The National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program helps qualified and experienced individuals launch the most difficult stage of a project for which to secure funding—the search. Grants are made for exploratory fieldwork that holds promise for new breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences. NGS/Waitt Grants applications are processed throughout the year and grants are awarded expeditiously to help researchers take advantage of immediate opportunities. The NGS/Waitt grants are an initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Institute.
Funded through a five-year grant from the Waitt Foundation, the NGS/Waitt Grants Program is administered by National Geographic Mission Programs and makes approximately one hundred grants annually of $5,000 to $15,000. Proposals are considered as they are received and awards are made within weeks of application.
The Waitt Grants Program upholds rigorous standards of review and scientific merit, but does not shy away from risky or unproven ideas. In that spirit, NGS/Waitt Grants support projects at the cutting edge of technology and research. The Program encourages applicants to think big—but travel light—as they look toward new frontiers around the globe. Grants are made to explorers and scientists in research fields such as biology, anthropology, and the geosciences who are working across disciplines and reacting quickly to field opportunities.
The NGS/Waitt Grants Program targets nascent initiatives and untested concepts that may have trouble finding funding through traditional sources. Where time is short and the stakes are high, NGS/Waitt Grants can ensure that opportunities for discovery are undertaken. The NGS/Waitt Grants Program is a collaboration of the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Institute, and is made possible by a grant from the Waitt Foundation.
Where We've Been
What We Do
As a major initiative of the Waitt Institute, the CATALYST program aims to accelerate the science community’s capacity to carry out deep-sea exploration, cutting-edge scientific research and sustainable ocean policy through innovative technologies and inspired collaborations. The program is a series of… >> Read More >>
In terms of depth and area, human interaction with the sea really takes place in the just the tiniest sliver of the oceans. The shallows, which disappeared altogether during the Ice Age, are really just coastal flats that happen to be currently underwater, like the shores of a river in spring when the melt water is running. The flooded edges of our… >>Read More>>
The Waitt Institute Dual DeepWorker is a one-atmosphere, two-person manned submersible with a maximum operating depth of 2,000 feet and life-support capable of sustaining two persons for a total of 92 hours while underwater. It weighs 6,000 pounds, is 8.5 feet long and 5.75 feet wide. The sub, designed and built by… >>Read More>>
In the inventory of the world’s underwater research equipment there is a singular group that performs what is arguably the most important task in all of ocean research. As the only tool kit that has the ultimate responsibility of supporting life, it’s not surprising that these vehicles are the most demanding in terms of engineering. Submersibles or submarines… >>Read More>>
The Waitt Institute owns and operates a midsized remotely operated vehicle (ROV) manufactured by Saab Seaeye: the Seaeye Falcon DR. The Falcon has a maximum operating depth of 1000 meters or 3281 feet. It is 3.3 feet long, 2 feet wide and just under three feet high, roughly the size of the average dorm room… >>Read More >>
The oil disaster of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico highlighted the technology that has easily dominated the commercial sector of the underwater workplace over the last 25 years. They are not sleek or glamorous, but rather have more in common with the bizarre and boxy nautilus than the streamlined swimmers of the underwater world. Yet these devices are… >>Read More>>