Since announcing the grant, we’ve had numerous questions from the press and public about the details of the initiative and the grant-giving process. Here are the most frequent, together with our answers.
What are the dates for application submissions and winner announcements?
The 2016 Janapar Grant will open for applications on Monday the 29th of February, and will remain open until Friday the 15th of April. The successful applicant will be announced on Tuesday the 3rd of May.
How can I make sure I don’t miss any announcements?
The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to the mailing list. You’ll get an email every time an announcement is made.
Why is the grant only for 18–25 year olds?
In the years between 18–25, young people in British society generally remain free of such responsibilities as marriage and parenthood, as well as of pressing financial and professional commitments – conditions conducive to spending an extended period of time making such a journey.
However, a lack of first hand experience to plan such a journey, coupled with a diminished ability to fund the upfront costs of equipment, means that for many in this age group the barriers to entry seem high.
A more universal reason has to do with personal development. There is significant scientific evidence to suggest that 25 is (on average) the age at which our previously malleable beliefs and behaviours solidify, in the sense that neural pathways physically harden. Before this age, our views on the world are strongly defined by experience. We believe that exploring the world independently is one of the most valuable experiences a young person can have at this formative time.
As well as the large body of anecdotal evidence to support these views, there is a strong precedent set by existing institutions and organisations who encourage journeymaking and exploration in a similar age range. Examples include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, Outward Bound, Raleigh International, and the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. Similar institutions involving cultural immersion include the Peace Corps and EVS, among others.
We’ve taken into consideration all of these factors while narrowing down the focus for the Janapar Grant, which is represented in the criteria for eligibility and the qualities we’ll be looking for in applicants.
In summary, the aim of the grant is to provide encouragement and support to those who’ll benefit most from it in the long-term, and we believe the 18–25 age group represents this.
I don’t meet one or more of the eligibility criteria. Can I apply anyway?
Unfortunately the criteria for eligibility are strict, and applicants who do not meet them will have their applications filtered out.
Is there any cash available in addition to the equipment and mentorship?
No cash is included in the grant. Instead, applicants will be asked to demonstrate a consideration of how they intend to raise the funds to finance their journey themselves.
This is a deliberate decision by the grant founders. In comparison with the complicated process of outfitting and planning a long bicycle journey, finding money to cover the very low on-the-road living costs of cycle touring is relatively easy.
We are not expecting applicants to devise a complicated fundraising strategy. Solutions might be as simple as working a temporary job to save money while budgeting for a frugal lifestyle during the trip – which is, of course, how the vast majority of long-distance cycling journeys are approached.
How much is the grant worth in financial terms?
The equipment to be bequeathed to the recipient of the Janapar Grant in 2016 would be worth in the region of £2,500 at its full retail value.
The mentorship element is impossible to represent financially as there is no such commercially available offer that we know of. The precise details of the mentorship element will depend on the needs of the winner. As such, it could be accurately said to be priceless.
What will the application process actually entail?
On the application opening date, we will publish on the grant website a set of guidelines and a separate set of application questions, which will be available to download in PDF format. We will encourage applicants to spend as much time as they have available to consider the questions and answer them in detail.
The application submission itself will take place via the grant website, where answers can be copy-pasted or typed directly into an online application form. Applicants will be required to agree to a basic set of terms and conditions, and to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria.
After the submissions deadline has passed, the mentors will consider the applications in reference to the criteria and guidelines for the grant. Shortlisted applicants may be asked to attend a brief remote interview.
All applicants will be informed of the outcome before the official announcement is made.
Is there a ‘runners up prize’ for unsuccessful applicants?
We are aware that competition for the valuable equipment and mentorship package may be fierce, and it is regretful that we only have the resources to supply one successful applicant.
However, for all unsuccessful applicants who meet the criteria and have submitted complete applications, we will be taking steps to ensure that not being successful in receiving the grant is not seen as a setback.
Specifically, we will provide (free of charge) detailed resources to assist these applicants in making their planned journeys regardless, even in the absence of high-end equipment or one-to-one mentorship supplied to the winner.
While the grant will indeed help its recipient to surmount some of the bigger obstacles to embarking upon a long bicycle journey, there are proven strategies to overcome these same obstacles independently, and we will be actively encouraging all applicants to consider them.
How will the mentorship component of the grant work?
The mentors will be available to offer guidance and advice on specific difficulties and questions during this time, based on their own previous experiences.
Mentorship will be offered in a format and at a frequency that is appropriate to all involved, which may include email, Skype or similar, and/or in-person sessions if geographically feasible. Sessions are expected to be arranged in advance.
Depending on the specifics of the journey being planned, some mentors may have more relevant or detailed advice to offer than others.
The ultimate responsibility for researching, planning and executing the journey in a safe and responsible manner will always lie with the recipient of the grant. Mentorship will be dependent upon the signing of a written disclaimer by the recipient.
What’s in it for the organisers, mentors and sponsors of the grant?
We are all driven by a shared belief in bicycle travel as a great educator, and of the value of such an education to society as a whole. To that end, all organisers, mentors and sponsors of the grant are donating their time, knowledge, goods and services entirely free of charge, with no expectation of financial return.
I don’t want to apply for the grant, but I do want to support it. How can I help?
The best way to support the aims of the grant is to spread the word directly to people who would be interested and eligible to apply for it. You can do this by using the social media sharing links on the homepage, or by sending direct messages to individuals by email or another appropriate medium.
A second way of supporting the grant is to make a financial donation. Funds received will be kept in a non-profit-specific PayPal account for the purposes of supplying miscellaneous items of equipment not provided by existing sponsorship arrangements. Surplus funds will be used to cover the maintenance of the grant website and behind-the-scenes administration costs.
A donation of your choice can be made securely online by clicking here.
I’m an educator working with eligible young people in the UK, and I want to promote the grant to them. What can I do?
Have you considered bringing in a guest speaker? Many of our mentors work as professional public speakers, with long experience giving talks to schools, universities and special interest groups on the topic of long distance bicycle travel. Please contact us if you would like to discuss arranging such a talk.
Alternatively, you may consider purchasing an educational license to screen the movie Janapar, the inspiring and award-winning documentary film telling the story of the grant founder’s first long distance bicycle journey. A special grant-specific version of the film, including a personal message from the founder, is available on request. Please contact the Janapar film team directly about this.
I’m interested in becoming a sponsor or mentor. What steps should I take?
At present, there is one opportunity for a sponsor to supply camping and cooking equipment for the eventual recipient of the 2016 grant. If you’d like to discuss this opportunity, please contact us directly by email.
We are not currently accepting new mentors for the 2016 grant, having what we feel is a broad base of experience and knowledge in our current roster, but would be interested to hear from you if you would like to contribute in 2017.
I work as guest speaker in UK schools on the topic of travel, adventure & exploration. Do you mind if I mention the grant in my talks?
Absolutely! The aim of the grant is to spread the idea of cycle touring to young people. By mentioning the grant, you’ll be helping us achieve that goal. Please contact us if you’d like any further information to incorporate in your talks.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list to get email announcements about the opening and closing dates for applications.