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The 2030 Project Fast Grants - Call for Proposals

2030 Project Background

Call for Research-to-Impact
Fast Grant Proposals 2023

In order to mobilize Cornell to support ambitious climate action in this decisive decade, Cornell Atkinson and The 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative are issuing a special request for proposals for fast grant research-to-impact funding. We seek to enable faculty to seize urgent and unique opportunities to provide support for impact-oriented climate research, expected to be in the $10,000-$25,000 range. In select cases, the amount awarded could be higher for proposals that make a compelling case for greater funding.

We are interested in supporting projects that will use seed funding to:

    1. Better position research teams to submit new research proposals to external public agencies, foundations, or private-sector partners to inform long-term, large-scale efforts in the areas of emission reductions/decarbonization, carbon removal, natural, engineered and hybrid climate solutions, or climate preparedness and adaptation.
    2. Develop cross-disciplinary collaborations across various colleges or schools within Cornell.
    3. Advance development of a technology, practice, or policy that would:
      1. Eliminate or substantially reduce a major source of greenhouse gas emissions;
      2. Remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and/or ocean; and
      3. Prepare for a climate-change-impacted world.
        Note projects with quantifiable, scalable potential are especially welcome: i.e. .5 billion tons or more of annual emission reductions or removal; projects that impact >50,000 people, globally scalable to billions of tons and millions of people.
    4. Accelerate efforts to develop the food & farms of the future; the energy systems of the future; the materials of the future; and/or the societies of the future – systems that support human flourishing while minimizing harmful climate impacts. Including, but not limited to, zero-emission agriculture; renewable and zero-carbon energy production; decarbonized industrial processes and sustainable material extraction; climate finance and climate policy development.
    5. Support an equitable transition – improving quality of life, equity, legitimacy, or justice as part of a transition to prevent or prepare for climate change.
    6. Launch immediate efforts to inform and support the urgent response to climate change and help advance progress towards publicly articulated public or private climate goals.
           Examples: United States emission nationally defined commitment goal under the Paris Agreement; the Global Methane pledge; NYS CLCPA goals; or a corporate Net-Zero pledge.
    7. Build new or deepen existing partnerships with key non-academic partners, such as a government, company, or organization to turn research into impact (e.g. EDF; Nature Conservancy; Clean Air Task Force; Rocky Mountain Institute).
    8. Advance a new entrepreneurial endeavor or enable technology commercialization

NOTE: 2030 Project funds are subject to the same restrictions as any other university research funding. Applications are open to any Cornell University-eligible Principal Investigator, however Cornell PIs who were previously awarded 2030 Project Fast Grants are not eligible.
(Please click here for more details about PI eligibility.)


There will be three distinct 2030 Fast Grant proposal calls in 2023:

  • Cycle 1:
    • July 24, 2023: Info Session (RSVP)
    • Aug. 7, 2023: Proposal Due Date
    • Aug. 25, 2023: Applicants Notified
  • Cycle 2:
    • Sept. 1, 2023: Info Session (RSVP)
    • Sept. 11, 2023: Proposal Due Date
    • Sept. 29, 2023: Applicants Notified
  • Cycle 3:
    • Oct 6, 2023: Info Session (RSVP)
    • Oct. 23, 2023: Proposal Due Date
    • Nov. 10, 2023: Applicants Notified

All Info Sessions will convene virtually
(You are welcome to attend more than one session)

Proposal Instructions

Please submit your short proposal via this online form when each Request for Proposals is launched. Succinct feedback will be offered for unselected proposals.

Revisions and resubmissions are welcomed across all 3 cycles, but please note that previous feedback must be addressed prior to resubmitting your proposal during a subsequent cycle.

Selection Process

Selection will be based on the consistency of proposals with the ambitions of the project described above. Evaluation will be made by a combined group of internal and external stakeholders, with a final decision made by 2030 Project leadership.


Fast Grant PIs will:

  • Meet with the Center leadership to discuss the progress of efforts in research, intended applications, desired impacts, development of Cornell and external partnerships, follow-on funding, and milestones met and/or
  • Submit periodic reports describing results and progress relating to each specific metric of success presented in the proposal
  • Respond to surveys or other requests for information about the longer-term impacts of the AVF project after the funding ends
  • Acknowledge The 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative and Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability in all presentations, reports, and publications stemming at least in part from this funding. Guidance for acknowledging your affiliation with Cornell Atkinson can be found on our website.

E-mail with any questions.


The Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability is the hub of collaborative sustainability research at Cornell University, forging vital connections among researchers, students, staff, and external partners. The center’s funding and programming accelerate groundbreaking research within and across all of Cornell’s colleges and schools. In turn, the center is the university’s home to bold ideas and powerful new models that ensure people and the planet not only survive but thrive.


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