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“Healthy Planet, Healthy People” Early-Career Research Awards

Credit: Fintrac Inc. / Zimbabwe Agricultural Income & Employment Development Program (Zim-AIED)

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” Early-Career Research Awards (ECA). This newly funded program will provide seed grants from $50,000 up to $200,000 over two years for research projects that seek solutions to pressing problems in human and planetary health.


About the Program
Health is a critical climate, sustainability, and environmental justice issue. Submissions to the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” ECA program should explore interactions between global environmental changes and human health, equity, and wellbeing – with an emphasis on developing novel solutions to pressing problems. Proposals will be evaluated for intellectual merit; potential to address challenges in environmental health, and justice; interdisciplinary strength; community/stakeholder engagement; and potential to secure additional funding in the future.

*Note: Requests may be for less than $200,000 and need not be for two years. Applicants are encouraged to be judicious in their requests. ECAs are treated as sponsored research. Awardees who move from Stanford may be permitted to take funding with them.

The program targets early-career scientists: Applicants must be Stanford-affiliated assistant professors or instructors. BIPOC and first-generation candidates are encouraged to apply.

Program Priorities
This program seeks projects that:

  • Address complex environmental, health, and environmental justice issues, are innovative in approach, and have the potential to produce solutions to major challenges
  • Provide opportunities for junior faculty and instructors to lead on such research projects
  • Take a cross-cutting approach, paying attention to issues such as (but not limited to) community engagement, environmental ethics, cultural and humanistic influences, effective incentive systems, context-sensitive technology, political ecology, stewardship, risk perception and analysis, communication within and beyond the academic sphere (e.g., results dissemination among peoples where the work takes place), mitigation and adaptation, valuation, and interdisciplinary modeling
  • Engage in Stanford’s “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” areas of focus:
    • Climate and health
    • Pollution and health
    • Global change and infectious disease
    • Food, health, and environment

Proposed projects should:

  • Respond to the listed priorities
  • Contribute towards a solution to a major environmental, health, and environmental justice issue
  • Demonstrate a clear strategy and pathway connecting the proposed work to an actual solution
  • Engage with external stakeholders, especially if the research takes place in a community setting, and demonstrate awareness of potential costs and benefits to such participants.
  • Have the potential for obtaining future support


Please follow the format described below. Proposals should not exceed 4 pages in length, not including Parts 5 and 6. Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF by email to

Title Page: List project title, applicant’s name and position at Stanford, project period, and date of submission.

Summary: Include one brief paragraph in layperson’s language describing the key objectives of the project. If the proposal is funded, this paragraph may be used in communications materials and published on the Woods website. A summary graphic may be included.

Part 1 – Project Description: The proposal should describe in clear terms (minimal jargon) the problem to be addressed and its importance, the project objectives, desired results, research methods, and a clear and compelling statement of how team members will operate as an integrated unit. Describe your research in the larger framework of a major environment and health challenge.

Part 2 – Team: Describe the composition of your team, explaining the researchers’ different disciplines, contributions of each, and how the team will work together. Consider how you might involve community members and undergraduate and graduate students (i.e., data collection and analysis). Explain briefly how this work would fit into your career development.

Part 3 – Knowledge to Action Plan: Describe the pathway(s) through which findings from your research, if successful, are likely to lead to solutions, e.g., through the private sector (products and innovations), government policies (rules, regulations, laws, and management practices), community interventions, or individual behavior changes. Describe any anticipated engagement of external stakeholders and partners before, during and/or after your project that may inform the research and facilitate translation to action to solve the major challenge motivating your project. Discuss potential for scalability.

Part 4 – Funding and Scalability: Recognizing that research does not often lead to a solution over the span of a single grant, briefly articulate a vision for how you believe this project will attract outside funding. With such funding, how might your research agenda evolve to contribute to the proposed solution? List specific sources of funding for which you believe progress under this grant will enable you to be competitive.

Part 5 – Budget and Budget Justification: State the desired timeframe for funding and projected expenses. Expected duration is in the range of 6 months to 2 years. Proposed budgets do not need to be routed through OSR for this internally funded research but should follow OSR guidelines. The source of funding is an expendable gift; proposed budgets do not need to include indirect costs. Please consult your research administrator in preparing your budget.

Part 6 - Biosketch: Biosketches of no more than one page should be included for all named participants.

If you have any questions about your project or research idea or would like additional information, please contact Steve Luby at or Kathy Burke at