Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 9/20/2023

Organismal Response to Climate Change (ORCC): Expanding Understanding and Improving Predictions of Life on a Warming Planet

The world is currently undergoing unprecedented changes in global climates across all biomes, with effects on nearly every life-form. How organisms respond to these rapidly changing conditions will have large consequences for the growth, reproduction and fitness of individual organisms, the distribution of species over space and time, the integrity and the composition of natural communities, the yield of domesticated crops and animals, and the incidence and severity of pathogen outbreaks. Consequences such as these are already having major impacts on the US bioeconomy, the world’s food security, and the ecosystem services provided by living systems to humans. Developing a comprehensive understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of organismal response to climate change will improve our ability to understand adaptive and plastic capacity of species and to predict and to mitigate maladaptive biological responses to rapidly changing environments, thus facilitating the maintenance of species on a changing planet.

Most climate change studies to date have lacked integration between investigations of organismal mechanisms of response and eco-evolutionary approaches. This solicitation calls for proposals that integrate the study of organismal mechanisms of response to climate change (ORCC) with eco-evolutionary approaches to better predict and mitigate the effects of a rapidly changing climate on earth’s living systems. Specific areas of emphasis include but are not limited to integrating physiology and genomics into the next generation of species distribution models; understanding the mechanistic bases of plastic responses to climate change; functional genomics of organismal response to climate change; how biological interactions are affected by climate change; how biological interactions in turn affect organismal responses to climate change; and improving our ability to predict the limits of biological and global resilience as organisms face changing and novel climate conditions.

Proposals to the ORCC Solicitation are encouraged that build on NSF’s investment in growing convergence research by developing integrative, cross-disciplinary approaches that examine the organismal mechanisms that underlie adaptive and maladaptive responses to environmental factors associated with climate change, how these responses affect fitness in changing and/or novel climates and the genetic and evolutionary processes (eco-evolutionary) through which these traits originate, persist, and are transmitted across generations. Further, this solicitation encourages creative approaches to use the results of these foundational research investigations to develop use-inspired ways to address societal challenges in anticipating and managing effects of climate change on organisms across spatial and temporal scales and biological hierarchies.

Proposals that do not bridge disciplinary components, that lack a specific focus on mechanisms of organismal response to climate change, that do not integrate organismal mechanistic insights with eco-evolutionary consequences above the level of the individual, or that do not describe a plan for use-inspired applications of foundational research, should be submitted to the "core" or special programs in IOS, OCE, or DEB are not appropriate for submission to this solicitation. Please contact a cognizant program officer if you have questions about where your planned proposal fits.

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  Dec. 13, 2023

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • 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 laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
  • Tribal Governments: The governing body of any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a, et seq.)
Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 14

Pending availability of funds, 10 to 14 awards are anticipated.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $10,000,000

Pending availability of funds, a minimum of $10,000,000 is anticipated to be available for awards in FY2024.

Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.