Today's Seeds, Tomorrow's Solutions:
Cross-Disciplinary Research in Sustainability

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future's funding programs invest in projects and people at the intersection of energy, environment, and economic development.  Proposal deadlines run throughout the year, and new programs are being added as we grow.

Faculty Funding Opportunities

Academic Venture Fund (AVF)

AVF - Bee pollinating apple flowerACSF's keystone funding initiative primarily supports novel, multidisciplinary research efforts that explore the Center’s focal areas of energy, environment, and economic development. Projects that receive AVF seed grants demonstrate the potential to advance a cross-cutting research agenda and engage external partners from industry, government, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations.

Student Funding Opportunities

Summer Institute and Fellowships

ART - Wood delivery for market in AfricaThe Summer Institute is an annual four-day event that brings together researchers (late-stage graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and early career faculty) around a theme related to agrarian development. Fellows are awarded small annual research grants. Cornell post-A exam PhD students and postdoctoral research associates from any discipline focused on agrarian issues are encouraged to apply.

Rapid Response Fund (RRF)

RRF - testing temperature in lavaThe RRF facilitates urgent or time-sensitive sustainability research, workshops, and other activities. With unusually flexible guidelines, the RRF is a source of funding for smaller--typically less than $20,000--projects that cover a broad range of sustainability initiatives. RRF proposals are evaluated by ACSF’s leadership team on a quarterly basis.

Sustainable Biodiversity Fund (SBF)

SBF - Dogbane beetleCornell graduate students and postdoctoral research associates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for the SBF grant to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary research outside the purview of their current dissertation or postdoctoral research plan. SBF research proposals will optimally span disciplines, building new collaborations across campus between the award recipient and two faculty advisers.

CARE-Cornell and Impact through Innovation Fund (IIF)

IIF - Cattle along river in AfricaThis unique collaboration links Cornell researchers to CARE professionals on the ground in the developing world. The IIF builds capacity within each organization to respond to emerging and critical development challenges. Annual IIF awards finance projects that foster sustainable solutions for food security and economic development.

Cross-Scale Biogeochemistry and Climate Grants (CSBC)

CSBC - observations in Arnot ForestGrowing out of the NSF Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training grant, CSBC awards are granted to researchers engaging in the interdisciplinary study of global climate change on multiple biogeochemical scales. Cornell graduate students from any field with research interests in biogeochemistry and climate change are encouraged to apply.



Iscol Internships

Iscol Interns - intern in apple fieldPartnering with the Environmental Defense Fund, ACSF provides undergraduates with a hands-on opportunity of a lifetime. Coordinated through Cornell Career Services, the Iscol summer internship exposes undergraduates to the inner workings of one of the nation’s leading environmental advocacy groups, where they work on sustainability issues in a vibrant workplace. This program is funded by Jill and Ken Iscol.



TNC-CU NatureNet Fellows

TNC-CU Fellows - Blaschka glass model of coralIn partnership with Cornell and five other leading universities, The Nature Conservancy has established the NatureNet Science Fellows program to create a reservoir of interdisciplinary science talent that will carry out the new work of conservation. One postdoctoral fellow per year is selected for a two-year post at Cornell, working with Cornell faculty and TNC leadership.