Funding Opportunities

The SUI has funding opportunities available for Expedition and Exploratory caving, as well as opportunities for Research furthering the development of Speleology and Caving in Ireland.

Expedition Funding Applications can be made by SUI members or groups including SUI members intending to undertake expeditions to caving areas outside Ireland.

Persons seeking funding for exploration projects in Ireland should apply to the Kozlowski Fund.

Persons seeking funding for research projects should apply to the Parkes Award.

The Parkes Award

The Parkes Scientific Research Award exists to support scientific research projects associated with speleology or related to the technical development of caving. It was created in 2022 and is named in honour of Dr. Matthew Parkes, a significant contributor to the Irish caving community. From management of the SUI Library for many years, and various positions on the SUI committee over the decades, to significant contributions to cave research in Ireland, including editorial work on multiple issues of the Irish Caving Journal “Irish Speleology”, as well as contributing many articles over the years. Matthew was at the heart of developing of the research grant itself. He sadly and unexpectedly passed way in October 2020, and the decision was made to dedicate the research fund to his memory.

Application can be made by anyone who is taking on a project of original cave research within Ireland. Details of how to apply can be found in the following document:

Application for Parkes Award Funding and Guidance Notes

Expressions of interest can be directed via info@caving.ie or suichairperson@gmail.com.

The Kozlowski Fund

The Kozlowski Fund was created in August 2012 by the SUI to support original cave exploration in Ireland.
It is named after Artur Kozlowski a Polish-born caver and cave diver who was very active in the Irish caving scene during the years 2006 – 2011.  During this time Artur discovered a significant amount of new cave passage including setting a new depth record for cave diving in Ireland and Britain at Polltoomary in Co Mayo, connecting the Marble Arch and Cascades/Prods Systems in Co Fermanagh and exploring and surveying several kilometers of large underwater cave passage outside Gort, Co Galway.
Tragically, Artur was killed during an exploratory dive in Pollonora Cave near Kiltartan Co Galway in September 2011 but his contribution to Irish cave exploration was such that the fund was named in his memory.

Application can be made by SUI members who are taking on a project of original cave exploration within Ireland.

Applications for Expedition Funding

To apply for expedition funding, download the following document:

Application for SUI Expedition Grant Funding and Guidance Notes

Guide Notes for Applicants

‘Expeditions are distinguished from holidays by several factors, but probably the clearest differences are a search for previously undiscovered cave passage and elements of risk, self reliance and background research which are not normally required when simply jumping on a ferry.’ (Ghar Parau Foundation)

Criteria for Judging Expeditions

Because of the limited funding available and the growing number of applications made to SUI each year, it is now necessary to formalise the process of application and judge each expedition not only on its own merits but also against other applications. The following should therefore be borne in mind when applying for funding.

  • What makes the expedition unique?
  • In what way will it help to develop caving and particularly Irish caving?
  • Is there significant potential for new finds?
  • Is there a scientific flavour to the expedition?
  • Has there been sufficient preparatory research carried out?
  • Do the team members match the objectives set out?
  • Is there enough time to fulfil the expedition objectives?

The committee will also consider what efforts are being made by the expedition team to fund the expedition outside this application and the financial commitment being made by members of the team. A track record from previous expeditions would be useful though less experienced cavers who show sound expedition planning and potential will also be considered.

Submitting your Application

The committee will consider applications for funding twice each year. It is therefore necessary to apply for grant aid well in advance of the expedition date. It is advisable to supplement the official basic application form (available above in pdf format) with maps, surveys and other information deemed important to the successful outcome of the expedition planned. Please furnish four copies of your application. A decision will be made at least two month in advance of the departure date and an answer will be sent to the expedition leader by post. It has been the practice of the committee to deliver 50% of the allocated grant prior to departure.  the balance of the grant will be paid on receipt of the expedition report.  The time frame for receipt of reports is as follows

  • Award of < 1000 euros – 6 months
  • Award > 1000 euros – 12 months

from the date of return of the expedition.  Failure to meet the deadline will result in forfeit of the balance of the grant.  Reports should be sent to the Expedition Officer. This will facilitate future SUI funded expeditions to the area and studies in similar areas of research.

Donations or bequests to any of our Funds will be gratefully received. Please contact treasurer@caving.ie if you wish to contribute.