Fulbright-National Geographic Award

How to apply



Semi-finalists of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program may apply for the Fulbright-National Geographic Award and propose up to $20,000 of additional grant funds for in-depth research on globally relevant issues. Applicants must craft a persuasive proposal that outlines the significance of these funds for a project relating to storytelling, research, conservation, education, or technology. Competitive applicants will either broaden and deepen their Fulbright project, have a clear plan to develop a science communication component of their project, or tell stories through film, photography, art, or writing.


In addition to the benefits of a Fulbright, recipients of the Fulbright-National Geographic Award will receive:

  • Round-trip travel, monthly living stipend, and a research allowance
  • Supplemental health and accident benefits
  • Join National Geographic Explorer Community, gaining access to a global network of Explorers and specialized resources
  • Mentorship by National Geographic Explorers
  • Additional grant funds form the National Geographic Society to expand your research and/or help bring your story to life for up to $20,000


  • Open to Fulbright U.S. Student Program open study/research award semi-finalists who expressed interest in the award
  • Researchers, conservationists, educators, technologists, or storytellers who require additional funds to broaden or deepen their Fulbright project or build a science communication component
  • Must pursue your originally proposed research project (applicants will not be allowed to change their focus)

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants are able to clearly articulate the importance of this additional funding for storytelling, research, or science communication. Applicants should outline how their previous experience would make them the right fit for engaging with their proposed project. The National Geographic committee is strongly committed to fostering local collaboration; successful applicants have been able to demonstrate connections that would facilitate ethical and meaningful work.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for a Fulbright Study/Research Award (see the steps on how to apply on the Fulbright Study/Research page).
  2. If, in January, you are named a semifinalist for the Fulbright Study/Research Award you have applied for, then you will at that time have access to the first part of the Fulbright National Geographic application, which will be due in March of that year. Draft your paragraph length responses for this application form and book a draft review appointment.
  3. Those who are selected in the first round of the National Geographic spring selection process will complete a second stage of the application including a detailed budget. Notify Assistant Director of Fellowships, Erica Kowsz, immediately if you are advancing to the second round and she will work with you to review your application materials.