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Funded by the Waitt Foundation, the NGS/Waitt Grants Program targeted 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. This partnership of 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.

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.

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