GPF Grants and Application

The Ghar Parau Foundation (GPF) provides grant aid to assist British caving expeditions to all parts of the world. The fund focuses on those expeditions which include an element of innovative exploration or scientific study and has a close relationship with the British Cave Research Association (BCRA).

GPF are particularly keen to encourage young cavers into expedition caving (as well as sport caving) to maintain an active caving community in years to come.

There are several ways individuals can apply and receive grants from the Ghar Parau Foundation:


Ghar Parau Foundation Expedition Grant Award

GPF Expedition Grant Award Criteria

  • The GPF Expedition Grant Award is open to any expedition that has Qualifying Participants amongst its members.
  • To be a Qualifying Participant you must be any of the following:
    • A UK national;
    • A non-UK national student studying in the UK;
    • A member of a UK based caving club or BCA who is resident in the UK.
  • The expedition can be multi- national, but only the Qualifying Participants will be considered for GPF Grant aid.
  • The applicant (i.e. the leader of the expedition) has to be a Qualifying Participant. (N.B. In the case of a multi-national expedition involving Qualifying Participants where the leader is a non-qualifying, a Qualifying Participant can be designated as the leader of the UK contingent and thus apply for Grant aid).
  • The application process does not permit joint expeditions leaders, (a single individual must be designated the leader of the expedition).

Submission Rules for GPF Expedition Grant Award

The award process is broken down in to two applications periods in which the expedition must take place:

The Winter Round – From the beginning of April to the end of September (closing date 23:59 28th February), and
The Summer Round – from the beginning of October to the end of March (closing date 23:59 31st August).

The GPF Committee meet a month or so after each deadline to allocate funds to the qualifying applications.

Important notes

  • If you also considering to apply for a Mount Everest Foundation grant, the criteria are different: see the MEF website for guidelines.
  • Expeditions must apply in the appropriate round that their expeditions falls into otherwise it will be rejected.
  • Applications MUST be received before these closing dates or the application will be rejected.

Criteria for Judging Expeditions

It is a regrettable fact that the committee only has limited resources at its disposal. In order to make the best and fairest use of funds, GPF have over the years developed a set of criteria which allow the committee to judge the merits of one expedition against another. Further details of these may be found in the application form and notes; in brief they may be summarised as:

  • potential for the discovery of new cave
  • the development of the sport as a whole
  • benefits to the individual team members
  • preparatory work and research
  • contacts with local groups
  • team size
  • effective use of funds
  • track record
  • other sources of income
  • young member participation
  • quality of application

A team which has relatively little experience but has shown a good deal of personal financial commitment allied to considerable preparatory homework will fare much better at the hands of the committee than an experienced group which is not attempting to reach a particularly new or exciting area.

The overall budget and cost to the individual is also taken into account, so that a small trip to Europe will probably receive a lower grant than a large scale trip to more remote objectives.


Alex Pitcher Awards

The Alex Pitcher Award is an award given to a young cavers participating in their first caving expedition outside the UK. The Ghar Parau Foundation want to encourage younger cavers to participate more in expeditions, and recognize the cost of acquiring the necessary caving equipment etc to be able to participate is a limiting factor to participation. This award (individually based) is to help these individuals off set these costs.

The award can only be made via a GPF Expedition Grant Application (i.e. Alex Pitcher Applicants have to be participating in a specified expedition) and they are nominated by the expedition leader. Only two Alex Pitcher Awards nominations are allowed per GPF Expedition Grant Application. The rules for the application to qualify are as follows.

The nominated applicant must be (all apply):

  • A Qualifying Participant;
  • Under 25 at the time of the expedition;
  • On their first expedition outside of the UK and Eire.

The application will be rejected if these rules are not adhered to.


The Mount Everest Foundation

The Mount Everest Foundation offer grants to expeditions of all disciplines going to remote areas doing original exploration (including cave exploration). (See http://www.mef.org.uk/support-for-expeditions/ for more information). An agreement between the Ghar Parau Foundation and the Mount Everest Foundation has allowed caving expeditions wanting to be also considered for MEF funding to use the GPF applications process and then be recommended to the MEF committee for funding by the Ghar Parau Committee, eliminating the need to fill out two separate application forms. A tick box in the GPF application form will ear mark the application for consideration for a MEF grant recommendation.

Important Closing Date Information: The closing dates for the MEF applications differ slightly from that of GPF applications (MEF closing dates are 31st January and 30th September as opposed to 1st March and 1st September). The GPF committee require approximately one month to consider the application and make recommendations to the MEF committee prior to the MEF application closing date.

Therefore, GPF Expedition Grant Applications that want also to be considered for MEF applications must be submitted to the GPF Website by:-

Winter Round Deadline: 23:59 31st December (Two months ahead of the GPF deadline – 23:59 28th Februrary)
Summer Round Deadline: 23:59 31st August (The same as the GPF deadline)

Failure to do so (i.e. late submission) will prevent the GPF committee from being able to pass its recommendation on to MEF in the required time frame.

 


Online application form

GPF application

Since February 2014, a new application system has been in place for GPF funding. While a lot of time has been spent testing it out, please be aware that some unexpected bugs may arise. Problems or feedback can be sent to webmaster@gharparau.org.uk.

Click the clipboard (right) to login/register and start your application.

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The Ghar Parau Foundation is a 100% voluntary-based charity that manages an investment fund to provide grant aid to assist British caving expeditions to all parts of the world. The fund focuses on those expeditions which include an element of innovative exploration or scientific study. We are also particularly keen to encourage young cavers into expedition caving (as well as sport caving) to maintain an active caving community in years to come.

The Ghar Parau Foundation, a sub-charity of the British Cave Research Association, (267828-1) works by investing the capital within the fund and distributing the interest in the form of grants to caving expeditions who apply and fit the foundations criteria.

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We do publish grants awards and expedition information and pass information to the press about the expeditions we support and grants we make. We do publish the names of expedition members but we do not pass on personal details to any organisation outside the British Cave Research Association or British Caving Association, unless requested to do under the Law of the United Kingdom.

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