Apply For Gund Catalyst Awards

The Gund Institute invites proposals for the next round of Catalyst Awards, our flagship seed grant program for UVM faculty.

Gund Catalyst Awards increase collaborative research at UVM, while advancing our mission: To mobilize scholars and leaders to understand and solve the world’s critical environmental problems.

Proposals are due Oct. 10, 2019. They should address environmental issues at the interface of two or more Gund research themes: climate solutions, sustainable agriculture, health and well-being, and resilient communities.

Awards can range from $10,000 to $50,000. We typically fund 3 to 5 projects each year. 

Successful proposals will combine cutting-edge research and scholarship, real-world engagement and impact, and the promise to grow and attract greater support and recognition.

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Eligibility

The Principal Investigator (PI) on each proposal must be a Gund Fellow.

Proposal can have up to one Co-PI, which can be another Gund FellowGund Affiliate, or any UVM faculty member. Anyone can participate as a Collaborator.

Winners of our first round of Catalyst Awards are eligible to apply again, as those grants will expire before these begin.

Requirements

Proposals must involve two or more UVM faculty from two or more departments, and preferably two or more colleges or schools.

Proposals must include a clear description of how the proposed work will lead to broader, longer-term efforts, especially external funding proposals in appropriate fields.

An individual can only serve as PI or co-PI on one Catalyst Award at a time.

Winners of the first round of Catalyst Awards (2017-18) are eligible to apply again, as those grants will expire before these begin.

Awards can support:

• Costs of research, including materials, equipment, data, and assistants
• Up to one month of summer salaries for UVM faculty on a 9-month contract
• Up to three months of summer stipends per summer for students
​• Travel and workshop costs for project participants

Awards will not support:
• Academic year salaries or stipends for UVM faculty, postdocs, or students
• Salaries or stipends for faculty, postdocs, or students outside UVM

Criteria and Review

To be eligible for funding, proposals must be feasible and address the priorities of this call.

Proposals will also be scored on 5 criteria: intellectual merit, interdisciplinary reach, strength of team, potential for impact, and potential for growth. See scoring rubric in UVM's InfoReady portal (upper left).

Priority will be given to proposals that represent new collaborations among UVM scholars, involve graduate and undergraduate students, and/or include collaborators outside of UVM. Applicants are encouraged to work with the Gund Director of Policy Outreach to ensure proposed projects have policy relevance and potential for real impact.

Proposals are reviewed by a committee of UVM and external evaluators, chosen to represent relevant disciplines. Priority will be given to proposals that represent new collaborations among UVM scholars, involve graduate and undergraduate students, and/or include collaborators outside of UVM.

Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the Gund Institute for Environment.

How to Apply

Proposals will be accepted through UVM’s InfoReady portal until October 10, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. 

Required files to upload include: 

  • Project proposal (see below) 
  • Budget (use template in InfoReady)
  • 2-page CVs for PI, Co-PI (if applicable), and each Collaborator
  • Completed signature page (available in InfoReady) indicating support from the Chair and Dean of PI and co-PI (if applicable).

Project proposal document should include the following sections (max 2500 words, excluding timeline and references):

  1. Abstract (max 250 of the 2500 total words)
  2. Introduction and problem statement
  3. Objectives
  4. Approach and work plan
  5. Expected outcomes (e.g., publications, proposals, public engagements, policy impacts)
  6. Significance and novelty of scholarship
  7. Relevance to Gund priorities
  8. Plan for expanding the work, including follow-on proposals
  9. Interdisciplinary Team
  10. Timeline of activities
  11. References (max 20)

Funding Details

Awards will begin February 1, 2020 and end August 31, 2021 – a 19-month duration that includes three semesters and two full summers. No-cost extensions are not typically allowed. There is no overhead on these grants. All funded teams will also have access to assistance in developing follow-on proposals.

Grantees' Responsibilities

Awardees must acknowledge Gund Institute support in all resulting publications, presentations, or reports.

Awardees must submit at least one significant funding proposal from this Catalyst Award by the end of December 2021.

Awardees agree to serve as reviewers in future competitions.

Within 2 months of the end of the grant period, PIs must provide a 2-page written report on project activities and measurable outcomes. At the end of the grant period, any unspent funds will be returned to the Gund Institute.

Proposal Deadline

  • Oct. 10, 2019

Past Competitions

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