Request for Proposals: 2017-2018 Global Challenges Research Teams

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) is inviting applications for Global Challenges Research Teams (GCRTs) for the 2017-2018 academic year. The objective of our GCRT program is to cultivate interdisciplinary partnerships and new, innovative research on environmental sustainability. Proposals should advance sustainability science through integration of environmental, societal, and economic knowledge in a team-based, creative approach to solve real-world problems.

The School considers interdisciplinary research and engagement a priority in order to make true progress toward solving the grand challenges of sustainability. Funding support is intended to encourage new scientific relationships, overcome barriers to interdisciplinary research, establish commonalities and understanding of scientific language and methodology, and utilize a multifaceted and innovative approach to sustainability science.

Successful team proposals:

  1. Bring together researchers from across disciplines at CSU. Favor will be given to teams with strong cross-college representation at the PI-level, to new partnerships of faculty, and that include graduate student and postdoc team members.
  2. Address pressing global and regional environmental sustainability issues through new research, new approaches to existing research, or research synthesis.
  3. Are highly innovative and enterprising in their approach.
  4. Are applicable to real-world sustainability challenges.

Teams should focus efforts and budget on activities that advance sustainability science and interdisciplinary research, such as: meetings, workshops, and events; grant writing; development of scholarly manuscripts; course buyouts for PIs; travel; visiting scientists; supplies; preliminary data-gathering, development of methods, models, and other tools; salary support for a team coordinator (encouraged); or other. Since funding is limited in duration and intended to seed new work, partnerships, and synthesis activities, the School does not fund long-term data-gathering efforts.

Guidelines for Proposals

Deadline: January 27, 2017. Awarded teams will be notified in March.

Submit proposals in PDF format online: Proposals are limited to three single-spaced pages. Include an appendix with a CV for each of the GCRT leaders; the appendix and budget are not counted in the three-page limit.

For more information or questions, contact Peter Backlund:, (303) 517-0324 or Jarvis Choury:, (970) 492-4043.

Click here to apply

Part 1. Title of the GCRT. Titles should be catchy and short enough to use for general communications purposes.

Part 2. Brief three to five sentence summary, in third person, of the GRCT’s proposed work in words that a layperson would understand and any organization would want to fund. This summary will be used in all official SoGES communications (website, press releases, annual reports, etc.). Use verbiage that is understandable to technical and non-technical audiences and can be used in isolation from the rest of the proposal.

Part 3. Problem Statement: Describe the environmental sustainability issue to be addressed and how this team’s work will make a significant contribution to and fill a unique niche of sustainability science. Explain how the GCRT will increase CSU’s position of leadership and strength in sustainability across colleges, the state, region, and/or global human society. Include how the proposed work is highly innovative and/or enterprising in nature.

Part 4. Team Composition: Explain why the proposed activity requires a team approach and provide a rationale for the interdisciplinary team to be assembled. Describe the leadership and team organization. In general, between three and seven faculty members will be responsible for the group’s organization, intellectual leadership, and for ensuring that the objectives of the GCRT are met. Include how students, postdocs, and other researchers and partners might be involved now or in the future. It is expected that multiple CSU departments and colleges will be represented by default given the breadth of challenges being met by the GCRT. Diversity in background, institutional rank, gender, and expertise will be strongly valued.

Part 5. Overview and Activity: Describe the activities that will integrate and move the GCRT forward and provide a timeline. Describe the expected outcomes of this work and explain the metrics of success.

Part 6. Budget and Resource Needs: Funding awarded to GCRTs is typically between $5,000 and $20,000. Describe the budget (July 1, 2017 to May 30, 2018) needed to achieve the goals of the GCRT. The School will provide in-kind support as appropriate for meeting facilities, website development, event planning, limited workspace, and other support. As we expect a serious time commitment from leaders, limited funds may be requested to compensate departments for teaching release time needed by the GCRT leaders, but we do not provide funds to supplement leader’s salaries. It is recommended to include funding support for an hourly graduate student coordinator if appropriate for the proposal. Include any additional resources that might be leveraged because of the GCRT. Funding may not be used for sub or mini grants, and all funds must be spent by May 30, 2018. Summarize how this proposed GCRT, if successful, will be sustained in the future.

Part 7. Provide CVs for each of the program leaders and a list of the participants, departments, and affiliations. Please indicate which of the program leaders should be listed as principal investigators and which, if not all, should be included in GCRT-related correspondence from SoGES. Part 7 is not counted as part of the three pages.

Expectations of GCRTs: The School will provide a significant level of support to teams (including but not limited to: meeting and event planning, website development, assistance with budgets, use of conference space). GCRTs are required to submit a brief mid-year and end of year report as well as a poster at the SoGES spring Open House. Additionally, it is the goal of the School that teams interact on a regular basis and are actively engaged with SoGES during their funding cycle.

Click here to apply