Frequently asked questions

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What is GWB?

Geoscientists Without Borders® is a relatively new humanitarian program administered by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation (SEG F). The first projects were awarded in 2008. These humanitarian projects are creating a lasting legacy and a brighter future while raising the profile of applied geosciences.

How are projects developed and who manages them?

The GWB projects are submitted and managed by proposers. The SEG Foundation administers the grant but does not manage projects.

Who can submit a request for funding?

Only certified not for profit entities. Most but not all of our projects have been awarded to academic entities. Project teams are often composed of a variety of academic, industry and government entities.

How much funding is available for a project?

The maximum amount for a project is US$50,000 for each year of the project.

How long is a project?

The maximum length of a funded project is 2 years. The second year funding is not automatic. A first year report is required and the funding request is reviewed by the GWB Committee.

Is there a geographic focus?

Not really, this is a global program "without borders". However, donors may restrict their monies to a geographic region.

Do students have to be included in the project?

Yes. Projects must involve students in the process so that they can learn how the technologies can be used for humanitarian goals and to provide real world experience to the future geophysical workforce. Several of our projects have been led by graduate students.

What are the types of projects that will not be accepted?

  • Projects related to unexploded ordnances
  • Projects located in a country where US funding is restricted
  • Projects involving any political agenda, lobbying, proselytizing, or other activities not pertinent to the GWB program mission

Who decides what gets funded?

The SEG Foundation Board of Directors is the only entity that can approve project funding.

The SEG Foundation has created the Geoscientists Without Borders® Technical Committee responsible for reviewing applications and making recommendations for funding the SEG Foundation Board.

There is a maximum of 7 and a minimum of 5 members on the technical committee. These volunteers are selected and appointed by the SEG Foundation Board of Directors to a two-year term. Members are eligible for reappointment for up to two consecutive terms.

What is the selection process?

Project selection is a two-phase process.

Phase I: Is a brief on-line application reviewed by the GWB Technical Committee. Each committee member individually reviews and ranks each application. The committee chair conducts a consensus meeting to discuss individual scores and provides a final ranking to the SEG Foundation Board of Directors for funding consideration. Applicants with the best plan to meet GWB program goals are asked to submit a full proposal for further review.

Phase II: Proposals must be no more than 20 pages and are due 30 days after Phase I results notification. The Committee reviews the full proposals and submits their funding recommendation to the SEG Foundation Board.

When can I submit a funding application?

Funding requests are reviewed twice a year, generally in the spring and fall. 

How can I participate in this program?

  • Submit a project application
  • Volunteer to work on someone else's project by sending your resume to individual project managers
  • Donate labor, equipment, or knowledge to a project
  • Donate funding to the GWB program through the SEG Foundation, or donate funding to a particular project through the applicant's organization
  • Ask your company to donate to GWB

What is the "Friends of GWB" and how do I get involved?

The Friends of GWB is social network that allows individuals interested in the activities of GWB to communicate with each other and to follow GWB developments.

Where can I get more information about GWB?

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