Annual Small Grant

Policy and Guidelines


The NRMG’s annual small grant is intended to:

  1. Support active projects of NRMG members which will advance cave research, conservation, or educational projects.
  2. Support Grotto members who are taking part in projects at a local, national, or international level.

Funding: The small grant will come from the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto’s general fund, which is supported by individual donations, membership fees, merchandise sales, etc. The grant is typically awarded at a maximum $500 total per year; exceptional projects over $500 may be considered. The maximum amount may vary as funds are available each year. Any funds that are not awarded will remain in the general fund.


  1. Applicant must be an active member of the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto (dues must be current at the time of application.)
  2. Projects must promote cave research, conservation, or education on a local or international level.
  3. Applicant must meet the application requirements listed below.
  4. Applicant must apply on their own behalf.
  5. Applicants are preferred to be NSS members.

Eligible Expenses:

  1. Direct cost of travel, meals, and lodging for research, conservation, or education projects.
  2. Supplies used for the sole purpose of the project (consumable items such as scrub brushes, flagging, pencils/pens, handlines intended for permanent fixture in a cave, etc).
  3. Printing costs for public outreach or research publications.

Non-Eligible Expenses

Expenses not covered by the small grant include wages/stipends; durable equipment such as helmets, lights, or ropes that will be kept by the applicant for personal use after the project; any expenses that are not related to the project.

Application Instructions

The applicant will submit an application through our online form by the end of the day on April 15. The application link is posted at the bottom of this page and is only accessible to members (you MUST be logged in as a member to see the application link!)

Application includes project objectives, methods, and how the project will benefit caving research, exploration, or outreach/education. Application must include a budget that clearly outlines how the funds will be used.

Selection Procedure

The Executive Officers of the NRMG will review and rate applications based on the selection criteria (below). They will select one or more applications to receive all or part of the requested funds. The decision will be made by majority vote if consensus is not reached. The Officers may suggest modification to proposals, with funding contingent upon the the modification.

Applicants will be notified via email. Unsuccessful applicants will be provided feedback at their request.

Selection Criteria For the NRMG Small Grant Fund

(0-5 Points Awarded for each Check Mark)

  • Project Qualifications and Adequacy of Resources:
    • Applicant is a current member of the NRMG (verified by the Grotto Secretary)  
    • Demonstrated qualifications adequate for successful project completion, e.g. track record; realistic objectives.  
    • Budget suitable for achieving objectives.  
    • Proposals demonstrate cooperation with others (i.e. government agencies, schools, other Grottos).
  • Merit of Project:
    • Proposals generate data or public support that advances cave conservation.  
    • Project directly leads to conservation, appreciation, or understanding of caves or cave biota.  
    • Project shows an evident need.  
    • Project is distinctive and imaginative, and results extend beyond the grant year.
  • Methods
    • Purpose and methods are clearly described  
    • Procedures are appropriate to the proposed problem.  
    • Procedures are safe, or safety concerns are acknowledged in the proposal  
    • Methods have a negligible negative impact on caves  
    • A plan for the dissemination of results (i.e. publication as a Trip Report on in addition to any other publications)  is included.

Examples of Previous Successful Applications

Application Link (Log in as a member to to see link below)

Previous Grant Recipients

Hypogene Speleogenesis in the Grand Canyon

Geochemical Investigations of the Silvertip Karst

Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Island Exploration

Tongue River Cave Restoration Project

Resurvey of Santo Tomas, Cuba

2019 Tears of the Turtle Expedition

Bigfork Cave Club: Graffiti in Montana Caves

Log in with your member account to apply below.