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NSF EAR Encourages the Submission of Proposals Related to Climate Change to Existing Programs

December 10, 2021

Dear EAR Community,

Our community in particular is aware that the Earth Sciences are critical to understanding and mitigating climate change, as people live and rely on terrestrial environments. In addition, climate and Earth processes are intrinsically linked on multiple scales, from the atmosphere to the biotic layers of the critical zone, to the hydrologic system, and to the deep, solid-earth. Achieving transformative progress in Earth Science and climate change research requires fundamental understanding of the ways in which climate change impacts Earth processes, as well as how Earth processes drive changes in climate.

Recent reports highlighting research needs in Earth sciences that address climate change include the following from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM): Earth in Time (2020), Earth Systems Science (2021), and Global Change Research Needs and Opportunities for 2022-2031 (2021).

I want to make sure you are aware that EAR welcomes research across its broad range of programs that responds to the challenges highlighted in these reports, and that addresses new or unexplored connections between the climate and Earth processes using theoretical, observational, experimental, and/or computational approaches.

Potential topics can be addressed across EAR programs and should be submitted to existing EAR programs according to that program’s guidelines. Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact Program Directors in the area most relevant to their research topic to discuss the idea and type of proposal prior to submission (see EAR Program Areas). In order to identify proposals related to climate change, please preface proposal titles with “EAR-Climate:”. To be funded in FY 2022, we encourage proposal submission before March 15, 2022.

All proposals to EAR should advance workforce development and broaden participation for underrepresented groups in STEM. Proposals are also encouraged that focus on advancing human, physical, and cyber-infrastructure underlying EAR-supported activities addressing climate change.

As we all know, climate change is a major societal challenge, and addressing and mitigating its effects is a major Administration priority. The EAR community will be a key player in meeting that challenge.


Steven L Goldstein

Director, Division of Earth Sciences

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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