Sustainability of Our Planet

The Dean for Research Innovation Fund for the Sustainability of Our Planet is a new fund established in 2022.

This fund, made possible thanks to the extraordinary vision and generosity of John McDonnell ’60, supports research across the natural sciences, engineering and the social sciences focused on discovering, developing, and adopting sustainable solutions aimed at mitigating the effects of natural resource exploitation, climate change, and other unsustainable human activities that degrade and pollute Earth. High-impact solutions making a tangible difference in near- and medium-term range are of high priority for this funding.

PI Eligibility

Assistant, Associate and Full Professors in Divisions II (Social Sciences), III (Natural Sciences, including Mathematics and Psychology) and IV (Engineering and Applied Science) are invited to apply.


Available funds ($300,000 total this year) may be allocated to one or more projects (e.g., one project receiving up to $300,000; or two projects receiving up to $150,000.) Projects can last up to three years. 

Expenditures can include graduate student stipend and tuition, post-doctoral salary and benefits, undergraduate student stipend, and equipment and supplies. Faculty summer salary is not allowed.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

Applications should be brief (no more than three pages of text plus a separate budget page). A faculty member may participate in no more than one submission.

Submission Information

Upload your proposal here (log-in required). Monday, April 10, 2023 (log in with NetID required).

Review Process

A group of faculty members will anonymously review the proposals and will make funding recommendations.

Project Report

At the end of the project, awardees must submit a brief report summarizing the outcomes and impact of the award to the Office of the Dean for Research. Download the Project Report Template.

Call for Proposals

  • Dates
    • Proposal submission deadline: April 10, 2023
    • Funding could start as early as: July 1, 2023
  • Apply
    • Upload your proposal here (log-in required).
  • Contacts
    • Karla Ewalt, Senior Associate Dean for Research
      [email protected]
    • Claire Gmachl
      Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering
      Interim Director, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
      [email protected]
    • Gabriel Vecchi
      Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute
      Director, High Meadows Environmental Institute
      [email protected]

Forest viewed from above

Forest viewed from above. Image source: Shutterstock