CREATE Solutions Seed Funding

Request for Applications: Pilot Grants for Climate Solutions Research

Proposal Due Date: January 9, 2020, submitted electronically to

As part of the University’s Strategic Plan for Research, Tufts CREATE (Climate, Renewable Energy, Agriculture, Technology, and Ecology) Solutions is pleased to invite pilot project applications. CREATE Solutions is an initiative that builds collaborations across traditional disciplinary boundaries. These include programs that bridge students across schools at all levels and build on Tufts’ strong research programs in the policy, engineering, and economics arenas, including projects on offshore wind energy, grid integration, and domestic and international climate policy. CREATE Solutions extends Tufts’ sustainability goals to improve conditions globally.

We welcome climate-related research applications from faculty from all disciplines. Preference will be given to applications that foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research, which are likely to lead to new research grants from extramural sources. Investigators at all stages in their career are encouraged to apply. It is anticipated that a maximum of 4 grants will be awarded per year.  


Any Tufts faculty member active in scholarship and research with a primary appointment at Tufts University is eligible to apply. Eligible projects may include both new collaborations and existing collaborations involving new areas of research.

Project Period and Budget

Project Duration: One year. Selected projects are expected to be notified by February 7. Projects must be completed, and all expenditures incurred no later than 2/12/2021 unless formal approval of program period extension is received and approved.

One year. Selected projects are expected to be notified by February 7. Projects must be completed, and all expenditures incurred no later than 2/12/2021 unless formal approval of program period extension is received and approved.

Budget: Budgets can range from $1,000 to $25,000.

Review Criteria

  • Intellectual merit. The proposed study must be innovative and original in order to advance our knowledge in the CREATE Solutions research area.
  • Degree of research collaboration across disciplines.
  • Degree of innovation and originality (within academic field and/or Tufts community).
  • Likelihood that the seed grant will lead to new research grants from extramural sources.
  • Clarity of goals and statement of need.
  • Feasibility of timeline.
  • Appropriateness of budget allocations.
  • Use of evaluation methods for assessing outcomes and impact, where relevant.
  • Extent of impact on Tufts constituencies, curriculum, and mission, measured in part by the degree to which the collaboration leads to other important outcomes.
  • The degree to which the project raises the reputation of Tufts University as leaders that develop solutions that address climate-related concerns.
  • Feasibility of activities within departmental and/or school framework.
  • Inclusion of post-doctoral fellows and graduate & undergraduate students.

Award Conditions

Funds may be used to support reasonable and necessary direct costs to carry out the project. Deviations from the proposed expenditures must be approved by the proposal review committee. The principal investigator will be fiscally responsible for managing the award. Funds will be disbursed to the School, department, or center with which the lead principal investigator is primarily affiliated.

Funds can only be used for the activities or experiments described in the proposal, although no-cost extensions and/or re-budgeting with appropriate justification may be requested if activities have not been completed within the one-year period or if there are line item budget reallocations that are necessary to successfully complete the project.

Expenditures for faculty, researcher, and student salaries (either summer or academic year) are permitted according to school unit policies and appropriate approval for each collaborator. Fringe benefits charges for personnel should be included in preparing the budget. Student pay during the summer will be subject to the applicable rate for fringe benefits and this cost should be included in the budget. Student pay during the academic year (September – May) is not subject to fringe benefits.

Generally, the budget cannot be used to pay for:

  • Indirect costs and overhead
  • Tuition costs
  • Laptop computers
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Alcohol

Recipients are required to comply with all relevant Tufts policies in relation to allowable expenses. The proposal review committee maintains the right to deny any budget item it deems unallowable. Equipment purchases are discouraged, but will be considered on an ad hoc basis. Proposed budgets may be subject to modifications prior to award. Funds awarded are subject to relevant University, state and federal guidelines. Please refer to the Tufts IP Policy for questions regarding intellectual property. If you are conducting research with human subjects, you must undergo IRB review.

Reporting Requirements

By 6 months after grant start date, grant recipients must make a brief presentation to the CREATE Solutions faculty research leadership team, which is intended to convey progress and allow for feedback on the project’s continuation, completion, and dissemination.

By 30 days after grant end date, grant recipients must provide to the CREATE Solutions faculty research leadership team a final report of no longer than five single-spaced pages accompanied by other relevant products or evidence of the completion of the funded activity.

The final summary report should:

  • describe the work that was accomplished;
  • describe the outcomes/impact of the collaboration;
  • describe any plans for ongoing collaboration beyond the funded project;
  • provide a final accounting of budget expenses;
  • identify specific proposal(s) submitted to external sponsor(s) as a result of the grant (if applicable); and
  • describe any significant deviation from or extensions to the project described in the original proposal.

Application Requirements

Content: Proposals must include the following sections in Word or PDF format, with the Budget Form attached as a writable Excel file:

  1. Application Cover Page (please use the template provided)
  2. Budget Form (please use the Excel template provided)
  3. Project Description (no more than two single-spaced pages). Describe the proposed project including goals, activities or experiments, expected outcomes, team members, and a timeline. Describe how the project will lead to the potential for the multidisciplinary team to develop new scholarship/research or further collaboration, including but not limited to an assessment of the potential for subsequent external funding.
  4. Budget Justification (no more than one single-spaced page). This is a narrative budget justification, which should address the following:
    1. details explaining the necessity of each budget item;
    2. the method used to develop the cost estimations;
    3. description of each person’s role in the project, percentage of effort, and estimated costs;
    4. a list of any in-kind (no cost to the grant) contributions from Tufts’ central services and any other school or department (e.g., salaries and supplies);
    5. any previous funding provided by the Office of the Provost for this project or related projects.
  5. CVs Include a CV for each significant collaborator

Deadline for SubmissionJanuary 9, 2020

Submission: Proposals should be submitted electronically to

Review ProcessProposals will be reviewed by the CREATE Solutions proposal review committee and notification of funding will be made on or before February 7, 2020.

For questions and submission of a proposal, please contact