The Earth Institute Seed Funding Competitions

The Earth Institute Seed Funding Competitions

posted: April 1, 2008

The Earth Institute is holding two seed funding competitions for the '08 - '09 fiscal year (July 1-June 30). One competition is for Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) projects and one for Earth Clinic projects. Proposals for both competitions are due by the close of business on Monday, June 2, 2008 and should be e-mailed to Robin DeJong at For CCI proposal guidelines, click here. For Earth Clinic proposal guidelines, click here.

Purpose of the Competitions

Both competitions are designed to provide seed funding for new internal research or projects/interventions that further the Earth Institute mission which states that:

The Earth Institute at Columbia University aims to become the world’s leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth and its environment, human society, and the interactions between the two. The Earth Institute advances and promotes excellence in its basic disciplines — Earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences, and health sciences — and stresses cross-disciplinary innovation. Through research, education and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to address the complex environmental issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with particular focus on sustainable development and the needs of the world’s poor.

The Earth Institute uses the following working definition of Sustainable Development:

Sustainable development signifies the ability of the world to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, and the ability of all to pursue further progress in overall human well-being. The world as a whole, and each major sub-region, ought to be able to accomplish these goals without irreparable harm to vital ecosystems, depletion of essential resources or unjustifiable risks to future generations.

The CCI Competition

Proposals to the CCI Competition should strive to be interdisciplinary, addressing as many of the ten cross-cutting themes identified by the Earth Institute as possible. The CCI aims to establish new research approaches as well as methods for bridging disciplines, thus enabling scientists from different fields to achieve new insights into intrinsically cross-disciplinary problems and work toward practicable solutions (leading to work in the Earth Clinic).

The proposals to CCI competition are reviewed by the CCI Steering Committee for possible funding allocation.

The Earth Clinic Competition

Proposals to the Earth Clinic Competition should address the mission of the Earth Clinic as serving the immediate needs of clients in developing countries. These needs are identified and analyzed, and suitable applications or interventions that help to ensure sustainable development are devised. Much of the Earth Clinic’s work stems from current Earth Institute research projects (including those in the CCI) that have developed interventions ready for application in the field.

The proposals addressing the Earth Clinic competition are reviewed by the Earth Clinic Steering Committee for possible funding allocation.