Grant Opportunities

Request for Proposals: 100K CLIMA Grant Competition

Request for Proposals: 100K CLIMA Grant Competition

Deadline: 31-Jul-23

Partners of the Americas (POA) and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (WHA/DOS) invites higher education institutions (HEIs) from the United States and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to create partnerships to submit proposals for consideration in this grant competition offered by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, Alliance for Climate Action (100K CLIMA).


This new 100K Strong CLIMA grant competition is generously supported by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Chile in partnership with CAF: Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and Partners of the Americas. It is designed to stimulate and support innovative partnerships between HEIs that will create access to inclusive, climate-focused, student and faculty exchange programs between the United States and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay – and strategic climate action projects.

The purpose of this 100K CLIMA competition is to provide funding to support innovative partnerships between HEIs that will result in (a) inclusive, climate-focused, student/faculty exchange and training programs between the United States and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay and (b) strategic, ambitious climate action projects that leverage the unique expertise and capacity of the HEI community.

The goals of the 100K CLIMA initiative and this competition include the following:

  • Expand access to innovative, climate-focused, workforce readiness training and exchange programs for underrepresented students in fields such as climate resilience, renewable energy, green economy, and other related thematic areas.
  • Stimulate inter-regional partnerships and collaboration to deliver climate solutions.
  • Build and catalyze climate action projects led by HEIs in the U.S. and LAC.
Funding Information
  • The intent of this 100K CLIMA competition is to award up to six (6) 100K CLIMA grants of up to $50,000 each to teams of HEIs between the U.S. and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, pending the results of evaluation and selection process. WHA/DOS, POA, and CAF reserve the right to fund any or none of the grant proposals submitted for consideration in this 100K CLIMA competition.
  • Period of Performance
    • The grant period will be January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2024. Extensions may be granted pending analysis of the 100K CLIMA program at the time of the request, and in coordination with Partners of the Americas, WHA/DOS, and CAF.
  • Activity A: Student/Faculty Exchange(s)
    • Proposals must describe how the participating HEIs will use approximately 50% of the grant resources to create and implement new inclusive student/faculty exchange and training programs between the U.S. and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay in climate-related fields of study. The eligible academic areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Biodiversity Protection
      • Bio-Economy and Sustainable Value Chains
      • Climate Justice
      • Climate Technology
      • Community Conservation Practices
      • Conservation and Reforestation
      • Endangered/Threatened Species Management and Protection
      • Environmental Protection
      • Green/Climate Finance
      • Renewable Energy
        • Renewable Energy Engineering
        • Energy Economics
        • Solar/Wind/Hydro/Thermal Power Generation and Strategies
        • Power Storage
        • Energy Efficiency
    • Proposals should include both virtual and in-person programming activities between partnering institutions and support sending and/or hosting students and faculty between institutions during the 100K grant period.
  • Activity B: Climate Action Project (CAP)
    • Proposals must describe how the participating HEIs will use approximately 50% of grant resources to start, sustain, or expand a strategic, ambitious Climate Action Project (CAP) that leverages the unique capacity and skills of the HEI community. Applicants may propose to implement a joint CAP with their partner HEI(s) or to implement separate activities that operate independently on each campus. Applicants are encouraged to consider the grant resources as seed-funding to help initiate or sustain activities that will last beyond the grant period, though one-off activities are also eligible.
    • The framework’s “Action Categories” are described in more detail and may be useful as applicants design proposals to start, sustain, or expand climate action projects:
      • Research: HEIs have unique subject matter expertise and facilities to explore solutions to climate challenges through applied research. In the years to come, scientific inquiry, technological innovation, and transdisciplinary investigation will undoubtedly unlock new knowledge, technologies, approaches and practices that will be critical in confronting the climate crisis.
      • Anchor Institution: HEIs occupy a trusted space in society, where neither the profitdriven motives of the private sector nor the ideological politics of the public sector entirely hold sway. The trusted reputations of HEIs often allow them to serve as honest brokers and effective convenors that bring together diverse stakeholders to explore solutions to shared challenges. Additionally, as large and long-standing institutions, HEIs are often the primary economic engines in their given localities through operational purchasing and as an employer.
      • Education: HEIs are the educators of tomorrow’s leaders and bear the great responsibility of equipping the region’s future workforce with the skills needed to lead in a climate positive, 21st century green economy. It is critical that every student complete their studies with at least a basic understanding of the science of climate change, some practical understanding of how it is likely to affect their lives and careers, and skills that will allow them to incorporate climate considerations into their chosen career paths. Education can equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to adapt to and overcome climate challenges.
      • Advocacy: HEIs often shy away from the spotlight and avoid controversy, but the climate crisis demands the active participation of all actors, especially those institutions that are most trusted and respected. HEIs can significantly advance climate solutions by nurturing student activism and informing public policy debates at all levels through its subject matter experts.
      • Administration/Finance: Institutions with large endowments can consider divesting from fossil fuel investments and instead place their resources in investment vehicles that support the transition to a green economy. In addition, HEIs can often access outside investment and/or grants to support certain climate actions.
      • Operations: HEI campuses often resemble small or even medium-sized cities and their operations have similar carbon footprints that must be abated. Through efficiency upgrades, renewable energy purchasing, electrification of transportation, sustainable water management, and other actions, HEIs can considerably lower their carbon output and save money.
Expected Results
  • HEIsthat are successful in implementing Innovation Fund grants in this 100K CLIMA competition will accomplish the following:
    • Activity A: Student/Faculty Exchange(s)
      • Plan, promote, and implement new, inclusive, climate-focused exchange/training opportunities for students and faculty;
      • Increase the number and diversity of students and faculty working in teams to gain climate-related skills;
      • Create/strengthen HEI partnerships through bilateral academic student/faculty exchange programs; and
    • Activity B: Climate Action Project (CAP)
      • Improve international cooperation and collaboration on climate action;
      • Increase the participating HEIs’ level of climate action;
      • Involve faculty and students as key actors and expand their knowledge, skills and/or capacity through their participation;
Eligibility Criteria
  • All higher education institutions (HEIs) located and legally registered in the United States and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay are eligible to apply for this 100K CLIMA Grant Competition.
  • This 100K CLIMA competition seeks proposals from a diversity of HEIs, including four-year degree-issuing universities and colleges (public & private), HBCUs, HSIs, community colleges, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), other post-secondary institutions with credit-bearing programs, and especially first-time applicants. The 100K Strong program seeks a broad diversity of HEIs to create and implement innovative, inclusive education programs for diverse students and faculty, and that will be sustainable throughout the U.S. and rest of the Western Hemisphere.
  • Grant proposals must include a team of at least one HEI in the U.S. and one HEI in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay. Additional HEIs from the eligible countries may be added to the proposals, if desired, though this is not required. 100K Strong grant proposals can involve new partnerships and/or build on existing partnerships.
  • Each HEI may only be involved in up to two (2) proposals in this 100K CLIMA grant competition.
  • Proposals must demonstrate strong institutional support from all parties involved – including from any local partner organizations, when applicable.
  • In order to increase the diversity of participating institutions, the Review Committee reserves the right to give preference to institutions that have not previously received Innovation Fund grants. However, all HEIs (including previous grant winners) are encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit Partners of the Americas (POA).

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