Funding Opportunity

Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth's System
From:  Stephan Fueglistaler, Director
Gabriel Vecchi, Deputy Director
Tim Merlis, Science/HPC Manager

October 9, 2023


As part of the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES), a collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Princeton University, we are now soliciting proposals for projects related to modeling and understanding the Earth system. Funds for this call are provided by NOAA and the Princeton University Dean for Research, and projects may align with the strategic goals of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and involve a close collaboration with NOAA/GFDL scientists or focus on the numerical modeling and understanding the Earth system but need not be directly tied to NOAA's priorities. CIMES funding priorities are detailed below.


1.  Earth System Modeling:  Developing and improving Earth System Models (ESMs), numerical models which simulate the climate and earth system, and allow prediction of the future evolution of this system. These models include the dynamical, physical, chemical, and biological components of the atmosphere-ocean-ice-land system and their coupling.

2. Seamless Prediction across Time and Space Scales: Applying the ESMs to predictions on time-scales from days to centuries and over spatial scales from those of extreme events to global scales, making use of the same flexible code-base. Focus on two different aspects of prediction across time and space scales: the very high-resolution modeling necessary to resolve extreme weather phenomena, and the predictability of different weather and climate phenomena.

3.  Earth System Science:  Analysis and Applications. Using an Earth System approach - combining modeling, observations and theory - to develop a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the impacts of environmental variations and changes on pressing problems of relevance to society.

CIMES funding priorities

CIMES prioritizes support for projects that may be difficult to support through other funding sources, but promise to significantly advance Earth system research by virtue of harnessing existing potential and synergies between Princeton University and NOAA/GFDL, and/or provide a strategy towards establishing new collaborations in areas with high potential for synergies.

Projects are supported for one year with the possibility of renewal for successful projects. CIMES aims at providing the necessary support for the project to succeed, and projects with a clear vision and strategy to establish a critical mass for success may request funding exceeding the typical level of one postdoctoral researcher. CIMES recognizes the special challenges for collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, and values strategies and efforts to ensure that projects overcome these challenges and develop into larger projects and initiatives that would eventually be supported through standard funding sources such as NSF or NOAA calls.

In addition to providing financial support for postdoctoral researchers, CIMES may provide support through access to HPC resources, and provides limited HPC and Earth System Model know-how support. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with CIMES Science/HPC Manager Dr. Tim Merlis regarding their project’s computational needs.

Poject duration

Extension of funded projects is possible (typically up to three years), contingent upon satisfactory progress, CIMES programmatic priorities and availability of funding.

Proposal format

Proposals must use the template provided below. Additional information regarding GFDL and computational resources is also listed below.

Proposals should be succinct (typically 1-2 pages), but clearly lay out the objectives, the work plan for the proposal period, a clear path forward to achieve the objective, and a detailed budget. If computational resources on the stellar system are requested, the proposal shall provide a rough estimate of computing time and storage, and a contingency plan if the stellar system cannot provide the requested resources.

Requests for continuation of projects currently supported by CIMES have the same requirements as new proposals, but also require a summary of the progress to date (see also template, item 8).

Proposals and detailed budgets (indirect costs have been waived) should be sent to CIMES Project Manager Samantha Schuh at [email protected] by November 10, 2023.

For budget questions please contact Catherine (Kit) Chandler at [email protected]. Proposal ideas may also be discussed prior to submission with CIMES HPC/Science Manager Dr. Tim Merlis at [email protected].

For partners at GFDL, PIs may want to consult the GFDL webpage, and the CIMES Task III webpage provides information on previously funded projects, researchers and PIs at Princeton University.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

(1) Scientific merit. Does the proposal address an important problem, and provide a well-designed strategy that promises to deliver results over the course of the project with significant impact in terms of advancing understanding, modeling capabilities and publications in peer-reviewed journals?

(2) Contribution of research to NOAA's and, specifically, GFDL's mission; proposals supported by Princeton’s matching funds may be less directly linked to GFDL’s and NOAA’s mission (as detailed above).

(3) Potential or demonstrated success (for extension requests) of the project to build transformative collaborations between Princeton University and NOAA/GFDL.

(4) Likelihood that post-docs and graduate students supported by this research will become the next generation leaders in their respective fields.

CIMES Proposal Template

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory  (GFDL)

GFDL Organization