We are excited to announce

The Explorers Club Impact Grants Program

This program has been developed in alignment with The Club’s mission to foster scientific understanding for the betterment of humanity and all life on Earth and beyond – including our commitment to mitigate climate change, prevent the extinction of species and cultures, and ensure the health of our lands, oceans and all that inhabit them. Further, we believe that explorers fulfill a critical role as a storytellers.

Henry Maillet – 2023 Grant Recipient / Photo Credit: Sebastian Navajas

The Explorers Club Impact Grants support the critical fieldwork of researchers and explorers from around the world, while also providing them with a platform to illuminate their findings without restrictions on scientific publication or infringement on ownership of research. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Fieldwork in the following disciplines will be considered: Biological sciences, archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, earth sciences, ecology, and astronomy, as well as exploratory projects that reveal new knowledge about the planet and its inhabitants, including regions undergoing environmental or cultural change.

The application process involves two steps.

First, you must submit a pre-application. At this time, pre-applications are currently closed, but will be opening up later this year. Please revisit this page for updates.

If your pre-application is approved, you will be invited to submit a full application via our online applications portal. (Full applications may be submitted by invitation only.)

Note to those who previously applied to the Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant Program: Your application has been automatically rolled over into the Impact program, and will be considered at our May review meeting.

Applications are reviewed several times throughout the year. Please apply at least six months in advance of your field dates.

Grants generally range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Grant recipients must provide first right opportunity to cover their expedition to the Explorers Club, and potential media partners. Recipients will have access to The Explorers Club’s global audience through their digital and other opportunities, with the goal of producing compelling, educational and inspirational content. Grantees are expected to document their expedition, as time permits, through still images and video.

Impact Grantee Jamin Greenbaum’s Expedition to Thwaites Glacier / Photo Credit: Xiaohan Yuan


What types of expeditions are funded?

  • Fieldwork in the following disciplines will be considered: biological sciences, archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, earth sciences, ecology, and astronomy, as well as exploratory projects that reveal new knowledge about the planet and its inhabitants, including regions undergoing significant environmental or cultural change.
  • While there may be lab components of a project, grants provide funding for projects that are largely based upon a field expedition.
  • Fieldwork can be rugged and adventurous, but the program will not consider projects purely focused on adrenaline sports or physical feats.

When should I expect a response after submitting the pre-application?

Pre-applications are reviewed on a monthly basis, so it should take no more than 60 days to receive a response from the grants administrator as to whether you will proceed to the next phase of the process.

What is required in the full application?

  • Succinct project title and a one-paragraph project summary.
  • Expedition start and end dates.
  • One or two-page project description, including hypothesis and clearly outlined methodologies for science-based projects.
  • A detailed project budget.
  • Your C.V., as well as C.V. of team members.
  • Inclusion of a local collaborator on your team.
  • A three-minute video statement by the applicant.
  • Two letters of recommendation regarding the applicant and their project.
  • Relevant affiliations.
  • Any required permits to carry out your expedition or project in the proposed country.
  • Applicant’s social media handles and website.
  • Any relevant maps and visual documentation of the project site. 

What is the timeline for the submission of applications?

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed several times a year. The Club recommends that applications be submitted at least six to nine months in advance of planned fieldwork.

Who evaluates my application?

Applications are reviewed by the Club’s committee of Ph.D. researchers representing a range of scientific disciplines, as well as by the Vice President of Research and Education and Explorers Club executives. Applications may also be reviewed by additional specialists recommended by the grant committee. The Club’s Council of Impact Advisors meet with the committee to discuss recommended applications to determine which proposed projects offer the potential for the greatest impact. 

What are the criteria for the application?

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of how the project or expedition aligns with the mission and ethics of The Explorers Club. Fieldwork will be evaluated on the scientific credibility, innovative approaches, and potential impact of the expedition, as well as on the relevant credentials of the team leader and team members. The proposed project will also be evaluated on its potential to inform and educate a global audience through inspirational storytelling. 

Can I secure external funding to augment my expedition budget, if this program does not fully fund the project?

Yes, you may seek external funding for your project if you require funding that exceeds your grant request. However, keep in mind that these grants require the first opportunity to the Explorers Club on media coverage of your project. 

How long do I have to carry out my project after the grant is awarded?

Generally, a project should be carried out within a year of the grant award date. 

Can I publish the results of my project in scientific or other academic and technical journals without restriction?

Yes, The Explorers Club encourages scientific and academic publication of project results, and requests that you inform us as soon as possible regarding any publication dates.

Do I need to be a member of The Explorers Club to apply?

No, you do not need to be a member to apply. However, applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply for membership. 

What kind of project reports does the program require?

The Explorers Club Impact Grants require brief reports from the field and upon return, and—within six months of completion of the expedition—a final report on the project should be submitted to The Explorers Club, as well as final accounting on the project, and return of any unspent grant funds.

What else do I need to submit on the completion of the project?

The grant program requests a specific number of images and minutes of video which can be used for promotional purposes for The Explorers Club. 

Can institutions apply for a grant?

No, grants are awarded solely to individuals, who may have institutional affiliations. 

What if I have a question not addressed in this FAQ?

Please direct questions about The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant to: grants@explorers.org

Media Obligations Related to Grants

What are the media obligations of receiving an Explorers Club Impact Grant?

The grantee provides regular brief progress reports describing the activities undertaken, and will participate in a planning session before the expedition with Explorers Club (related to potential media and any other logistical concerns).  Along with regular summary reports, the grantee will provide a specific number photographs and short videos—as outlined in the grant agreement—for the Club’s use on its social media platforms and general promotion of the project.

Explorers Club Statement of Ethics

It is the obligation of an explorer to:

  1. Attempt to acquire new information and to report activities and results accurately. It is the acquisition and dissemination of new knowledge that distinguishes the scientific explorer from the adventurer or treasure hunter.
  2. Respect the environment and local culture and leave them undisturbed. Remember that the explorer is a guest.
  3. Respect all local, national, and international laws. Collect only necessary specimens, and then only with permission from governmental authorities when required.
  4. Give full credit to others. Be aware of prior work and reference it appropriately. All of us stand on the efforts of our predecessors.
  5. Plan expeditions properly and avoid unjustified risks. Endeavors should be adequately equipped and should not exceed the competence and strength of the team.
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Age 18+, open to all disciplines with emphasis on storytelling

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