Rapid Response Grants

controlled burn at Milton

UVA’s Environmental Institute seeks to support research on various aspects of the environmental disaster to both inform responses to the ongoing climate-based crises and anticipate future climate-based emergencies. What can the global community learn about environmental resilience in the face of natural disasters?

Potential research areas might include community engagement, climate inequities, food and water security, displacement, design structures for buildings, impacts of environmental change on the humanitarian response, etc.  

The Rapid Response grant program is intended to help faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and students conduct studies respond to time-sensitive issues relevant to the institute’s mission. The goal of the grant is to provide funding to collect data related to rapidly occurring events either because the data will not be available later or because collecting and analyzing the data quickly will provide more timely and relevant research results related to such events.

Events that have been the subject of Rapid Response solicitations in the past include severe weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic. The UVA research community is encouraged to reach out to Jonah Fogel, Program Manager, at jfogel@virginia.edu with topics or Rapid Response campaign ideas that may activate time-sensitive research across the university.

Funding Available

Rapid Response grants will be funded up to $30,000. EI will provide funds for specific and time-sensitive opportunities to help faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and students conduct studies.  Awardees will have access to the Institute’s communication and outreach efforts to translate research findings broadly to stakeholder groups. The Institute will also work with PIs who desire to submit their Rapid Grant proposals to NSF for additional resources. 

Eligibility and Selection Process 

All full-time, PI-eligible faculty can apply. Proposals can be submitted from single or multiple investigators.  Proposals will be reviewed by a select committee of prior EI grant awardees with recommendations for funding made to the Institute Director approximately one week from the submission deadline.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

  1. Demonstrates alignment with an issue campaign identified by EI in a specific Rapid Response grant solicitation.
  2. Has potential to advance resilience and/or sustainability research at UVA.
  3. Likelihood that the proposed activity will lead to additional seed grant proposals and/or successful external funding.

Recent Call for Proposals

Lahaina, Hawaii

Lahaina, Hawaii

Climate-induced wildfires have enveloped Canada this year, casting smoke over the eastern United States, while it simultaneously grapples with persistent heatwaves. Most recently, the island of Maui, Hawaii, encountered the destructive force of intense wildfires, rapidly spreading across parched grasslands due to extended drought conditions, propelled by distant hurricane winds. This intricate web of climate challenges underscores the drive to forge innovative and comprehensive solutions, capable of effectively mitigating the compounded consequences of the evolving environment. Researchers are invited by the Environmental Institute to submit proposals that explore combined climate risks, cascading consequences, and the relationship between local-scale events and large-scale system thresholds.

Principal Investigator
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