National Geographic Conservation Awards

The National Geographic Society Conservation Trust awards grants ranging from $15,000–20,000 for projects that contribute significantly to the preservation and sustainable use of the Earth’s biological, cultural, and historical resources. Grants funded by the Conservation Trust are for one year’s work in the field or laboratory.

The Conservation Trust accepts pre-applications throughout the year. Applicants should submit pre-applications at least eight months prior to anticipated field dates. Within eight weeks the principal investigator will receive a decision. If the pre-application is approved, the board will send the project director an e-mail with a link to the full application online.

Applicants are not expected to have Ph.D.s or other advanced degrees. However, applicants must provide a record of prior research or conservation action as it pertains to the proposed project. Funding is not restricted to United States citizens. Researchers planning work in foreign countries should include at least one local collaborator as part of their research teams.

As National Geographic Society funds are intended to function as complementary support, the trust strongly encourages applicants to seek additional, concurrent funding from other funding agencies. National Geographic Society grants may not be used for indirect costs, overhead, and other expenses not directly related to the project. Fringe benefits are also excluded, as are salaries.

Funds may not be used for

  • travel to scientific or professional meetings or conferences;
  • legal actions;
  • land acquisition;
  • endowments;
  • construction of permanent field stations; or
  • publication of research results.


Conservation Trust
National Geographic Society
1145 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20090-8249