SEOUL, South Korea (July 7, 2015)—The National Geographic Society today announced the expansion of its science and exploration programs in Asia, with a regional grant-making office based in Seoul, South Korea. This new office builds on National Geographic’s 125-year history of funding scientific field research, exploration and conservation projects through selective grant programs.
With initial support from C Program, a Korean venture philanthropy that recognizes the importance of supporting science and exploration in the region, National Geographic has established a nonprofit foundation, the National Geographic Foundation for Science and Exploration in Asia, that will provide grants to scientists, conservationists and explorers from the region who are doing groundbreaking work in their fields and exploring solutions that benefit our planet. The creation of the Science and Exploration Asia office will allow National Geographic to identify up-and-coming leaders in their fields and provide local funding for their work.
“Since 1890, National Geographic has awarded more than 11,000 grants in science and exploration across the globe, and we are excited to expand our grant-making efforts with this new office in Korea,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s chief science and exploration officer. “Thanks to the generous support of C Program, we are honored to be able to reach and support more of the brightest minds and leaders throughout Asia.”
Residents of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are eligible to receive grants, and the grants cover fieldwork performed in any part of the globe. National Geographic supports a variety of grants for field projects in research, conservation and exploration. These include National Geographic’s Young Explorers Grants program, which offers smaller grants to individuals ages 18 through 25, often the first grant for fieldwork they receive. An advisory board comprised of leading scientists from across the region will evaluate project applications for potential funding.
The Seoul office will be led by Jay Lee, the newly appointed executive director of Science and Exploration Asia. Lee will develop an Asia-wide funding network and will work closely with National Geographic’s regional media and education partners.
“I am deeply honored to expand the legacy of the National Geographic Society’s scientific research and exploration in Asia,” said Lee. “I hope to build on National Geographic’s nonprofit work of supporting Asian scientists and explorers solving critical issues facing our planet and sharing their compelling stories with the world.”
Over the past 20 years, Lee has worked in various academic research and industry fields, including serving as executive director of OLPC Asia, as senior vice president of SK Telecom, as head of future convergence at Samsung Electronics and as chief strategy officer at IWILab, later known as DaumKakao Corp. He has also run companies in the mobile, social and publishing industries. Lee currently serves as a member of the convergence R&D committee of the Korea National Research Council of Science and Technology. He has two Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and was a researcher at the MIT Media Laboratory.
National Geographic supports explorers in every corner of the Earth — filling gaps in human knowledge, sometimes in spectacular ways. Scientific field research, exploration, conservation and adventure are the backbone of National Geographic’s grants, which focus primarily on anthropology, archaeology, biology, geology, geography, oceanography and paleontology.
National Geographic grants have led to countless discoveries that continue to shed light on the planet’s rich variety and diversity — and help preserve it. The results from fieldwork are shared with audiences around the world through an array of National Geographic media, including print, broadcast and online outlets as well as events, exhibits and educational platforms.
Past and current National Geographic grant recipients include polar explorer Robert Peary; Hiram Bingham, excavator of the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu; anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey; mountain gorilla expert Dian Fossey; underwater explorer and discoverer of the sunken Titanic Robert Ballard; primatologist Jane Goodall; anthropologist Wade Davis; marine biologist Sylvia Earle; and research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin.
Net proceeds from National Geographic’s media platforms and other activities support vital exploration, conservation, research and education programs like the Science and Exploration Asia grant program.
Additional information about applying for a grant is available at http://nationalgeographic.com/asia.
About the National Geographic Society
National Geographic is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. Each year, we fund hundreds of research, conservation and education programs around the globe. Every month, we reach more than 700 million people through our media platforms, products and events. Our work to inspire, illuminate and teach through scientific expeditions, award-winning journalism and education initiatives is supported through donations, purchases and memberships. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.