Below the Earth's surface, water seeps through the pores, voids, and fractures of the rock and soil. Constantly moving, it feeds aquifers and wells, but also carves out cavernous spaces and underground ecosystems. Naturally filtered by the earth, groundwater is usually purer than surface freshwater.

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Submitted Projects


Total Funding


Submission Deadline

Oct 19, 2016

About This Grant

We're fascinated by what goes on below ground, and are looking for research projects related to the spaces and substrates created by, or interacting with, underground water. This includes (but isn't limited to) caves and subterranean ecosystems, karst topologies, aquifers, and other areas of hydrogeology.

We welcome submissions from any discipline or field, from geologists, biologists, chemists, hydrologists, caving hobbyists, and underground enthusiasts of all kinds. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged! If you're unsure, just send us an email at

You can begin your project page and submit it using the button below. Submit by October 19th to join the challenge!

Examples of past projects looking at similar topics:

Diversity of Algae in a Desert Oasis

A Search for the Origins of White-Nose Syndrome

Does fracking contaminate water with hormone disrupting chemicals?

How It Works

Challenge grants are prizes to supplement existing crowdfunding campaigns. We will accept proposals for campaigns related to groundwater or underground ecosystems, and all the campaigns will launch together on November 2nd, 2016. Partway through the campaigns, the project with the highest number of backers will receive an additional $500. There are two runners-up prizes of $200 each.

Submitted Projects