Carbon Mitigation Initiative

Carbon Mitigation Initiative and Grand Challenges Program Joint Call for Proposals for Innovative Climate and Energy Research

Application Deadline: July 8, 2011, 5 p.m.

Princeton Environmental Institute is pleased to announce a joint call for proposal on behalf of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative and the Siebel Energy Challenge to promote new research and teaching focused broadly on climate change and energy technology. The combined solicitation seeks to fund up to four (4) new awards at levels up to $100,000 per year for a period of 1-2 years. Pending adequate funding in the future, certain successful seed projects may evolve into longer-running projects.

Two types of proposals will be accepted: CMI research proposals and Siebel Energy Challenge research and undergraduate education proposals. Investigators may want to apply to one of the two programs or to both with separate, tailored proposals.

Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI)

The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) is a 15-year partnership between Princeton University and BP that seeks solutions to the global carbon and climate problem. Since the program's inception in 2000, CMI has provided $19.0 million in research funding to Princeton faculty engaged in carbon mitigation research. CMI currently includes 18 faculty and more than 70 research staff and students at Princeton. The core areas of research of CMI include climate science, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, applied science bearing on low-carbon energy, and carbon policy. For a detailed view of CMI, visit the CMI website.

The CMI is now looking to expand its research portfolio with new projects and new faculty investigators. We will consider proposals on:

  1. energy technologies (fossil or renewable);
  2. energy and climate policy;
  3. carbon-cycle and climate science; or
  4. links among the climate and energy problem and problems of biodiversity, water, and food.

A committee drawn from among current CMI group leaders will conduct the formal review and selection process for CMI proposals, with conflicts of interest taken into account. Proposals will be judged for their originality, coherence, and synergisms with the existing CMI program. The committee will make recommendations to the CMI co-directors, who will make the awards.

Two awards of up to $100,000 per year for 1-2 years will be supported.

Grand Challenges Program

The Siebel Energy Challenge (SEC) is one of three long-term research cooperatives currently being supported by the Grand Challenges Program -- a campus wide initiative that was launched in 2007 to address complex global environmental challenges including scientific, technological, and policy dimensions. The Program is novel for its emphasis on developing innovations in undergraduate teaching as a core component of the overall effort. For more information, visit the Grand Challenges website.

Since the Program's launch in 2007, over $4.0 million has been awarded to support 15 new faculty-led projects that address dimensions of the global climate and energy problem including climate science, energy technology innovation, materials for energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, climate modeling, and geopolitics of the Middle East. Recent awards have recognized novel proposals on desalination and carbon cycling in plants.

Resources exist to further expand the climate and energy cooperative. Specifically, we seek to fund up to two additional two-year projects addressing broad themes of energy, climate, and international security. Projects must enable a faculty member to pursue a new direction in his or her research or must create a combination of two or more faculty from different disciplines working together. A critical component of the Grand Challenges Program is the integration of undergraduate teaching in the research enterprise with outcomes including new courses, undergraduate research fellowships, and mentoring of independent projects. Faculty applying to the Grand Challenges opportunity must describe the undergraduate teaching component of their proposed project to be eligible for support.

The competition is open to faculty from all disciplinary backgrounds including the social sciences, regional studies, and the humanities -- as long as there are evident links to the broad themes of energy, climate, and security. Special consideration will be given to proposals that link the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory to the Princeton campus.

A committee drawn from Princeton faculty associated with the Grand Challenges Program will conduct a formal review and selection process for proposals to the Siebel Energy Challenge, with conflicts of interest taken into account. Funding decisions will be based on the quality of the research proposed, its relevance to the core mission of the program, and its anticipated impact on undergraduate education and research.

Two awards of up to $100,000 per year for 1-2 years will be supported.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals to either entry opportunity should be no more than four pages in length and should include the following:

  • completed application form
  • project summary (200 words or less)
  • narrative that describes the significance of research in the context of competing research in the relevant disciplines, research objectives, and milestones
  • (for SEC proposals only) description of the planned innovations that will enhance the undergraduate student experience. For example, the proposal might identify one or more new or heavily revised courses; describe specific internships; and/or outline opportunities for independent study. Evidence must be included that department chairs have been consulted regarding issues of faculty time and course load management and that relevant issues are likely resolvable.
  • Project budget with brief personnel and equipment justification. Any reasonable research or teaching (SEC proposals) expense is allowed.
  • For CMI proposal budgets, calculate a fringe benefits rate of 34.5% and include an indirect cost rate of 61% on all expenses, excluding postdoctoral salaries. For SEC proposal budgets, calculate a fringe benefits rate of 34.5%; no indirect costs will be charged.

Proposals will be accepted only electronically (apply here) until 5 p.m. on Friday July 8, 2011. Please direct questions about the proposal process to

Selection Process

The two award processes will be conducted separately and promptly. Awards will be announced publicly in September 2011.

Last update: June 07 2011
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