Scholarships and Grants

Professional Grants

Deadline: July 31, 2019
Apply here.

NAI has a program to provide grant assistance to professional interpreters to help offset the costs of professional development through NAI. Limited funds are available as part of NAI’s overall scholarship program, and can apply to attendance at the national conference, certification fees, and other workshops and programs that the NAI national office conducts.

Student Scholarships

Deadline: April 15, 2019
This process has closed.

The National Association for Interpretation scholarship program is for college students who are studying natural, historical, and cultural interpretation or a closely related field with career aspirations in the field of interpretation. The goal of the scholarship program is to recognize students who have the potential to make an outstanding contribution to the field of interpretation. Scholarships are awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students, and may include conference registration, travel, lodging, and per diem.

Each award recipient must be able to attend the 2019 National Conference, November 12-16 in Denver, Colorado. Students will be recognized at a scholarship meal, participate with the Auction Committee in the Scholarship Auction and assist in the Interpretive Career Fair. It is expected that they will submit for one of the regional or section newsletters an article outlining their experiences at the National Conference.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be members of NAI through December 31, 2019.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the 2019 National Conference, November 12-16 in Denver, Colorado
  • Previous national scholarship winners, NAI national, regional, and sectional officers, scholarship committee members, and members of their families are not eligible.

To Apply
Before April 15, 2019, submit a complete application to NAI Student Scholarship Committee c/o Tom Mullin, Associate Professor of Parks and Forest Resources at Unity College Submit all the required materials (incomplete applications will not be considered). Please combine all documents into one pdf file and email it to with subject “[Your Name]: NAI scholarship.”

  • Cover page with the following information: Name, permanent mailing address, phone number, email, college or university, major or program area of study, undergraduate or graduate scholarship, advisor’s name and email address and your NAI membership expiration month and year
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one must be from a current professor or instructor). Letters of recommendations should be included in the combined PDF. However, if the author(s) of the recommendation(s) wish to send them under separate cover for privacy reasons, that is permitted. They should be sent to with subject line "[Your Name]: NAI Scholarship Recommendation
  • A resume

  • A copy of your transcripts (unofficial is acceptable)
  • A statement of why you are interested in the field of interpretation. Include how you will benefit from attending the workshop (500 word maximum)
  • A statement of your vision for the future of interpretation (500 word maximum)
  • A budget that includes travel costs (see template provided below)
  • For graduate students only: A statement of your graduate research/project goals and why you believe it is relevant to interpretation today (500 word maximum)

Budget Template

Cost Center
Rate  Total Explanation
Meals (pro-rated from federal per diem*
$50/day  $250 Meals not included in registration
Lodging (five nights, including taxes)
$161/2 = $81
 $403 Based on shared room
Registration $310  $310 Student member rate
Travel $350  $350 Sample round-trip airfare

Registration and lodging reflect actual costs and will automatically be deducted from the award amount. Award recipients must stay at the designated host hotel and the NAI office will make those arrangements directly. Lodging is based on double occupancy; award recipients will be paired with roommates or may select a roommate from among the other recipients. Travel costs may include airfare, train, bus or mileage if less than a comparable airfare, plus parking, baggage fees, and transfers.

Selection Procedure & Timetable
Applications received by Scholarship Chair: April 15, 2019
Scholarship Committee screens applications: Through May 3, 2019

Students notified by Scholarship Coordinator: Approximately Second week of May 2019
Students attend National Conference: November 12-16, 2019, in Denver, Colorado

Review Criteria
Undergraduate and Graduate student applications are reviewed separately. Applications are reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Creativity/Sparkle (20 points) - Reviewers are looking for people with "sparkle" who will become the future leaders in our field. (Remember that our field is quite broad and includes a wide diversity of areas and disciplines from front-line interpreters in a local park to international ecotourism, and more.)
  • Potential (20 points) – Reviewers make a subjective judgment on the likelihood the applicant will be a future leader in the field of interpretation.
  • Knowledge of interpretation (15 points) - Scholarship winners should know something about our profession.
  • Vision (10 points) - Reviewers determine if the application articulates a vision that demonstrates higher thinking skills and an understanding of our profession. They assess if the applicant has valid ideas on where our profession is going in the next ten years.
  • Professional experience (10 points) – Reviewers examine what applicants have done already. Recognizing that most students may only have had one or two "real" job experiences, reviewers assess the quality of their work in the field so far.
  • Scholarship (10 points) – Reviewers consider how applicants are doing academically. This is important but reviewers recognize that a very creative interpreter may not be a straight A student.
  • Research Potential (for graduate students only) (15 points) – Reviewers make a subjective judgment on the likelihood the applicant will be a future research leader based on the graduate research statement in the application.        

NAI Membership
To become a member of the National Association for Interpretation, please visit click here.      




NAI National Conference

Denver Colorado
November 12–16, 2019

Interested in Sponsorships or Advertising?

Contact NAI Events Manager Michele Farmer at or 970-484-8283 x805.