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Job Opportunities:


New Sustainability Job at VentureWell

We are looking for a program officer to join the Higher Education Catalyst Team to help us advance our sustainability initiatives and to support our community of practice efforts. We are looking for someone who is passionate about sustainable innovation and climate change solutions to help us expand and deepen our impact.

 VentureWell Program Officer Position


ARPA-E is looking for the next generation of scientific leaders to help solve the most pressing and exciting challenges in energy. The Fellows assist the agency in identifying possible breakthrough energy technologies through technical and economic analyses. During their two-year tenure, ARPA-E Fellows influence the direction of American energy innovation, engaging with world-class researchers in academia and industry, entrepreneurs, and government officials. Prior experience in energy and/or commercialization is not necessary.

The Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholars Program attracts high-achieving postdoctoral scholars from premier universities in the United States and Canada to do research at one of seven Israeli universities. Once they complete their research, many Zuckerman postdocs are expected to accept faculty positions at top North American universities, weaving a network of academic collaboration and goodwill that will greatly benefit US-Israeli scientific cooperation.

POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE, MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), to join a ARPA-E-funded project investigating the design and operation of flexible carbon capture and storage at fossil-fuel power plants. Will work with Howard Herzog, senior research engineer at the MIT Energy Initiative and the project lead, and MITEI research scientists, Dr. Emre Gençer and Dr. Dharik Mallapragada.  The project will develop models to investigate the cost-effective design and operation of a near-zero emission power plant concept that combines flue gas CO2 capture with a lime-based direct air capture (DAC) process in a way that does not impact power plant flexibility.  Will be expected to regularly present research results at meetings and workshops, prepare quarterly progress reports, and publish papers in international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. 

The position will offer an opportunity to interact and work closely with researchers at MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers.

Contact: Dharik Mallapragada


Funding Opportunities:

18th Annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) National Student Design Competition Focusing on the P3 Phase I Request for Applications (RFA) and Informational Webinar

Open/Close Dates: November 13, 2020 - February 9, 2021

Informational Webinar

EPA announces the release of the 18th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on P3 – Phase I Request for Applications (RFA). This collegiate design competition promotes the use of scientific and engineering principles to create innovative projects to address environmental challenges and develop real-world solutions. EPA is seeking applications in the research areas of Air Quality, Safe and Sustainable Water Resources, Sustainable and Healthy Communities, and Chemical Safety. Innovative research can take the form of wholly new applications or applications that build on existing knowledge and approaches for new uses. Projects must embody the P3 approach, combining intention and capability to improve the quality of people’s lives, provide economic benefits, and protect the environment.

P3 Program:
The P3 program is a two-phase team competition. For the first phase, interdisciplinary student teams compete for one-year grants of up to $25,000 for project ideas addressing environmental solutions. Recipients use the funding to research and develop their design projects during the academic year. In the summer of 2022, Phase I teams will have the opportunity to attend the National Student Design Expo to showcase their projects and designs. Phase I teams are also eligible to compete for Phase II funding of up to $100,000 to implement their projects in a real-world setting.


NSF: Dear Colleague Letter: Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI)

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) invites workshop and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals that incorporate scientific insights about human behavior and social dynamics to better develop, design, build, rehabilitate, and maintain strong and effective American infrastructure.

NSF is particularly interested in proposals that integrate a deep understanding of human cognition, perception, information processing, decision making, social and cultural behavior, legal frameworks, governmental structures, and related areas into the design, development, and sustainability of infrastructure. Infrastructure may be of any kind, including cyber, economic, educational, physical, and social.


Microsoft: AI for Earth Grants
Amount: Azure compute credits up to $15,000
Deadline: 1/4/21
AI for Earth awards grants to support projects that use AI to change the way people and organizations monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems. Areas of interest include:

Climate: The changing climate threatens human health, infrastructure, and natural systems. AI can give people more accurate climate predictions to help reduce the potential impacts.
Agriculture: By 2050, farmers must produce more food, on less arable land, and with less environmental impact to feed the world’s increasing population. AI can help people monitor the health of farms in real time.
Biodiversity: Species are going extinct at an alarming rate. AI can help accelerate the discovery, monitoring, and protection of biodiversity across our planet.
Water: In the next two decades, demand for fresh water is predicted to dramatically outpace supply. AI can help people model Earth’s water supply to help us conserve and protect fresh water.



