NSF Cultural Transformation in the Geoscience Community

 Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity.

Program Summary

Our future sustainability and prosperity will require a transdisciplinary geoscience workforce that reflects the nation’s diversity and has the capacity to develop innovative solutions necessary to meet future environmental and societal challenges. The Geosciences Directorate (GEO) proposes a novel approach to simultaneously address two major challenges that require immediate action, (1) foster a just, equitable and inclusive geoscience research community that reflects the diversity of the United States and (2) develop a workforce with the skills required to understand how the Earth system can continue to sustain society. Cultural Transformation in the Geoscience Community (CTGC) responds to the desire of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to make a difference in their world and supports the creative power of truly diverse groups to make major strides in Earth System Science in service of humanity. CTGC aims at engaging institutions that support Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and other individuals from marginalized/ minoritized groups, to help promote career advancement, and advance Earth system science. CTGC builds on tenets of NSF programs like GOLD (Geoscience Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity), ADVANCE and NSF INCLUDES that lead to environments that foster inclusion and belonging. The program will support projects that are based on geoscience education scholarship, mentorship, allyship, equity, anti-racist and anti-harassment practices, and increasing accessibility. CTGC projects will establish sustainable and long-term STEM learning and research ecosystems that connect individuals’ academic training with informal and work-based training opportunities through strong collaborative relationships and career-pathway mapping among schools, informal learning environments, local communities, private sector partners, and university and research partners. The program will support planning grants and implementation projects. Planning grants are intended to build capacity in the geoscience community to undertake the activities necessary to establish place-based and community-driven Earth system research projects. Implementation projects will build cohorts of individuals at specific career stages that will design inclusive research programs, conduct community engagement to identify research needs, or participate in community-driven research projects. CTGC projects will promote innovative approaches to Earth system sciences and will foster authentic and equitable collaborations between scientists and community members with the goal of addressing issues that contribute to the sustainability of the community.


  • CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST January 18, 2023
  • Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (only for implementation projects): 5:00pm MST February 1, 2023
  • Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST April 3, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Track Type: Planning or Implementation
  • Project Summary (2 pages maximum): Please include: 1) the goals and objectives of the project, intellectual focus and timetable; 2) specific activities that will be undertaken to achieve the goals outlined in the NSF solicitation; 3) relevant experience and the record of involvement of PIs and involved staff with research, training, education of, and/or equity and inclusion efforts; and 4) a succinct plan for summative evaluation of the proposed activities
  • Lead PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6825/home


A Principal Investigator may serve in the role of PI or Co-PI on only one proposal per competition if they are at the sole-submitting organization or the lead organization of a collaborative project but may serve as the Co-PI for a non-lead organization of a collaborative project more than once per competition.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may serve as sole submitting organization or as lead organization on only one submission per competition, regardless of track, but may serve as the non-lead organization of a collaborative project more than once per competition.

Award Information

NSF expects to make up to 11 awards through this competition, with up to 5 awards made for implementation grants and up to 6 awards being made for planning grants.

Review Criteria

For planning grants and implementation grants:

  • Community Partnerships: Does the proposed project have existing authentic community partnerships or a clear plan on how these will be established in an equitable and respectful manner?
  • Project Evaluation and Reporting: Will the evaluation and monitoring plan provide sufficient documentation that project goals and outcomes have been realized?
  • Connection to Geoscience Education Research and Community-Driven Research: How well informed are the vision and execution plan by the literature and prior attempts, if applicable, to implement change.

Further criteria for implementation grants:

  • Participant Recruitment, Selection and Mentoring: Is the recruitment and selection process described with sufficient detail? Is the recruitment plan likely to attract a diverse population of participants that would benefit from the proposed activities? Is there a mentoring plan in place for participants? The plan should emphasize strategies to ensure inclusive environments, programming, and experiences (including but not limited to sufficient training for mentors).
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Is the organizational commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion outlined well in the proposal, supported with the appropriate documentation?

Further criteria for Off-site or Off-campus research:

Reviewers will be instructed to evaluate the Plan for Safe and Inclusive Work Environments within the Broader Impacts review criterion, specifically:

  • Is there a compelling plan (including the procedures, trainings, and communication processes) to establish, nurture, and maintain inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment(s)?
  • Does the proposed plan identify and adequately address the unique challenges for the team and the specific off-campus or off-site setting(s)?
  • Are the organizational mechanisms to be used for reporting, responding to, and resolving issues of harassment, should they occur, clearly outlined?