No waste of energy: Environmental and sustainability research funding

Global awareness for sustainability and climate change is rising and research interest goes along. Here’s our fund┋it digest of funding options for environmentalists in the social sciences and humanities.


All over the world, research institutes have committed their work to environmental issues, including SSH funding programs. Bare winter tree in the sunrise glow.In Japan, the United Nations University is running two different fellowship programs on sustainability studies – on of them, a partnership with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, is currently accepting applications until 29th February. In Turkey, the Istanbul Policy Center and Stiftung Mercator are offering fellowships on climate change research for European researchers (especially from Germany). Applications are open until mid-April.

break risk - tension conceptEven if not currently accepting applications, three other programs are worth a look – just bookmark them in your fund┋it user account and be notified once a new call comes up. In France, the Axa Research fund, by means of its Global Risks fellowship program, invites applications from international academic institutions willing to host environmentalists for two-year research stays. In the U.S., the Earth Institute at Columbia University is offering postdoctoral fellowships on global sustainable development. Not forgetting that the Belmont forum, an association of the world’s major and emerging funders of global environmental change research, is also running its own funding programs, none of whom is currently open.


The European Commission for its part has of course included the environment in its H2020 program – not less than four of its seven « Societal Challenges » approach the issue in one way or another ! fund┋it not only lists all open calls for these four challenges – about 16 of them directly concern sustainability, climate and energy issues. But we also offer guidance through our « SSH rate » indicator and complementary information! Just check the little icons on top of each call.


Capture d’écran 2015-10-02 à 15.36.00More specifically, two funding programs address the issue of sustainable waste management. The U.S. Environmental Research and Education Foundation is funding research projects on sustainably solid waste management worldwide ; and in France, the National Research Agency ANR is offering funding for research on the sustainable dismantling of nuclear facilities. The program is mainly aimed at natural science, but does include a transverse thematic for SSH called « innovation and society ». Both programs are currently accepting applications!


ApicultureWhile most of the above presented are first and foremost addressing social scientists, environmental research is also keeping arts and humanities researchers busy. That’s why the Munich-based Rachel Carson Institute for Environment and Society is running an interdisciplinary fellowship program for research stays of up to 12 months, particulary for environment historians and related fields. On the other side of the Atlantic, Rice University is offering fellowships in energy humanities with special focus on energy transitions and the environmental impacts of our current patterns of energy use. Unfortunately, application windows for both programs have just closed… but if you bookmark them in your fund┋it user account, you’ll be among the first to know when they reopen next year.

appleIn case you don’t want to wait that long, here’s two alternatives: Harvard University is accepting applications for fellowships on Chinese Environmental Humanities (knowledge of Chinese required). And French Fondation Carasso is running their « Art Citoyen » program for collaboration between human researchers and artists from Spain and France on issues such as climate change and other global environmental challenges.

Remember that all calls published on fundit are guaranteed to be open to French researchers or researchers based in France (except for the Coming to France section). However, unless otherwise indicated, all of them are also open to other nationalities.

Citer ce billet
Christiane Abele (2016, 24 février). No waste of energy: Environmental and sustainability research funding. Consulté le 25 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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