NSS International Exploration Grants
National Speleological Society International Exploration Grants foster and encourage the work of NSS cavers in cave exploration, survey, photography and research projects around the world. Grants are given in support of group equipment for expeditions outside of the United States and its territories. Grants have varied between $200 and $1500 in past ten years and have supported caving on 6 continents by dozens of US cavers. Projects have included work in Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Borneo, Chile, Nepal, China, and many more countries. As few as three and as many as twelve grants have been given in a single year. Overall since 2008 more than $55,000 has been granted for nearly 70 expeditions in 25 countries.
A decade ago the grant program was endowed under the leadership of Don Paquette and in subsequent years with funds from the NSS International Speleological Participation Fund, the Gunung Buda Project, in honor of the life of Joe Ivy, and through the generosity of NSS Caver Ron Simmons who remembered this NSS fund in his life insurance policy. Over $100,000 was added to the quasi-endowment for this fund thanks to Ron.
The NSS International Exploration Committee is Joel Despain, chair, Cyndie Walck, Pat Kambesis, Kevin Downey, Carol Vesely, and Ray Craig.
Grant Timing and Size
Grants will be awarded twice per year: February 1 and August 1. As such the deadline for a grant request for a given 6 month period will be January 1 and July 1, giving a month for the committee to process grant requests. However, the committee will always try to consider special requests and faster turn around times for expeditions that need this service. Please contact us directly. With the new funding grants are expected to range between $500 and $1500.
Ron Simmons Grant
One grant per year, generally the largest, will be known as the Ron Simmons Grant in honor of Ron’s contribution to the International Exploration Fund.
Grants can be used for group equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, rope, survey gear, SAR gear, guides and porters, ground or boat transportation and other in-country travel, group meals, and specialty food such as freeze dried. Group equipment generally does not include personal plane tickets and personal caving gear.
Grant Requirements and Communication
The Committee is not prepared to fund expeditions whose results are secret or to be kept from other cavers. However, specific cave location information need not be shared. There are only a few grant requirements:
Send an email at any time (note the deadlines and grant review times above) to the committee chair (below) that includes the following information:
Grant Size and Award Criteria
Grants and taxes
As per IRS rules if a grant of more than $600 is awarded to only a single individual, that individual will receive an IRS 1039 income form from the NSS.