Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
The Duke Climate Research Innovation Seed Program (CRISP)

The Duke Climate Research Innovation Seed Program (CRISP)

Accelerating research on sustainable, equitable solutions to address the climate crisis, in keeping with the Duke Climate Commitment.

Grant Details

First-round submissions (see RFP) closed February 20, 2023.

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The first round of Climate Research Innovation Seed Program (CRISP) funding—announced in May 2023—is funding 12 teams of Duke University scholars to accelerate research on sustainable, equitable solutions to climate change and its effects. The teams are investigating wide-ranging topics such as lower-cost, higher-efficiency solar cells; subsidies for energy-saving home renovations; the environmental, health and justice impacts of mining critical raw materials; and pastoral care for climate change. (Project descriptions for all 12 teams are available on Duke Today.)

All Duke faculty and research staff were invited to submit proposals for the first round of CRISP funding. Research Awards (up to $100,000) could support projects in the Duke Climate Commitment research priority area of Energy Transformation. Ideation Awards (up to $20,000) were available for projects in any of the four research priority areas: Energy Transformation, Environmental and Climate Justice, Climate and Community Resilience, and Climate and Data. 

The total funding amount of all categories for the 2023 funding round is $643,000.

It is anticipated that future CRISP funding rounds will prioritize Environmental and Climate Justice, Climate and Community Resilience, and Climate and Data for the Research Award category.  

Administered by the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, CRISP is one of several new programs supporting the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations and public service missions to address the climate crisis. The first round of CRISP funding was made possible by generous support from the Office of the Provost; Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability; Pratt School of Engineering; Nicholas School of the Environment; Trinity College of Arts & Sciences; Sanford School of Public Policy; Duke University School of Law; Duke Divinity School; Fuqua School of Business; and the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Research Awards: Up to $100K

  • Must focus on Energy Transformation.
    • These topics are of particular interest (see RFP and a 2022 report by a faculty focus group [Duke NetID required] for more background), although other proposals that fit within the energy transformation area are also welcome:
      • Alternative energy sources and materials science

      • Grid integration and resilience

      • Environmental and health implications of pollution from new and emerging energy sources

      • Energy economics, law, regulation, and policy

  • Teams drawing on multiple schools, departments, and disciplines are highly encouraged.
  • Projects with a high level of scientific and/or social impact will be prioritized. 
  • Research may be entirely new OR a continuation of projects previously funded under the legacy Energy Research Seed Fund, legacy Nicholas Institute Catalyst Program, or Duke's University-Wide Collaboration Grants on Climate Change. Significant progress must be demonstrated from the previous award, either in research or in research planning and collaboration-building. 
  • Performance period is 12 months.

Ideation Awards: Up to $20K

  • Can focus on any the four research priority areas of the Duke Climate Commitment. These were identified and outlined by Duke faculty working groups in the 2021 report A Climate Initiative (Duke NetID required).
    • Energy Transformation
    • Environmental and Climate Justice
    • Climate and Community Resilience
    • Climate and Data
  • Teams drawing on multiple schools, departments, and disciplines are highly encouraged.
  • Intended to accelerate the creation of research ideas and concepts. Fundable activities include, but are not limited to, collaboration-building, workshops, public engagement, and development of new proposals to external funding sources. 
  • Performance period is 12 months.

Learn More About CRISP

Download the RFP to get the full details on the first round of CRISP grants, including eligibility and review criteria.