NextGen Scholarship

As a way to empower the next generation of divers, GUE has created the NextGen Scholarship to provide a year of training and other benefits to a deserving diver on their quest for excellence. If you're a certified diver who is passionate about pursuing further education, have an interest in exploration and conservation, and are ready for a year of new adventures, keep reading to learn more!

How it works

Through the generous donation of course spaces from GUE instructors, one year of tuition-free GUE training is made available to divers. These course spaces include the majority of GUE's curriculum, and with a generous travel budget, dedicated support from a NextGen Mentor, and a new set of gear from Halcyon, scholarship recipients are able to undertake GUE training in the locations and environments they're most passionate about. In exchange for this support, scholars will provide both written and video documentation of their year as a NextGen Scholar and take part in a NextGen presentation at the next GUE conference.

We carefully review each NextGen Scholarship application and believe in helping as many young divers as possible who exemplify our values of passion and impact. This is why, in 2023, the scholarship program was expanded to include a NextGen Legacy Project. Through the additional generosity of GUE instructors and projects around the world, a selection of each year's deserving runners-up have the potential of receiving personalized support from GUE, subject to our discretion. These individuals are called NextGen Trainees, and more information is found here.


To qualify for the 2025 NextGen Scholarship, you must*:
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 30
  • Be certified as an Advanced Open Water diver (or equivalent)
  • Have conducted a minimum of 20 dives
  • Be medically fit for diving
  • Be fluent in English

*GUE staff, GUE instructor candidates, and GUE instructors, in addition to employees of corporate sponsors and their families, are not eligible.

Application Requirements

Once the application window opens, eligible divers will need to submit:
  • A completed online scholarship application form, including 1,000-word essay
  • A short “elevator speech” video (less than 2 minutes long) about your diving background, goals, and why you are a good candidate for the scholarship
  • A character recommendation from an individual/community member in good standing (e.g., former employer, pastor/minister, college lecturer/professor, commanding officer, government official, GUE instructor, etc.)


  • APRIL 1: Online application opens
  • JULY 1: Online application closes at 23:59 UTC -12:00
  • EARLY SEPTEMBER: 2025 NextGen Scholar is notified and final eligibility is confirmed
  • MID-SEPTEMBER: Unsuccessful candidates are notified, 2025 NextGen Scholar is announced
  • NOVEMBER 1: Scholarship year begins

Scholarship Benefits

  • Free GUE training for one year
  • A $2,000 USD travel budget
  • $3,000 USD worth of diving equipment from Halcyon
  • GUE Platinum level membership for two years
  • Free registration for one GUE conference, including socials and field trips as well as a meet-and-greet with GUE leadership
  • NextGen Scholarship Mentor (a senior GUE instructor)
  • Support and advice from the growing community of past Scholars and Trainees in the NextGen Legacy Project
  • Divers Alert Network (DAN) membership and diving accident insurance
  • NextGen apparel and swag to wear during GUE events and training
  • GoPro camera to document a year as a NextGen Scholar

Scholarship Deliverables

In addition to learning, during their year as a NextGen Scholar, recipients will:
  • Provide two blog posts and video entries for GUE's blog, InDepth
  • Write one Quest journal article about their experience
  • Provide a submission if requested
  • Provide content for a NextGen Scholar profile on
  • Maintain a blog discussing progress during the scholarship, to be linked to their Scholar profile page
  • Maintain an active social media presence
  • Serve as an active admin to the NextGen Legacy Project, and, if applicable, produce a deliverable of any medium with other Trainees.
  • Give a short presentation at the GUE conference
  • Respond to inquiries from the next round of scholarship applicants
  • Submit an end-of-scholarship report discussing their journey and what’s next, accounting for finances, and acknowledging GUE folks that helped