State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Call for Proposals: Earth Networks Program, Spring 2022

The Columbia Climate School is pleased to open a call for proposals for its Earth Networks program. This program provides a framework of support for interdisciplinary collaboration across Columbia University, to promote fresh approaches to research, education and impact on themes related to climate, sustainability and the future of planet Earth. Networks can be formed around any interdisciplinary topic that relates to the Climate School’s mission.

There are currently nine active networks, covering a wide array of themes. This year, while proposals across any theme will be considered for funding, the Climate School is particularly interested in proposals for networks around energy storage, carbon management, artificial intelligence and climate, and climate finance and risk.

The Earth Networks program is modeled after a successful program at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference; learn more about their projects and various outputs here.

How Earth Networks function

The vision for each network is that it will be led by two co-directors, each from a different discipline and

unit of Columbia, who will guide the overall strategic direction, goals and outputs of the network, working together with a core group of at least 6 to 10 engaged faculty and/or researchers. The core group would then engage a wider group of participants in its activities; those participants can come from across disciplines/units/departments both within and outside of Columbia University.

Under the leadership of Sandra Goldmark and Kathryn Lattimer, a Climate School staff manager will provide coordination support for all networks and provide guidance on associated activities, such as event planning, online webinars, webpage development, distribution to Earth Network email listservs, and hiring of student assistants.

There is no prescribed output or product for a network. Indeed, it is anticipated that each network’s ultimate outputs might look very different, and could be centered around research, education, practice, and/or communication and outreach. Nonetheless, a typical evolution of a network might look like:

  • Year 1: Consolidation of core working group, developing ideas for outputs, small group meetings, exploratory seminars.
  • Year 2: Regular meetings of core working group, engagement of a wider number of participants, workshops or events, determining final outputs/products/projects, etc.
  • Year 3: Execution of project(s), public event, or other output, dissemination of results.


  • Proposals will be accepted by Columbia University full- or part-time officers of instruction and officers of research (although the network itself can engage people outside of CU).
  • At least one proposed co-director must be affiliated with the Climate School / Earth Institute.

Criteria for Selection:

  • Relevance to the mission of the Climate School;
  • Relevance to a highlighted topic in this year’s call;
  • An innovative/novel approach to the issue;
  • A diverse core working group across gender, race, discipline, career stage, CU department, etc.;
  • Activities that demonstrate the potential to be interdisciplinary;
  • Leverages existing resources (e.g. funding, staffing, space);
  • Leverages existing networks, if themes are related/overlapping;
  • A clear plan to build network membership from across the university;
  • Clear goals for the network over the three-year period; and
  • Co-directors who stem from different disciplines and Columbia units.

More details about the request for proposals are available here, and a proposal budgeting form is here. Complete proposals are due May 27.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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