Request for Proposals

The Climate Center was established ~20+ years ago with an endowment from the  Vetlesen Foundation .

It is the foundation's wish to promote climate research at  Columbia University's   Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory  and Goddard Institute for Space Studies   (NASA)  by providing seed money for research projects geared to exploring various climate issues. For background information on the Climate Center, please download the document entitled  The Center for Climate Research .

The Climate Center Committee is requesting proposal submissions for climate-related research projects twice a year. The deadline for the next RFP is 5pm on  November 1st, 2021. Proposals are submitted at other times of the year, but are the rare exception and require a strong justification of the submission date.

Please read the attached guidelines before applying for an award. All recipients will need to sign an acknowledgement form before accepting the funds.

The Climate Center provides money for the following four major purposes:

1. To fund start-up research projects aimed at leveraging government sponsored research grants.
For a list of projects funded in the more recent past, please contact us at with your request.

2. To fund lecturer visits by prominent scientists depending on the availabilty of funds. (Not until campus is at 100% capacity)

3. To fund mini-conferences depending on availability of funds.

4. To fund ~2 sudents in the Undergraduate Research Project for the Earth Intern program depending on availability of funds.

The vast majority of available funds go to start-up research projects (#1 above).


General guidelines for proposal submission for 1. and 3.:

  • Electronic submission of proposals is preferred (in either Adobe PDF and/or Microsoft Word formats).
  • Please download and use this  template  for proposals.
  • Page limit: 3 pages maximum (inclusive of text, budget, figures, tables, etc.) plus up to one page of results from prior support.
  • Font size: ≥ 11-point, use Arial, Helvetica, Georgia or Times New Roman fonts.
  • Margins: 1-inch on all four sides.
  • Itemized Budget ≤ $10,000 exclusive of overhead charges or administrative fees.

Please include the following in your Climate Center proposal:

    • (please list NAME(S), AFFILIATION(S) and TITLE(S))
  • ITEMIZED BUDGET (excluding 10% Administrative Fee).  Please use the  budget template  for submission. Send the file separately & not embedded in your proposal.
  • REFERENCES (References are  NOT  included in the 3-page limit).
  • Please list the previous grant title, the Principal Investigators, when the grant was funded and for how much.  Also include 2-3 sentences about your results, and what they were.  List any publications, non-climate center funding awarded and any other information that directly relates to your prior Climate Center funding.

Please note the following:

  1. Please read the FAQs section and the new guidelines before proposal submission.
  2. A single PI cannot be the lead PI on more than one proposal submission per RFP.
  3. An individual PI cannot be a co-PI or lead PI on more than two proposal submissions per RFP.
    • If a PI submits more than one proposal per RFP as lead PI or more than two proposals as co-PI/lead PI, then the PI will be asked to withdraw all but the allowed one or two submissions.
    • Students can not be lead.
  4. Please list affiliations and titles for all PIs.
  5. Budgets (excluding the 10% Administrative Fee) cannot exceed $10,000, and must include fringe when paying salary.
  6. Unallowable expenses are: Salaries for PIs or Administrative Assistance (except for technicians, CU undergraduate, or CU graduate students (summer salary ) ), travel expenses for off-campus meetings, and computers (unless instrumental for the project).
  7. Only proposals where time is of the essence (i.e. you are presented with an unexpected, serendipitous opportunity to perform research) will be considered outside of the regular RFPs.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is a  FIRM DEADLINE  and must be received by the Administrator, Mercedes Paulino via email at   by 5 pm of the due date.

The Climate Center Committee usually renders its decision within two to four weeks after the deadline.

General guidelines for proposal submission for 2.), the Climate Center Lecturer (not until campus is at 100% capacity)

Please submit the name, affiliation, curriculum vitae and contact information of a proposed Climate Center Lecturer. Add a short paragraph supporting your choice.