Fund Details


The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society
Request for Proposals: Investing in Our Energy Futures
Fall 2019

The mission of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth is to advance an affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy future for the benefit of society.

We seek to achieve this mission by developing the next generation of energy experts and leaders and by transforming humankind’s understanding of energy systems across technological, environmental, economic, geopolitical, and cultural perspectives.


The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society seeks proposals for research and education on the energy challenges faced by society – and the societal challenges posed by energy. Beginning this fiscal year we are moving to an annual call for proposals and a targeted budget of $500,000. As in the past, we welcome diverse energy and society projects from all disciplines, but proposals that require and engage an interdisciplinary perspective and research team are especially encouraged and can garner up to $100,000 of support. Applicants are encouraged to consider the critical barriers that are hampering transitions to energy systems that are sustainable, resilient, and equitable and develop proposals that could overcome those barriers or shed new light on how they might be addressed. We encourage interdisciplinary teams of applicants to develop unique and innovative approaches that are hard to fund with more narrowly focused or restricted sources of grant monies.

Participants and Funding Levels

We welcome proposals from all Dartmouth faculty, of any rank; Dartmouth staff and post-docs. Principal investigators (PIs) should indicate whether they are considering the inclusion of collaborators from outside Dartmouth in the pre-proposal (Note: we cannot fund outside collaborators). Post-doc proposals must include a letter of support from a faculty mentor. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary, multi-departmental team proposals. The total award pool is approximately $500,000. Anticipated award levels are:

  • Faculty and staff awards: up to $100,000 (for interdisciplinary teams)
  • Post-doc awards:  up to $25,000
Important Dates
  • November 20, 2019, 2:00pm: Information session to discuss RFP opportunity - Fairchild 101
  • January 6, 2020: Pre-proposals due, 5:00 pm
  • January 31, 2020: Selected pre-proposals invited to submit full proposal
  • March 30, 2020:  Full proposals due, 5:00 pm
  • May 1, 2020:  Awards announced
  • June-August 2020:  Initiate project funding
Context and Guidelines

The Irving Institute is pleased to announce its third request for proposals (RFP) to support collaborative, innovative research, education, and engagement projects that advance the understanding of and action at the interfaces of energy and society. This year we are moving to an annual cycle and have increased funding levels for interdisciplinary team projects to $100,000. We are especially keen for innovative, interdisciplinary efforts that will advance the Institute’s mission and seed opportunities for additional funding, scholarship and pedagogy. To the Institute, “society” includes all dimensions of the human enterprise: business, economic and technological; political, legal, and regulatory; cultural, artistic, and ethical; and behavioral, values, and imagination.

The Irving Institute FY 2020 announcement encourages projects that initiate or advance novel or difficult-to-fund interdisciplinary lines of inquiry; that incorporate technological and social dimensions of energy systems into both classroom and experiential education; that serve as pilot projects for future federal, state or foundation funding; and that deploy new community partnerships. We encourage creative ideas, new applications, and novel combinations of perspectives and methods. We encourage teams to bring fresh eyes to enduring questions and to rigorously test emerging hypotheses. We encourage advances in artistic expression, in policy formulation and implementation, in technological development, and in business practices.

To bring the benefits of the current energy transition to all sectors of society is truly a multidimensional, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional endeavor. For example, how can policy incent and support adoption of new opportunities across a spectrum of societal contexts? What is the role of cultural values and how can they be meaningfully integrated into the energy transition the world is undertaking? What is needed to incent businesses and financiers to invest in sustainable energy future? How can more groups in society meaningfully join a conversation about distributing benefits and risks equitably across those best positioned to take them and those most vulnerable to their effects? There is a wealth of evidence that simple siloed approaches will yield results that are far short of the potential offered by an integrated approach that marries culture, technology, investment, finance, values, and other critical factors. We encourage proposals that take risks, think big, and challenge traditional ways of thinking and modes of inquiry across disciplinary boundaries.


Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Kristin Miller at
Begin Accepting Applications Date:
Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
4/16/2020 5:00 PM