The Journey of a Lifetime Award, given by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), in partnership with BBC Radio 4, offers you the chance to make a 'journey of a lifetime' and to tell the world about it in a memorable piece of radio documentary-making.
Established in 2001, the Journey of a Lifetime Award is a collaboration between the Society and the BBC, and is generously supported through a private donation. The award aims to support informed travel and learning, through experience rather than scientific research, and to discover new radio talent. The outcome of each of journey is a BBC Radio 4 travel documentary.
The award offers a £5,000 grant for an original and inspiring journey anywhere in the world. The award recipient will receive training in radio broadcasting from the BBC and will record their experiences for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
Deadline: 6 November 2018
Applying for the Journey of a Lifetime Award is easy. Please read the application guidelines and email your pitch to JOLT@rgs.org.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the award or the application process.
DOWNLOAD APPLICATION GUIDELINES
Karen Darke: Murray River, Source to Sea
In April 2018, fresh from competing for Team Scotland in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Paralympic champion Karen Darke will be handcycling the course of the Murray River in Australia. Starting in the Australian Alps, Karen’s journey will take her thought the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as she follows the Murray from its source all the way to Lake Alexandria, where the river flows into the Indian Ocean. For an athlete continually used to pushing her limits, this is a journey with a difference, and an opportunity to slow down and reflect as she encounters the landscapes and communities along Australia's longest river. Karen will record her journey for a BBC Radio 4 documentary that will be broadcast in October 2018.
You can follow Karen's journey on Twitter @kdarke and on her Facebook page
2017: Nicole Bennett-Fite: Tajikistan - Finding the Woman of Stone
For six weeks during May and June 2017, Nicole Bennett-Fite travelled around the small Central Asian republic of Tajikistan and visited the remote Yagnob Valley, home to the last speakers of the Yagnobi language.
Find out more
2016: Nina Plapp: A Cello in the Desert
Musician Nina Plapp travels to Transylvania and Rajasthan to trace the roots of Roma music. Travelling with a cello, Nina meets the Roma people and the desert nomads and immerses herself in their rich musical culture. Find out more about Nina's journey on her blog and follow her on Twitter @ninaplapp
2015: Rhiannon Adam: Three months on Pitcairn
Pitcairn is Britain’s last remaining overseas territory in the Pacific, the world’s least populous jurisdiction and one of the most remote places on the planet. It is only accessible by sea, measuring just one mile wide, by two miles long. Rhiannon spent three months on Pitcairn, living with the islanders and gaining a unique understanding of this isolated community.
2014: Peter Geoghegan: Wrestling with the Future
Life in Mongolia is changing quickly. As the country’s mineral-rich economy booms, today’s top Mongolian wrestlers enjoy celebrity status and huge financial rewards. But for lesser-known wrestlers, life is still a struggle between work and competition, a choice between the mine and the city. Peter travelled to a training camp for wrestlers in rural Mongolia. Living among them in ger tents, he learnt how to wrestle - and about life in modern Mongolia - before competing himself in a summer competition.
2013: Will Millard. Downstream: A journey by raft through the heart of Sierra Leone and Liberia’s Peace Park
In 2013 Sierra Leone and Liberia combined their portions of the Gola forest to form one of the largest and most ecologically important National parks in West Africa. Will Millard packrafted 100 miles down the remote Mano River, through the heart of the ‘Peace Park,’ meeting the local people, ecologists and unique wildlife on an extraordinary journey at the very frontline of African conservation. Find out more about Will's journey on his Blog or Facebook.
2012: Jas Jhalli. Indians and Cowboys
Jas Jhalli goes in search of Argentina's legendary cowboys, the gauchos, in a horseback voyage to the southernmost tip of the Inca empire.
2011: Jane Labous. The Sand-diggers of Mali
Jane Labous travels to Mali to meet the men and women who face hardship every day as they eke out a living digging and diving for sand and gravel from the bed of the River Niger, for the growing construction industry.
2010: Nick Hunt. From Riches to Rags: Dubai to India
Nick Hunt follows the journey of Indian migrants, from Dubai back home to India, having lost their jobs in Dubai’s construction industry due to the economic downturn.
2009: Dan Box. The Sinking Islands
Dan Box attempts to reach the Carteret Islands where a mass evacuation is taking place as the sea level rises due to climate change.
2008: Emily Ainsworth. The Romance of Reality: Traveling with a Family Circus
Emily Ainsworth travels to Mexico to join a family circus, Circo Padilla, where she becomes dancer Princess Aurora.
2007: David Waldman. From Mountain Tribe to Olympic Gold: Why Kenyans are the World’s Runners
David Waldman travels to Kenya's rift valley to live and run with the Kalenjin, the world's fastest long distance runners.
2006: Jessica Boyd and Bill Finnegan. Deep into the Rubbish with Cairo's Zabbaleen
Jessica and Bill journey to Cairo’s biggest rubbish tip to meet with the Zabbaleen community, originally of rural Egypt, who make money out of Cairo’s waste.
2005: Chris Brown. The high snows of Ladakh
Chris Brown travels to Ladakh and encounters the coldest winter for 30 years. Travelling with nomadic peoples, Chris seeks out a great friend he met on a previous journey.
2004: Luke Freeman. Cattle roads and motorcades
Luke Freeman fulfils his dream to drive a herd of cattle along the old drove-paths of Madagascar and ends up jetting around Africa as chief speechwriter to the President.
2003: Andy Home and Grigori Gerenstein. Land of black snow
Journalists Andy Home and Grigori Gerenstein visit Russia's most polluted town where the snow is black and life expectancy is 10 years below the national average.
2002: Damian Welch. Hoping for a miracle: Tokelau
Damian Welch travels to the tiny atolls of Tokelau in the middle of the South Pacific. He meets with the Tokelauan people, skilled fishermen who run a co-operative so that their catch is shared fairly amongst the population.
2001: Tessa McGregor. By rocket to Tigerland
Tessa journeys into the heart of Sundarbans, the wildest tract of mangrove forest in the world and the only forest of its kind inhabited by tigers.
An award run by the Society on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, offering £30,000 and the use of a vehicle to make a challenging journey that promotes a wider understanding or enjoyment of geography.
An annual award of £5,000 to support geographical research at an international field centre.
An annual award of £5,000 for a challenging expedition or research project which furthers our knowledge of the planet, its cultures, peoples and environments.
Grants of £1,500 for first year undergraduate geography students to participate in a fieldwork project.
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