NASA has issued an announcement for the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2020. This opportunity covers a wide range of spaces including biodiversity, earth surface and interior, global ecosystem dynamics, and modeling, analysis, and prediction, with a variety of due dates that can be accessed from this website.  The full solicitation is available here

Foundation Funding Opportunities

Please contact the Office of Foundation Relations for additional information about these opportunities. Our team is also available to advise and assist with proposal development. 

PLEASE NOTE: Many foundations are extending application deadlines due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check the foundation’s website or email for more information.

Corporate Funding Opportunities:

Collaboration Opportunities
Corporate Engagement facilitates any connections between Northwestern faculty, students, and staff seeking support from corporations for the purposes of research, scholarship, and strategic engagement. Contact Jim Bray, (, Director of Corporate Engagement, for more information.

Cisco Research and Innovation

1) RFP-20-02: Global Conservation – Science and Technology Meet for Species Conservation

Brief Summary: The intersection between technology strategy and ecosystem conservation, referred to as techno-conservation, is an area of interest for Cisco. In this RFP, we are seeking multidisciplinary research teams to investigate and evaluate the intersection of science and technology to drive the advancement of biotelemetry; conservation of a variety of endangered or at-risk species (including terrestrial, aquatic, avian, et al.) and their environments and ecosystems; and the impacts of human activity on species and ecosystems (including chemical and acoustic pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, overfishing, etc.).

2) RFP-20-01: Global Conservation – Sustainable Economic Development
Brief Summary: The intersection between technology strategy and ecosystem conservation, referred to as techno-conservation, is an area of interest for Cisco. In this RFP, we are seeking systems researchers to investigate and evaluate new and evolving business strategies, economic models, and partnership models associated with technology evolution in the conservation industry.

PLEASE NOTE: Many corporations are extending application deadlines due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check the corporation’s website or email for more information.


Fellowship and Award Opportunities:


Northwestern’s Science Policy Outreach Task Force developed a compendium of science policy fellowships here.


Young Scientists Summer Program:

Deadline: January 14, 2021

The program is designed for PhD students (ideally about 2 years prior to receiving their PhD) working on a topic compatible with ongoing research at IIASA and a wish to explore the policy implications of their work. Participants will be working under the direct supervision of an experienced IIASA scientist in a unique interdisciplinary and international research environment. They will produce a paper (serving as first step towards a publishable journal article) and will get the opportunity to build up contacts for future collaboration within the institute's worldwide network.


Graduate Fellowships

Deadline: January 25, 2021

The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) requests proposals for its 2020-21 graduate student fellowship awards. As the university’s and Chicago’s intellectual hub for Indigenous centered and Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) research, CNAIR supports undergraduate, graduate, and faculty fellows. The Center’s graduate student fellowship program seeks to generate and support research that is responsive to and engaged with Native communities and organizations and NAIS research. Graduate students will receive mentoring in Indigenous methodologies; present their work at the CNAIR research symposium; and join a community of scholars dedicated to work that is interdisciplinary and oriented both to critical inquiry and to its repercussions for communities inside and outside the university. We welcome fellowship applications from Northwestern graduate students in all disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, science and engineering, business, law, and medicine.


Publication Opportunities:

A special issue of Interdisciplinary Climate Research for Urban Resiliency and Sustainability is accepting manuscripts:

This Special Issue provides a collection of scholarly articles that focus on improving climate-related urban sustainability and resiliency at scales for humans and ecosystems to thrive. Topics of interest to this Issue include but are not limited to:

Urban climate modeling using dynamical or statistical methods for adaptation and mitigation;

Evaluation of “what if” urban planning scenarios for urban climate impacts;

Role of green infrastructure in reducing climate vulnerabilities for urban communities;

Interdisciplinary urban research at the intersection of climate and environmental justice issues ranging from vulnerability to heat, air quality, crime, and public health;

Development of GIS-based toolkits and methodologies for interdisciplinary urban research;

Development of integrated methodologies across social, natural, and engineered systems to improve climate resiliency in urban communities.

Overall, this Special Issue crosscuts multiple urban sustainability and resiliency themes, with climate change as a driver of change and a key ingredient in the research and experimental design. The articles in this Special Issue will guide urban planners and stakeholders in the development of sustainable urban solutions for cities of all sizes, ranging from large cities to small towns.

Submissions due July 31, 2021.  Read the details here.

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