Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/1/2024

Focus on Recruiting Emerging Climate and Adaptation Scientists and Transformers (FORECAST)

Focus On Recruiting Emerging Climate and Adaptation Scientists and Transformers (FORECAST) seeks to facilitate the transition from status quo graduate career preparation to a student-centered model with a particular emphasis on building entrepreneurial and innovation capacity at emerging research institutions (ERIs). Transformers are scientists ready to tackle the challenges the nation and world are facing due to climate change. This opportunity will adopt the spirit of multiple directives for the research community; for example, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report on Earth System Science and the Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education report on Engaged Research. These directives call on the research enterprise to support the building of a robust scientific workforce ready to work with communities in addressing societal challenges. Through convergence research approaches to address societal challenges, the transdisciplinary researchers engaged in FORECAST will foster community resilience and the translation of research outcomes for societal benefits, as well as gain a broader understanding of the governmental context related to these issues. A new generation of scientists trained in "engaged research" will be expected to have a national impact in communities that may be disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. The program will build cohorts of innovative scholars from the full spectrum of diverse talent at emerging research institutions to include groups historically excluded in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Participants, who are senior students in undergraduate programs and students who are in master's degree programs, will be supported through intentional professional development activities. FORECAST participants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

FORECAST proposals will fall into three categories: Track 1, Track 2, and FORECAST Planning grants. Track 1 will support one Coordination Hub, to coordinate support for rising seniors from emerging research institutions (ERIs) or historically excluded and underserved groups as part of a national cohort to participate in structured professional development opportunities. Track 2 projects will support cohorts of Master's degree students at ERIs. Mentorship and capacity building should be central to the cohort approach. FORECAST Planning grant proposals will build capacity at ERI institutions and with the appropriate partners to undertake the activities necessary to establish a future FORECAST track 2 cohort.

An eligible organization may submit only two (2) proposals.  Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.

Full Proposal Deadline(s):

  • January 29, 2025: Deadline for Track 1 "Coordination Hub" proposals
  •   April 30, 2025: Deadline for Track 2 and Planning Grant proposals
Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Track 1:

    Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.

    Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

    Track 2 and FORECAST Planning Grants:

    Master’s degree-granting Emerging Research Institutions (defined in 42 §USC 18901 as institutions of higher education with an established undergraduate or graduate program that have less than $50,000,000 in Federal research expenditures) that award degrees in STEM disciplines supported by NSF and that are accredited in, and have a campus located in the US. Information from NSF 24-308, the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey (Table 24. Federally financed higher education R&D expenditures, ranked by FY 2022 R&D expenditures: FYs 2010–22) will be used to determine institutional eligibility (https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf24308/).

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:


FORECAST does not accept separately submitted collaborative proposals. Any collaboration among organizations should be through a subaward.

An eligible organization may submit only two (2) proposals. Proposals that exceed the organizational eligibility limit will be returned without review. Potential PIs are advised to contact their institutional office of research regarding processes used to select proposals for submission.

Organizations participating only as evaluators or subawardees on projects are excluded from this limitation.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or co-PI: An individual may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on only one (1) proposal submitted to this solicitation. Proposals that exceed the PI/co-PI eligibility limit (beyond the first submission based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the individual's role (PI or co-PI) in the returned proposal(s).

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 16

NSF expects to make up to 16 awards per year contingent upon availability of funds. One Track 1 award for the coordination hub, up to five Track 2 awards for graduate student cohorts, and up to 10 FORECAST planning grants at ERIs.


Anticipated Funding Amount: $15,000,000

The average total award size is expected to be less than $100K for FORECAST planning grants, $4M for Track 2 awards, and $7.5M for the Track 1 award. The duration of FORECAST planning grant awards will be up to 12 months. The duration of the Track 1 award will be a maximum of 60 months, and the duration of the Track 2 awards will be a maximum of 48 months. Anticipated funding amount, number of awards, and average award size and duration are contingent upon the availability of funds.