportunities for discovery are undertaken. The NGS/Waitt Grants Program is a collaboration of the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Institute, and is made possible by a grant from the Waitt Foundation.