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Due to the overwhelming response we have received, applications to this funding opportunity will close at 11:59 pm EST on December 31, 2020. Beginning in January we will complete our reviews of submitted projects and assess to determine if enough funds remain to allow us to reopen the opportunity later in 2021.


Requests for Proposals

COVID-19 Remote Learning Emergency Fund for Educators

The National Geographic Society recognizes that educators, who are among the many dedicated individuals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, are pioneering new ways of teaching so that students can continue learning.

As educators, you are doing much more than simply adapting your approach in a socially distant and remote learning world. You are pushing boundaries, testing new skills, and advancing learning in profoundly new ways. You’re discovering new solutions to enrich your teaching and help students understand the significance of the moments they are currently living through.

For 132 years, National Geographic has supported innovators and changemakers who have pushed the limits of what is to what could be. The Society has launched an emergency fund for innovative educators who are designing instructional resources — whether in the classroom, teaching remotely, or a combination of the two.

The fund will distribute support ranging from US $1,000–$8,000 to individual educators (or to an individual educator working in collaboration with other educators or National Geographic Explorers) to design instructional resources that help educators effectively teach in in-person, remote, or hybrid learning environments during this pandemic. Priority for this opportunity will be given to educators working in communities that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and who have not previously received National Geographic funding. Your work must do at least one of the following:



  • Use the power of science, social studies, and/or geography to help students understand the challenges and impacts of pandemics such as COVID-19
  • Use the power of science, social studies, and/or geography to help educators teach social and/or environmental justice
  • Adapt one of National Geographic’s science or social studies units for elementary, middle, or high school audiences (refer to our online Resource Library) to address your curricular needs and for use in a hybrid learning environment and develop a teacher’s guide accordingly
  • Draw on the concepts and pedagogy in the National Geographic Learning Framework or the National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process to design instructional resources or projects that meet the goals of this opportunity
  • Design innovative methodologies and practices for science, social studies, and/or geography teaching and learning in a hybrid environment
  • Design innovative ways to bring the world to students and help them bridge their personal experiences to a more global perspective on critical issues (e.g., pandemics, social or environmental justice, racial justice, sustainability, climate)

The resources developed via this funding must be scalable across different schools and communities and will be made accessible to all educators through the National Geographic Society website.

Applicants may use up to 100 percent of their budget as compensation for the time they devote to the proposed project, as well as the time of any co-creators. All application materials must be in English. Upon approval, immediate start dates are acceptable. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications may be submitted until further notice. We will strive to send out decisions every two weeks, but the volume of submissions might slow that process at times.

Please see our Application Guidance document for more details.

To provide additional guidance during the application process, we are offering weekly virtual Design Labs for you to talk directly with peers and National Geographic Society staff for ideation, inspiration, and technical support. Design Labs will be 90 minutes and capped at 30 participants per session to allow for conversation and breakout rooms led by expert educators. We will provide an overview of the grant, share tips and resources, answer questions, and engage in conversation to help you think through your ideas, next steps, and how you can be successful in this process. These sessions will not be recorded.

If interested, please submit this form and we will send you an invitation to register for an upcoming open Design Lab session that fits your schedule.

Ready to Apply?

Learn more about what you will need to prepare your grant proposal
and begin your application.

Apply Now

Looking for more continuous support and conversation? Join our COVID Fund Support Facebook Group! Here you can get tips, updates, best practices, and advice from National Geographic staff and expert educators in the community. It is also a space to share ideas, get feedback, and stay motivated on your application journey. Educators of all levels of expertise, backgrounds, and interests are welcome, and you can join regardless of where you are in the application process—even if you are curious and don't have an idea yet!