When you were a kid, did you ever try to dig your way to China? Have you always dreamed of exploring the Middle Kingdom? Now is your chance to bring these dreams to life. For the fourth year running, WildChina is holding a competition that allows you to design your own Chinese adventure. The proposal that is most imaginative in pushing the boundaries of Chinese exploration will be awarded up to $3000. Anyone and everyone is invited to apply!
Photo Credit: Zhang Shanghua, 2012 WildChina Explorer Grant Winner
Here comes the nitty gritty
2014 WildChina Explorer Grant Application
Established in 2011, the WildChina Explorer Grant gives adventurers the chance to turn their outdoor visions into real advancements in China exploration. WildChina’s own story is one of exploration, self-discovery and challenge. High up on the slopes of Tibet’s Mount Kailash, WildChina founder Mei Zhang, braved the high altitudes and harsh landscapes to experience the beauty of snowcapped mountains alight with the sunrise. The breathtaking view brought Mei a sense of fulfillment—though she stood alone and exhausted from her journey. Disappointed by how little support was available for travelers looking to get off the beaten path in China, Mei was inspired to start her own travel company dedicated to offering stress-free and responsible travel to adventurous destinations. The creation of the WildChina Explorer Grant is one more way that WildChina supports other explorers in their quest for authentic and life-changing travel experiences, while continuing to protect local cultures and environments.
Eligibility and Logistics:
All applications must be submitted by 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Monday, December 2nd, 2013 to be eligible for the WildChina Explorer Grant of up to $3,000. After reviewing these applications, WildChina will interview finalists before their applications are presented to the judges. The final selection will be announced in January. An additional sum may be awarded to runners up, depending on their ability to excite or inspire the selection committee. The expedition is to take place by the end of August 2014. In the case of multiple individuals applying for the same expedition, one application may be submitted but it must contain personal statements from each applicant.
The final selection shall be made by a committee of experts in Chinese culture and exploration. They will assess each application based on its originality and relevance to the WildChina vision. In particular, we will be looking for:
- Expeditions seeking to rediscover a long lost route, highlight a culturally significant issue, promote aid in a remote community, or otherwise deal with discovery or rediscovery.
- A genuine excitement for exploration
- A demonstrated interest in China
- A risk management plan
- A commitment to sustainable travel and the incorporation of Leave No Trace (LNT) principles
- An explanation of how participation in proposed expedition will facilitate future contributions to the growth of WildChina’s expeditions
- Expedition proposals that get people excited about adventure! WildChina has always been committed to supporting expeditions that our travelers are excited about. In light of this, the amount of support that each applicant’s video receives on our blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter, Weibo, Pinterest, Youku, and Youtube accounts will be taken into consideration, so do not forget to tell your friends to support your video
Only applications submitted in entirety by the December 2nd deadline will be considered. Applications should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and potential approval. Video submission will be either by Youku or Youtube. If a video is submitted in Chinese, it must be uploaded onto Youku and then the URL must be included with the rest of the application. For all other languages, the video must be uploaded onto Youtube and then the URL must be included with the rest of the applicant’s application. Failure to include both this introductory video and a corresponding link will result in an ineligible entry.
Each WildChina Explorer Grant applicant must submit a standard application including all of the following:
- Purpose and goals of expedition (less than 1 page, 12 point font)
- Specific budget requirements with an itemized breakdown of projected cost
- An itinerary for the expedition
- A risk management plan including expected risks
- A brief statement regarding the experience level of the participants
- A brief statement about how the applicant will share this experience, in a substantial and meaningful manner, with WildChina
- A 90 second video that introduces your proposal. The theme this year is “Adventure: Define adventure and how your proposal seeks to create an adventure.” If the video is in Chinese it must be loaded onto Youku by the applicant. For all other languages the video must be loaded onto Youtube by the applicant. In either case, the URL for the video must be included with the rest of the application
- Grant recipients will receive 70% of the approved budget in advance. The final 30% will be given upon submission of an expedition report. Recipients of the WildChina Explorer Grant will also be expected to give an oral presentation to the wider WildChina network as part of the WildChina speaker series’ Where the Wild Things Are. This event will be held in Beijing in honor of the expedition.
- Grant recipients should additionally be prepared to make an oral presentation of their report to the Beijing WildChina office staff.
- WildChina has the right to replicate and use all trip ideas and aspects to generate trip product material.
Are you the next WildChina Explorer?
Photo Credit: Bill Bleisch, one of our 2012 winners
To download the full application and find out more about past winners, visit the WildChina Explorer Grant homepage.