International Exploration Grant Applications

To Apply

Email applications within the one month application periods (October 30 - November 30 and April 30 - May 31) to the committee chairs: Patricia Kambesis and Cyndie Walck. At a minimum, applications must include the following sections.

International Exploration Grant Application Required Sections

  • Project title
  • Applicant name and email
  • Executive Summary
    • Including description of objectives and anticipated outcomes
  • Expedition Narrative to include:
    • Background
    • Expedition location
    • Dates (approximate is fine)
    • Personnel (including NSS numbers for NSS member participants)
    • Expedition logistics
    • Information on permits and permissions (if applicable)
    • Special circumstances (e.g. international cooperation or exchange efforts, restrictions on media sharing (such as with National Geographic), etc.) if applicable
    • Maps and photos are encouraged but not required
  • Expenses to include:
    • Itemized budget detailing how NSS funds will be spent
    • Other funding sources

Note, 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.

Grant Award Criteria Considered

  • Number of NSS members participating (also in relation to total number of participants).
  • Challenge, complexity and cost of the expedition.
  • An expedition focus on cave exploration, survey and documentation/ photodocumentation.
  • Overall quality and completeness of the proposal.
  • Experience and previous success on international expeditions, including reporting/maps, and the previous fulfillment of grant requirements if applicable.
  • Permits acquired, if applicable.
  • Reasonable budget expenses
  • Other funding sources.
  • Cooperation with local partners in country, if applicable
  • Efforts to share results with in-country land managers to assist in cave management, if applicable
  • If an expedition includes a member of the Committee, that member cannot be the applicant and must abstain from voting on or rating that proposal