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Here be Dragons Proposal Guidelines

Published onMar 01, 2018
Here be Dragons Proposal Guidelines

Select projects will be funded by the National Geographic Society. Proposers must have (1) attended Here be Dragons or be affiliated with the MIT Media Lab Open Ocean initiative, and (2) submitted a draft proposal by March 7, 2018.


  • Projects should aim to move the needle on both better understanding the ocean AND connecting people to it.

  • They should be uniquely suited to the combination of the National Geographic Explorer and MIT communities’ common goals of exploring, visualizing, understanding, protecting our ocean environment with creative engineering, technology, and design solutions.

  • Projects should be deployed/piloted within 6-9 months. A long-term vision for project continuation is encouraged but not required.

  • Results/status will be presented at the National Ocean Exploration Forum, November 8-10, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab.

Proposal Components

  1. Maximum length of 1,000 words

  2. Create an account (or use your existing PubPub account) and post your proposal narrative in the Journal of Open Exploration Open Ocean section.

  3. Email your budget to

  4. Proposal should include the following components:

    1. Title

    2. Challenge | What challenge are you addressing? Why is it important?

    3. Approach | How will you approach the problem innovatively?

    4. Unknowns | What are some of the key unknowns? 

    5. Resources | What resources do you have? What do you need?

    6. Timeline | What are your major milestones?

    7. Team | Who is on your team? What additional talent do you need?

Evaluation Criteria

  • Innovative | Is the project fresh and forward-looking, leading to previously unachieved outcomes?

  • Impactful | Will the project lead to significant impact in ocean understanding and community building?

  • Compelling | Will the project broaden an understanding of the challenge that it is trying to solve and engage the public?

  • Achievable | Can the project yield practical and concrete results in a realistic time frame?


  • March 7, 2018: Draft proposals due on PubPub

    • Email draft budget to

  • March 7-16, 2018: Team building opportunity

    • Recruit additional team members or join a team!

  • March 16, 2018: Final proposals due on PubPub

    • Only those who submitted a draft proposal are eligible

    • Replace your draft proposal with your final one on PubPub

    • Email final to

  • March 23, 2018: Project selections announced

  • April - November: Project execution

  • November 8-10, 2018: National Ocean Exploration Forum

Any intellectual property developed during and within the scope of the Here be Dragons event, held at the MIT Media Lab from Feb 26, 2018 to Feb 27, 2018, will be registered in the public domain, meaning that the inventors will retain no residual rights to the intellectual property and the intellectual property will be available for public use.


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