2015 Call for Proposals



Call for Proposals: Grants for Scholarship on Topics Related to the Environment
Due date: Wednesday, 04 March, 2015 at 5 PM EST

The Georgetown Environment Initiative (GEI) is a multi-campus effort that seeks to foster multi-and inter-disciplinary study of the environment in relation to society, scientific understanding, sound policy, and the broad and complex challenges we face as stewards of the planet’s natural resources. The overall goal of GEI is to enable Georgetown faculty and students to take up some of the most important questions of our time by reinforcing foundations and setting direction for future scholarship and education efforts in environment and sustainability.

To bolster academic work related to the environment, the University is providing funds to support faculty scholarship made possible through a generous gift to the Environment Initiative.  Managed by the faculty steering committee using a competitive award process, aims are to build the capacity to define and engage compelling questions related to environment and help shape the conditions society requires to use such knowledge well. 

Three categories of grants will be funded:

  • Planning Grants (of up to $20,000 each) will fund the development and writing of innovative, ambitious or collaborative major external grant proposals. Such external proposals may be for the support of research or for research training, or curriculum or educational program development that produces scholarly products or lasting programmatic impacts.
  • Collaborative Grants (of up to $30,000 each) will fund the efforts of two or more scholars from different departments or schools at Georgetown who come together to spark innovative directions in their research.
  • Partnership Grants (of up to $30,000 each) will fund projects undertaken jointly by Georgetown scholars and external partners with the promise of contributing to knowledge, building lasting collaborations, and forming partnerships that lead to independent funding for shared work.

An additional category of GEI grant is available in 2015 in cooperation with the McCourt School Massive Data Institute seed grant program (http://mccourt.georgetown.edu/massive-data-institute).

  • GEI-MDI Research Pilot Grants (of up to $30,000 each) will fund projects undertaken by Georgetown faculty that employ large data sets and associated quantitative and computational approaches to address questions centrally related to environment. Proposals must involve collaboration between faculty in different departments and must show promise of contributing knowledge to a question with clear relevance to the environment, building lasting collaborations, and forming partnerships and preliminary results that lead to external funding. 

GEI-MDI Research Pilot Grants will be reviewed jointly by the GEI and the MDI and should be written for a broad audience.

To facilitate identification and review of GEI-MDI proposals, they should use "GEI-MDI:" as the beginning of the proposal title.

All projects must be completed or show substantial progress within one year of the award. In addition, grant recipients will be required to track their spending and to provide brief status and final reports on their project activities and expenditures.

In evaluating the proposals, the committee will consider the following points:  

  • Will this project advance the capacity of individual faculty and the University to undertake research that is related to the environment?
  • Is this project of sufficient scale and ambition to be noteworthy?
  • Will the project provide a platform for collaboration among researchers who do not currently have such a platform available?
  • Is this project (or a significant activity or event associated with the project) difficult to support through traditional funding channels because it is multi- or inter-disciplinary?
  • If the project has an educational theme, is there a formal mechanism to assess project goals? Could the project lead to a scholarly product such as a peer-reviewed publication? Is there a means to sustain the project educational activities?
  • What are sources of possible support for the project beyond the pilot grant period?  Do the proposers have a clear plan to pursue such support?

Interdisciplinary proposals are strongly encouraged, especially those that help bring together faculty in different fields or in different units of the University.

These grants are intended to support any aspect of a research enterprise such as research materials and supplies, travel to a research site, travel to enable working meetings with external collaborators, research assistance such as support of assistant, technician or student time, faculty summer salary, and data collection or analysis costs. In addition, the grant funds can be used to support interdisciplinary databases and other materials and reports that help share and communicate important GU environmental work and findings. These grants are not intended to fund faculty release from teaching commitments or conferences.

The Application Process
Proposals will consist of:

1. A completed cover sheet including project title, executive summary of not more than 250 words, and list of project participants (CLICK HERE TO ACCESS COVER SHEET).   

To download the word version of the cover sheet, follow these instructions:

  • Click the “ACCESS FORM HERE” link above.
  • This will open the cover sheet as a Google Doc.
  • Go to File–>Download OR Click the "Download" icon found at the top of the screen.
  • The document should be available to open as a word file.

2. A project narrative of no more than five pages (double-spaced, numbered pages withminimum one inch margins) that includes:

  • A clear statement of the problem or question to be addressed and an explanation of its intellectual and practical significance.
  • A clear explanation of the research approach to the problem—indicating, asappropriate, what is novel or original about this approach and how collaboration willinform the work, if working across disciplines is part of the design.
  • An explanation of the specific activities the funds will support, along with a schedulefor completion. Proposals should explicitly address how they will show substantial progress or project completion within one year of the award.  
  • All figures or tables must be included within the five page limit.
  • Recipients of past Georgetown Environment Initiative grants must provide information about prior support with a description of past project activities andoutcomes. The description of results from prior support is limited to one page (double-spaced with minimum one inch margins) and does not count toward the fivepage limit of the project narrative.

3. Literature cited (no page limit).

4. A budget listing itemized expenses and justifying proposed expenditures (one page limit).

5. CVs of not more than two pages for each participant.

The items above must be assembled in the order specified and submitted as a single pdf file. Failure to format proposals according to the instructions can result in a proposal being returned without review.

To submit a proposal, e-mail the pdf document a single file to Rachel Yancey at ray6@georgetown.edu no later than Wednesday, March 4th 2015 at 5 PM EST.

To facilitate the submission process, clearly indicate that this is an Georgetown EnvironmentInitiative proposal in the subject heading of the e-mail. The committee will announce therecipients on or about April 15th and projects can commence as early as May of this year.

Direct any questions about proposals or the guidelines to Prof. Matthew Hamilton athamiltm1@georgetown.edu.

Members of the GEI Steering Committee:
Matthew Hamilton (chair), Department of Biology
Laura Anderko, School of Nursing and Health Studies
Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center & Georgetown Law Center
Peter Byrne, Georgetown Law Center
Robin Dillon-Merrill, McDonough School of Business
David Konisky, McCourt School of Public Policy
Arik Levinson, Department of Economics
Joanna Lewis, School of Foreign Service
Maggie Little, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Janet Mann, Office of the Provost and Department of Biology and Department of Psychology, ex officio
Mary Beth Martin, Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center
John McNeill, Department of History
Edward Soule,  McDonough School of Business
Francis Slakey, Science in the Public Interest Program, ex officio
Sarah Stoll, Department of Chemistry
Audrey Stewart, Office of Sustainability, ex officio
Timothy Warren, Department of Chemistry
Ali Whitmer, Office of the Provost, ex officio