ACSF's Rapid Response Fund (RRF) facilitates new, multidisciplinary research at Cornell in sustainability science that requires an immediate infusion of funds that cannot wait for the annual Academic Venture Fund competition. A limited number of requests are funded each year.
RRF requests are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Scholarly quality
- Likely contribution to understanding and solving sustainability problems
- Likelihood of establishing new, significant, and lasting partnerships within and outside Cornell
- Contribution to building or reinforcing areas of Cornell comparative advantage
- Likely return as measured by potential external impact and/or external investment
- Urgency in facilitating immediate submission of a more complete proposal.
Proposals will be evaluated by ACSF’s Leadership Team assisted by expert peer reviewers as needed.
For particularly urgent requests that cannot be accommodated by the target dates, the ACSF leadership should be approached as soon as possible.
We anticipate that successful proposals will be similar to successful AVF proposals in including two or more principal investigators from different Cornell departments and disciplines. An RRF award is typically used to generate preliminary results needed to compete successfully for targeted external funding. PIs and co-PIs must meet PI eligibility requirements listed on the VP-Research website.
We strongly urge that those planning to request funding contact one of the
ACSF Associate Directors to discuss their ideas well before formal submission.
A short (up to 3 pages) request should be submitted to the ACSF at firstname.lastname@example.org before the due date (see below). The request should include:
- A concise title
- Clear statement of the deadline for ACSF decision
- One-two paragraph description of the proposed activity and a justification for the urgency. Articulate: a clear set of objectives and a compelling vision of what the project might achieve and what differentiates it from standard disciplinary research.
- Specific target (agency, title of solicitation, funding anticipated, etc) for larger proposal or other larger impact. Indicate if cost sharing is needed and how it will be obtained.
- Budget and justification for request (budget template in Excel format)
- Contact information (names, departments and NetIDs of the project contact and other key participants).
- List of external partners.
(Submissions are due on the 15th of the month, unless otherwise noted.)
Funding is available for periods less than 12 months.
Proposing teams with overdue ACSF reports must submit all reports before applying for additional funding.
The following projects were awarded a total of $80,000 in the first quarter FY 2013 round of the Rapid Response Fund:
Can Socially Networked Web Environments Generate Massively Collective Pro-Environmental Behavior?
A cross-disciplinary team of researchers, led by Janis L. Dickinson (LABO and NTRES) is examining how social media factors can encourage sustainable practices. Using the citizen science application, Yard Map, the collaborators are studying how competitive badging and electronic peer-policing drive collective actions. Among the questions to be answered is "Do symbols like watching eyes posted by on-line followers result in restoration activities and energy conservation practices?"
Sustainable Hawaii as a Model System
A partnership involving several Cornell colleagues, including Charles Greene (EAS) and Max Zhang (MAE), as well as outside institutions, the project seeks to meet the energy needs for the University of Hawaii at Hilo by enhancing the campus' energy efficiency and integrating a variety of renewable energy sources into an intelligent grid. Ultimately, the project participants hope to create an energy self-sufficient paradise on Hawaii Island - an environment that today depends on imported fossil fuel to meet 95 percent of its energy needs.
Keystone-Cornell Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood Generation
Faculty and staff from nine departments across four colleges, including core members Neema Kudva (CRP), Steven Wolf (NTRES), Andrew Willford (ANTHR), Anurag Agrawal (EEB), Rebecca Stoltzfus (NS), and Lesley Yorke (UCOMM) hope to establish a Field Learning Center in India's Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve where students and faculty can engage with local community members and professionals to conserve biodiversity and generate sustainable livelihoods in the small towns and preserve areas in the central Western Ghats. Core members are traveling to India to meet with the leadership of their collaborator, the Keystone Foundation, to identify projects of mutual interest..
Using Risk Research to Respond to Ocean Health Threats in a Changing Climate
A team of communication scientists, economists and ecologists will fund a post-doctoral associate who will play an integral role in advancing the social and behavioral science components of a recently funded National Science Foundation Research Coordinated Network, "Evaluating the Impacts of a Changing Ocean on Management and Ecology of Infectious Marine Disease." Led by Katherine McComas (COMM) and working closely with the interdisciplinary team of researchers, the post-doc will identify research priorities related to risk perception, risk communication and ecomomic valuation of marine risk and ocean health; plan and potentially implement a pilot study examining public perceptions of threats to ocean health and marine life in Puget Sound, Washington; and serve as a key liaison among the various researchers involved in this project.