NAUI Diversity Scholarship

NAUI is its members, and our members need to be represented in all levels of this proud organization. Therefore, in an effort to progressively embody our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, NAUI is excited to announce an opportunity that will potentially increase the diversity of our dive leaders.

Applications are now open for the NAUI Diversity Scholarship which will be offered to divers worldwide who identify with historically marginalized communities to earn their NAUI Instructor Certification.

Since 1960, our motto has been “Dive Safety Through Education,” and as we continue to educate ourselves on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, we are more and more present to the role we play in creating pathways for all of our members to be represented at the highest levels of leadership within NAUI, augmenting our global impact on the diving industry. When we see ourselves reflected in our leadership, greater aspirations become a possibility. This scholarship aims to increase the diversity of NAUI membership, and thereby NAUI divers, on a global scale.


NAUI and this Scholarship

NAUI, the National Association of Underwater Instructors, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) worldwide educational association incorporated in the United States of America. Started in 1959, NAUI is the oldest recreational scuba training agency in the United States.

NAUI’s purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments.

An international organization with members on all continents and partner offices worldwide, NAUI is by nature and business a diverse and inclusive organization. As a diverse organization, our commitment to openness and inclusivity is built into who we are, and it is the nature of our business to be welcoming to everyone.

The NAUI Diversity Scholarship affirms our commitment to be broadly inclusive, with the broadest possible cross section of members from all walks of life. This scholarship is specifically targeted at providing opportunities to dive leaders from economically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.


Who is this Scholarship for?

  • Those from underrepresented groups in diving, based on personal background, as demonstrated by a variety of factors, including but not limited to, educational experience, socioeconomic background, cultural heritage, race and ethnicity, gender, and geographic origin. This program aims to increase diversity in all realms, including growing the geographic presence of NAUI globally.
  • Divemasters or equivalent dive leaders from any training agency looking to become a NAUI Instructor. Instructor crossover candidates are not eligible.
  • Those who have a distinct interest in supporting their communities through engagement and development in aquatic activities, especially scuba diving.


What does this entail?

  • The Diversity Committee Chair and Scholarship Advisory Committee will select winners based on candidate application. See below for application details and requirements.
  • NAUI will provide reimbursement up to $2500 for direct expenses related to the instructor course.
  • Applicants shall be able to identify a NAUI Affiliate and/or Course Director they’d like to complete their training with. If an applicant is located in an area where this may be challenging, the Diversity Committee will support the scholar through this process of identifying a training provider.


Application Requirements

  • Submission of certification prerequisites showing qualification to participate in a NAUI Instructor Training Course, as outlined in the Standards & Policies manual.
    • NAUI Assistant Instructor or Divemaster, or equivalent
    • Nitrox certification
    • Current Diving First Aid for Professional Divers, or equivalent
    • 60 logged dives for total of 30 hours of bottom time to enroll; 100 dives to graduate
    • 6 months diving experience
    • Crossover candidates must have been an active instructor for 1 year proceeding the NAUI Crossover
  • Identify as a member of a traditionally underrepresented group in your current geographic location. Clear identification of how you meet this criteria as well as how prevalent NAUI is in your area will both be considered.
  • Personal Statement addressing these specific themes (Total of 700 words or less):
    • Experience in Aquatics. If you have aquatics experience besides recreational diving (i.e. lifeguarding, free diving, public safety, citizen science), share this with us.
    • Diversity in Aquatics. Be proud of your work in promoting diversity in aquatics or within the community; tell us about it. What communities do you represent and how will you increase the diversity of NAUI?
    • Community Organizing & Engagement. How are you involved in your current community?
    • Personal Mission Statement. What is your personal mission and how will becoming a NAUI Instructor further it? How will this create diversity in diving?
    • Why NAUI? How will becoming a NAUI Instructor further your goals? Why is our training agency a good fit for you?
  • Diving Resume
  • Outlined budget detailing use of funds for NAUI Instructor Training Course - Reimbursement up to $2500.
    • Potential expenses include tuition, course materials, travel and accommodation.
    • Identify the NAUI Affiliate or Course Director you plan to work with and confirm you have spoken to them about your intent to apply for this scholarship.
  • 3 Minute Video highlighting you, the candidate
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Candidates are encouraged to submit one Letter of Recommendation that speaks to the candidate's diving background and readiness to enter a NAUI Instructor Training Course.
  • Applicants may be asked to interview with the selection committee via teleconference.


During Training & Follow Up

  • Documentation of the NAUI Instructor Training Course through images, social media, etc.
  • Complete a Blog Post for inclusion in NAUI media outlets, i.e. social media, bulletins, Sources, etc.
  • Commit to teaching three NAUI courses within the first year of certification as a NAUI Instructor. Scholars are encouraged to teach at least one entry level course and at least one continuing education course.
  • Serve on the NAUI Diversity Subcommittee the year following the scholarship award.


How To Apply

All applications materials must be submitted via email to by midnight EST July 31, 2023.

All applicants will receive confirmation of materials received. All applicants will receive award notification no later than November.



Donate Today

This scholarship in funded in part by donors like you. Click here to make a one time or recurring donation. NAUI Members can also make a donation as part of their annual renewal.


Application Reviewers

Each application is reviewed by multiple NAUI Members. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer reviewer, please submit 200 words or less stating your interest and qualifications to Reviewers are selected on an annual basis as application volume requires.