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Scuba Diving Scholarships & Grants – Opportunity Board

Scuba Diving Scholarships & Grants – Opportunity Board

Scuba diving is an expensive hobby, and this can be a barrier to those who have something to offer to this industry but don’t have the means to pursue their passions. Many organisations and brands come together to offer scuba diving scholarships and grants to offer opportunities to more divers.

We’re all about levelling the playing field and offering opportunities to as many divers, and as many marginalised divers, as possible. If you’re looking for up-to-date information on scuba diving grants and diving scholarships, you’re in the right place!

We’ll keep this page updated with all of the best diving grants out there, in hopes of encouraging more women and marginalised groups to take on these incredible opportunities.

Opportunities are arranged with the soonest closing dates at the top. New opportunities will be added as they open. If you are a brand or organisation offering a scuba diving scholarship or grant, or you find an opportunity not listed on this page, please forward to [email protected]

Various Scholarships – American Academy of Underwater Sciences

What Is It?

AAUS awards competitive scholarships, internships, and awards to graduate and undergraduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is used as an important research tool or the research topic is diving science.”

They offer research funding which awards two $3000 research scholarships to graduate students (one Master’s program student and one Ph.D. candidate) engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is or will be used as a principal research tool or to study scientific diving. The AAUS may also award two additional $1500 scholarships to the next two proposals that are ranked the highest.

Many researchers need to learn to dive to complete their projects, but the initial cost of certification can prohibit this part of their journey. The Diversity Scholarship funds Open Water certification for researchers from underrepresented groups in diving based on personal background. This includes, but is not limited to, educational experience, socioeconomic background, cultural heritage, race and ethnicity, and geographic origin.

There is also a Travel Award available to allow students to attend AAUS scientific meetings to further their education.

Who Can Apply?

Each program has differing requirements. Take a look at their website for full details of each award. Applicants must be AAUS members, which does involve an annual cost. However, if membership poses a financial hardship, you can contact the AAUS office for a waiver.

How Do I Apply?

Applications are submitted through the AAUS website.

Applications vary depending on opportunity

SeaSmart Ocean Diversity Scholarship

What Is It?

“Talent and passion are evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. SeaSmart hopes to provide qualified students with an opportunity to explore their interest in ocean conservation, marine biology and SCUBA diving. This scholarship is offered to address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in marine science studies and will award funding to support their participation in the SeaSmart Summer 2023 program.”

The successful applicant will get to attend SeaSmart’s Summer Program, which includes completing Open Water certification in Roatan, Honduras, with a focus on conservation.

Who Can Apply?

The scholarship is open to female and non binary student applicants who:

  • Are a member of a minority group(s). (Including but not limited to: Black, Latina, Native American, LGBTQ+)
  • Have a demonstrated interest in marine science, ocean conservation and/or a related field as well as in learning to dive.
  • Are currently enrolled as a high school student in the United States. 

How Do I Apply?

Full details can be found here, and the application form can be found here. The application includes a letter of recommendation.

Applications close 1st March 2023

Scuba Diving Instructor Training – Kerry College

What Is It?

Kerry College of Further Training and Education offers pathways to further study, employment, third level and apprenticeship. There is an increase in the demand for highly skilled and qualified Scuba Diving Instructors in Ireland, as participation in water based sports is on the increase.

Their Scuba Diving Instructor course will train people from Open Water to Instructor level, with all application fees, tuition fees, examination fees, and certification fees covered. This takes place across a 41 week full-time course, including 6 weeks of work experience. Additionally, students will study for ISA Powerboat Award/Diver Coxswain certification.

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must be aged 18+ and in possession of Leaving Cert, LCVP, LCA or QQI Level 4 Major Award. There is a mature student application route for those aged 23+. Non EU applicants must obtain permission to work in Ireland. Full pre-requisites can be found on the website.

How Do I Apply?

Applications must be made online through the Kerry College website.

No closing date is specified

Government Funded Diving – Maldives

Banner detailing the Maldivian Government Dive Training Grants, details below

What Is It?

The Maldivian Government is initiating a training programme aimed at up-skilling job seekers in priority trade areas, including scuba diving. This is an exciting opportunity for Maldivian residents to develop their skills to either PADI Divemaster or PADI OWSI level.

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must be Maldivian residents currently living in Maldives, aged 16-65, and should be either unemployed or currently working less than 20 hours per week. Full eligibility criteria can be found here.

How Do I Apply?

Dive operators taking part in this programme are listed on the Maldivian Job Center website.

Closing dates vary depending on dive operator

DiverSeaFy – Open Water Certifications

Banner detailing the DiverSeaFy Open Water Certification Scholarships, details below

What Is It?
There are many benefits that the ocean has to offer and Diver•Sea•Fy believe that those benefits should be accessible to everyone. They want to open the door to the underwater world for youth of colour that might not otherwise get the opportunity.

They offer the opportunity for students to receive their Open Water Certification, breaking down the financial barrier to entry involved in learning to scuba dive.

Who Can Apply?

Applications are open to students of colour, aged 14-18, living in the LA area. 

How Do I Apply?
Prospective students must fill out the Diver•Sea•Fy Google Form.

They must also provide a 250 word (maximum) response explaining their interest in the program, and a letter of recommendation from an adult. This could be a teacher, counselor, coach, or any adult that would advocate on their behalf. These supporting documents should be emailed to [email protected].

No closing date – applications are rolling