The Earth Commons

ECo Impact Awards

The Earth Commons is asking faculty and staff across Georgetown’s campuses—from business, foreign service, the humanities, law, medicine, public policy, the sciences, and the social sciences—to contribute to the Earth’s stewardship. Through the ECo Impact Program, we welcome opportunities to seed new multidisciplinary directions and new collaborations for research, seminar series, and educational and outreach programs that involve environmental themes. Proposals must 1) be multidisciplinary in nature and 2) identify funding targets for external financial support for their future support or expansion. 

Previous Recipients

Previously known as the Georgetown Environment Initiative’s Impact Program, recipients have utilized funds to pilot projects, explored new research topics, and seeded new collaborations.

2022 Call for Proposals

The Earth Commons (“ECo”) Institute is a hub for environmental and sustainability innovation, research and education to accelerate action on the most pressing issues of our earth. Assembling a team of interdisciplinary experts, researchers, leaders and students, The Earth Commons is transforming the university into a living laboratory to develop scalable solutions for a greener, more sustainable world.

Through our ECo Impact Program, we welcome opportunities to seed new multidisciplinary directions and new collaborations with up to $25,000 of funding for research, seminar series, and educational and outreach programs that involve environmental themes. Proposals must be 1) multidisciplinary in nature; and 2) identify funding targets for external financial support for their future support or expansion. 

The Earth Commons Mission Statement

The Earth Commons is shaping the future of our planet by building, supporting, and infusing environmental and sustainability research, education and action throughout the Georgetown University community and beyond.

Proposal Requirements 

We want a concise overview of your idea. Proposals may not exceed two (2) pages and must include the following information:  

1. Proposal title, proposal collaborator(s), key personnel, and partners

Proposals must be led and submitted by a Georgetown University faculty or staff member or by a team of Georgetown University faculty and/or staff members. In addition to providing the full contact information for each collaborator, the proposal should identify other key personnel and partners. External partners and Georgetown student organizations can be identified as collaborators. The proposal must include brief letters of support from every collaborator, key personnel, and partner identified. 

2. Description of the pilot project or activity (limit to 500 words)

The proposal should clearly outline in non-technical terms the objectives of the proposed project or activity as well as provide specific measures of its success. The proposal also should clearly articulate how the proposed project or activity aligns with the mission—and will contribute to the impact—of the Earth Commons. Please keep in mind that the ECo Impact Program is a seed grant program. Examples of projects and activities we seek to support include preliminary research that represents a new avenue of inquiry for the investigators as well as pilots of educational programs that have the potential—when developed through Earth Commons support—to compete successfully for outside funding. We also seek to support the building of collaborations—across disciplines or across institutions—to launch joint research or training programs as well as student-driven projects with strong faculty participation and with significant potential to attract external support.

If your effort will engage students, the proposal should be specific as to their involvement. For instance, you may seek summer or academic year support for a talented undergraduate or graduate student to work with you on a project consistent with the goals of the ECo Impact Program. If your effort will benefit from bringing to campus an academic or practitioner from another institution for an extended stay (weeks or months) as a Fellow, the proposal should be specific as to how the visit would enable the pursuit of the proposed collaborative research or educational program.  

3. Description of how the pilot seeds the bigger endeavor (limit to 300 words)

The proposal must include a preliminary plan to secure full funding for the larger project, indicating how the proposed pilot provides necessary proof of concept. In very specific terms, the proposal should outline how seed funding provided by Earth Commons will lead to greater outside support through federal, foundation, and/or philanthropic support. The proposal must list specific funding opportunities that will be pursued once the pilot is completed. The proposal also should outline how the pilot will have long-term impact on the Georgetown community. If a proposal applicant has previously received Earth Commons  support, please summarize the prior results, including how that support has helped secure additional funding, produced a publication or other product, and briefly describe the long-term impact of the project previously funded by the Earth Commons. 

4. Budget and timeline (limit to 1 page)

The proposal should include a reasonably itemized description of the estimated costs of the pilot program or activity with some explanation. Indicate a tentative start date and outline the time frame of the proposed project. Awards will be available in amounts of up to $25,000 each. Feel free to outline the bigger endeavor with its corresponding budget, but clearly specify the portion that is being specifically requested from the Earth Commons that would help enable the larger endeavor. Current Georgetown faculty and staff salaries will not be supported as part of this funding program, though requests for student, post-doc, and other trainee project support are welcome.  

In addition to the proposal as outlined above, each investigator should provide a current CV outlining his/her scholarly productivity, current research support, and/or other work relevant to the proposal. If you are seeking support for a student or other collaborator, please include all relevant CVs. Each CV may not exceed three (3) pages.  

Submission and Review Process 

The Spring 2022 proposal deadline is 11:59pm on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022.

Please submit your proposals via email to Each proposal should be submitted as a single PDF file containing both the proposal, letters of support (if applicable) and CVs. The single PDF file should be named in the following format: LastName-Department/Unit-2022.pdf.  

The Earth Commons Steering Committee will review the proposals and determine the final awards. Given the two-page limit of these proposals, we may request additional information from proposal sponsors during the review process.