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Faculty Grants for Exploratory Research

The Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) will award research grants to faculty teams and individual faculty members to seed innovative and exciting new projects on issues that address major problems related to energy and environment. The program is designed to facilitate new directions in research and catalyze new faculty collaborations across disciplines.  

Faculty groups are encouraged to apply with proposals representing a new collaboration among the faculty team members. Funding may be used for facilitating meetings of collaborators—planning sessions, workshops, speaker series, etc. —as well as for research, including hiring graduate students and post docs. No salary support for faculty members is allowed. We anticipate the average award size to be between $30k and $40k, although smaller requests are encouraged. Only Harvard ladder faculty are eligible to apply.

The awards are also intended to offer individual faculty members the opportunity to pursue research in a direction that represents a significant departure from previous and ongoing research. Faculty members who have never worked on environmental topics are encouraged to apply, as well as those who have long-standing interests in environmental research.

Proposed research—whether individual or collaborative—should be in keeping with the objectives of a seed grant program: it should be innovative, risky, and distinct from what one might normally submit to traditional funding sources (e.g., NSF, NIH). Preference will be given to proposals that show potential for attracting additional external funding.

A new call for proposals may be announced in spring 2014. Please contact James Clem, HUCE Managing Director, with any questions.

To Apply

Faculty members should submit:

1.   A cover sheet that identifies the principal investigators and their contact information (department, address, phone number and email), title of the proposal, and amount of funding requested.

2.   A proposal of no more than three pages (12-point type, including illustrations) addressing the following:

•       Purpose, goals, objectives and duration of the proposed research;
•       What is innovative about the proposed research and what makes it less likely to receive funding from traditional sources; and
•       Potential future sources of funding if the research is successful.

3.   A one-page budget and justification. The awards cannot be used to support faculty salaries. These are internal grants and not eligible for overhead in excess of the University’s 15% gift assessment.

4.   Curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages) for each participating faculty members

5.   A brief list of current support from all sources including federal and foundation grants, corporate and private gifts, and endowments.

Please submit proposals by email as PDFs or Word files to James Clem, the Center’s Managing Director at clem@fas.harvard.edu by the deadline listed above. Questions should also be directed to James Clem by email or phone (617-496-5458).

Note: The Center recognizes that the need still exists for smaller grants to faculty to fund special research opportunities, especially those with time horizons too short for traditional outside funders. In such cases, faculty should send a short note to Center Director Dan Schrag outlining the opportunity—which should still represent research that is innovative and risky—and funding required. He will consider all requests on an ad hoc basis.

Past Faculty Research Project Awards

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