AAC Research Grants support scientific endeavors in mountains and crags around the world. We fund projects that contribute vital knowledge of our climbing environment, enrich our understanding of global climber impacts and support and improve the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. AAC Research Grants are powered by the National Renewable Energy Lab and Ridgeline Venture Law, and supported by the Arthur K. Gilkey Memorial Fund and the Bedayn Research Fund.

In addition to their relevance, applications are considered in terms of their scientific or technical quality and merit:

  • Qualifications of the applicant

  • Strength of the research framework

  • Dissemination plans

  • Merit of the investigation

  • Financial contribution the AAC grant would make to the total research budget

Application Period: November 15 to January 15 each year.



Grant recipients’ research reflects AAC’s mission “to support our shared passion for climbing and respect for the places we climb” by contributing valuable information to our understanding of the world’s mountain ecosystems. Each grant recipient becomes an AAC Researcher, sharing their experiences, lessons learned, and findings with fellow climbers and the research community.

Meet some of our researchers!

How to Apply

Each year, the application period is open from November 15 to January 15.

Beginning November 15, fill out and submit applications electronically through our Online Application Portal.

Entire proposal should not be longer than 7 pages total and include:

  • Budget overview

  • 3-5 pages for the body of the proposal (including graphics, citations, and plans for disseminating results)

  • 2-page resume that includes academic degrees, and other pertinent biographical material

  • Grant amount requested ($500-$1,500)

Prior recipients of this grant must attach a copy of their final summary report to the AAC and copies of any resulting publications.

You will have the option to include attachments that will give the committee a better understanding of your proposal, but we ask that you keep them concise due to the number of proposals we receive.

Selection Process

A committee reviews the applications, selects the recipients, and decides how much each of the recipients will receive. Recipients are typically chosen eight to ten weeks after submittal and all applicants will be notified of the committee's decision at that point. 


  • If for any reason the expedition is canceled or significantly changed, awarded funds must be returned to the AAC in full. Please contact the AAC office if your proposal changes.

  • When you know your final travel dates, please let the grants manager know.

  • If, after a grant is awarded, additional funding is obtained and the grant funds are no longer needed, or if an expedition is “over funded,” the recipient is asked to return all surplus funds to the AAC.

  • Within two months of returning, all grant recipients are required to submit to the AAC a written report (including photos) for possible inclusion in AAC publications and/or posting on the AAC website. We understand travel dates can change, please alert the AAC when you return. (Failure to submit a report will result in applicant being ineligible for future AAC grants.)

  • Any photos submitted with a report may be reproduced in any manner the AAC desires for use on the AAC website or marketing materials. The AAC will have the right to use photos submitted with a report on the AAC website or marketing materials.

  • Include an acknowledgment of support by the AAC in all publications or presentations related to the supported research.

Grant recipients agree to act as American Alpine Club Researchers. The role of a Researcher is to mention your AAC support at slide shows and events when speaking about the expedition; you may be asked to give a presentation on the expedition at the AAC’s annual meeting or other events; and you express a commitment to the AAC’s mission.


Research Grant Support Provided by:

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