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UCI Call for Proposals: Just & Sustainable Community Recovery after COVID-19

Special Call for Proposals – Due August 21, 2020

UCI Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Faculty Enrichment Grants

In light of the continuing crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and concern about systemic racism, the Urban Coast Institute has issued a special call for proposals to support faculty and student research and community-based projects focused on bold ideas for sustainably rebuilding our coastal communities and economies while addressing disproportional impacts to and needs of our most vulnerable populations. Research points to systemic under-investment in certain communities and populations based on factors including race and income that increase their vulnerability to natural hazards and changing climate conditions. Socially vulnerable populations are already living under highly stressed conditions that are exacerbated when a natural disaster impacts the community.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplifies the impacts of climate change stressors including increasing temperatures, rising sea level, storm intensity, floods and drought that impact local air and water quality, food security, and community vulnerability to natural hazards. Climate change-driven impacts and the COVID-19 pandemic interact with underlying community health, demographic, and socioeconomic factors. Environmental justice (EJ) communities, including those of low income, communities of color, immigrant groups, and Indigenous peoples are disproportionately vulnerable to the environmental and health impacts of climate change and COVID-19.

The UCI will award four to six seed grants of up to $5,000 each for research and community-based projects that advance just and sustainable community recovery and the development of a new equilibrium in social, economic, and natural resilience among all coastal communities. Preference will be given to multi-disciplinary faculty collaborations that include student research opportunities. The UCI is committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and strongly encourages faculty and students of color and marginalized populations to consider submitting a grant application. Research outcomes should be aimed at developing an academic or professional publication, community-based analysis/recommendations, and/or a plan to secure additional external funding support to continue the research or project.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Proposal may be submitted by full-time Monmouth University faculty of any rank.
  • Proposal must be a maximum of five pages, double-spaced 12 point font, and include:
  1. Cover page listing the title of the proposal and investigators;
  2. statement of the problem and significance;
  3. description of the research, including student engagement;
  4. methodology or approach, and timeline; and
  5. expected outcomes and next steps.

References, one page CV of all investigators, the budget and budget justification are not included in the five-page limit. Note: CV, Budget and Budget Justification templates can be found at: (must have MyMU Portal credentials to access).


  • Proposals must be submitted by email to UCI Administrative Assistant Aliya Satku ( by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.
  • It is anticipated that funding is available for four to six research proposals.
  • Award announcements will be made by Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Funding during the academic year is limited to direct costs (no salary) associated with the research and student support. Student support is limited to $11/hr. and $12/hr. over a 20-hour work week in the fall and spring semester, respectively.
  • Funds must be expended the end of the spring 2021 semester.

Review Criteria

  • Proposals will be evaluated by a three- to five-member panel comprised of MU faculty with relevant expertise and UCI staff.
  • Evaluation Metrics
    1. Relevance to the research topic 20%Proposals should focus on socially vulnerable environmental justice coastal communities and develop research questions or community-based projects that, when answered or implemented, advance community response and or recovery, equity and inclusion for all coastal communities.
    2. Expected Outcomes 25%Proposed research and community-based projects should have clearly defined outcomes that will lead to a publication, tool, informational product, exhibit, and/or future research plan.
    3. Research Merit 20%Proposal demonstrates credible research methods or approaches to meet the research objectives
    4. Research Team 15%Research team demonstrates relevant expertise and experience that can advance project objectives.
    5. Student Engagement 15%Proposed research directly includes students in the research and/or provides experiential education experiences related to the research.
    6. Relevance to the mission and goals of the UCI 5%The UCI’s mission is to serve as a forum for research, education and collaboration to further healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and resilient and economically vibrant coastal communities.

For more information about this funding opportunity contact UCI Associate Director, Tom Herrington, at