Grants for Extreme Environments-Himalayan Climate Change

Grants for Extreme Environments-Himalayan Climate Change

Organization: The National Geographic Society

Apply By: 10 Apr 2019

Grant Amount: 100000 USD

About the organisation:

The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization that pushes the boundaries of exploration, furthering understanding of our world and empowering us all to generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance.

High-altitude Mountains provide a valuable fixed reference point for continuous, long-term collection of meteorological data, which is otherwise difficult to gather. Recent climate change studies have concluded that the shortage of this important data hinders our ability to accurately project the environmental and social consequences of a warming planet. Through this call for research, conservation, and storytelling proposals, National Geographic seeks to advance understanding of environmental and societal changes measured in the Himalayas, one of Earth’s highest mountain ranges, which ultimately provides the water resources for one-fifth of the world’s population.


The initial target of this RFP is on the greater Himalayan mountain system, where miles-high peaks are home to an extraordinary range of biological and cultural diversity; where snowpack and glaciers serve as natural water towers, feeding rivers that supply more than 1 billion people downstream with the water they need to survive; and where a mix of climate change and rural poverty creates unique challenges.

We are especially interested in supporting projects that directly monitor or examine changing temperatures, ice volume or extent, and water pathways, or that examine impacts on at-risk downstream populations. Priority for this RFP will be given to projects led by researchers or storytellers from the Himalayan region and that aim to do one or more of the following: 

  • Directly measure changing high-elevation environmental conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind strength/direction, with a focus on the most consequential data gaps.
  • Examine downstream impacts of climate change, such as glacial lake outburst floods, landslides, and drought.
  • Boost the resilience of Himalayan populations by piloting and implementing culturally appropriate, community-based climate adaptation solutions addressing changing water resources or other climate impacts.
  • Tell the stories of how communities, individuals, and/or wildlife in the Himalayan region are adapting to a changing climate. Storytelling applicants should focus on finding innovative ways to show how recent climate changes are affecting local communities or ecosystems through photography, film, data visualization, reporting, or other methods. Projects that include a component that benefits local audiences or incorporates local voices are strongly encouraged.

Typical proposals should be less than $50,000; applicants may request up to $100,000, of which up to 15 percent can be used for institutional overhead (only for awarded grants of at least $50,000). Please see the Preparing Your Proposal page regarding budgetary guidance, including stipend eligibility. Successful applicants may use awarded funds over the course of one year. All applications should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the proposed work. 


All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time they submit an application. There is no upper age limit for Early Career Grants. However, if you have more than five years of full-time, professional experience in the field of your project focus, you do not qualify for an Early Career Grant. Time in graduate school does not count toward this experience limit. 

We encourage applications from around the world. If you are planning to work outside of your home country or community, you must include the name and contact information for at least one local collaborator as a project team member in the application.

Current Grant Restrictions:

  • As a result of changes in Chinese law effective January 1, 2017, the National Geographic Society is unable to support new grantee work in mainland China. This applies to any individual or organization proposing work in mainland China, regardless of citizenship. We will still accept applications from residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau as long as the proposed work is outside of mainland China. The National Geographic Society continues to actively pursue registration with the Chinese government and will restart grant making once the registration process is complete.
  • You may be required to obtain an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license through the U.S. Treasury before the National Geographic Society will deliberate on your application if you are a resident/citizen, or are proposing to conduct fieldwork, in an OFAC-sanctioned country or region. See further information about these restrictions on the OFAC website. Please work with your legal counsel to determine what authorizations are required.
  • You are prohibited from engaging in any grant-funded work with any individual or organization who is on the Specially Designated National (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Treasury. Again, please work with your legal counsel if you have any questions.

The current grant cycle closes April 10, 2019.

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