Call for Working Group Proposals
The Institute for Global Change Biology (IGCB) will soon release a second call to University of Michigan Faculty to submit proposals to form Global Change Biology Working Groups
Proposal submission deadline: to be confirmed
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Background on the Institute for Global Change Biology. Anthropogenic global change is causing biome shifts and disrupting coupled natural-human ecosystems. Just as frequencies and magnitudes of impacts are accelerating; scientists, policy makers, and managers lack the ability to accurately predict how anthropogenic changes will alter organisms and communities, nor the consequence of those for coupled natural-human ecosystems. To fill knowledge gaps, and thus facilitate the development of better environmental policies and decision-making tools to inform effective responses to global change, the U. of Michigan created the IGCB, whose vision is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the interactive effects of global change on organisms, ecosystems, and coupled social-ecological systems across temporal and spatial scales. The IGCB aims to promote solutions-oriented science.
Recognizing that environmental challenges are complex and their solutions require diverse perspectives, IGCB encourages scientific collaborations between researchers across disciplines and institutions through this call for proposals. Research on plants, animals, and/or microbes, including the biogeochemical cycles they rely on and alter, is encouraged. We define global change as including rising CO2, climate change, N deposition, land use change, biodiversity loss, biotic invasions, urbanization, globalization, and more. Work can focus on land, water, and/or air, and on any natural or coupled human-natural system, including but not limited to cities, food systems, forests, grasslands, lakes, oceans, and rivers. We seek to identify: 1) knowledge gaps that presently limit our ability to anticipate biological and ecological changes driven by anthropogenic forces of global change, and 2) groups of U-M faculty that are well poised to bring resolution to these uncertainties.
Driven by the recognition that synthesis is critical to solving complex problems, we invite U-M researchers and their external colleagues to submit proposals for interdisciplinary Working Groups.
Working Groups. Working Groups are university “Think-Tanks” that address critical global change issues by bringing together interdisciplinary research teams. Working Groups will consist of tenure-track and research faculty and postdoctoral researchers from across campus, and beyond. IGCB priority is to fund work that bridges, connects, expands, extends, and integrates already vibrant work streams of the collaborating partners. This can be done with models, existing observational or experimental data from the partners, open- source data from the scientific community, or new data. The IGCB views Working Groups as partnerships across academic and administrative silos, and seeks projects that will assess important ecological, earth system science, public health, and sustainability science ideas and theories. To facilitate the IGCB mission and goals, the institute will fund 2-4 new Working Groups in 2022-23. A number of current and new Working Groups are ongoing (see below).
Working Group research should address (but is not limited to):
- What critical question in global change biology will this work address? How will the working group help fill this knowledge gap?
- How is the proposed global change biology issue important for societies and ecosystem services? In what ways will the research be ‘global’ in nature?
- What data (e.g., at the level of biomarker, individual, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, or combination thereof) or theoretical parameters are required to forecast critical ecological, environmental and/or global change-related human health trends, responses, and needs through time and space?
- What temporal (annual to decadal) dynamics will be addressed and what are the expected outcomes? What issues must be addressed over these periods of time?
- How generalizable will findings be at regional to global scales?
IGCB will fund two types of working groups, 1) IGCB Working groups and 2) Cross-Institute Working Groups.
IGCB Working Groups will be awarded one or two 2-3 year Postdoctoral Fellow positions to facilitate work at the University of Michigan across three or more lead PIs. Postdoctoral support is viewed as the primary IGCB support. Requests for related secondary funding for other purposes are also allowed. The project can be new or can build on, expand, or extend an existing project. As these are intended to be collaborative partnerships, co-funding is encouraged (e.g., co-funding of half of postdoctoral positions from non-IGCB sources), but not required, especially for early-career researchers. Graduate student and external collaborator involvement are encouraged.
For Cross-Institute Working Groups, which are projects with co-equal external partners (e.g., other Universities, agencies, non-profits, or others) and joint support of postdoctoral researchers, 50-50 support of one or more shared postdoctoral positions by both partners is strongly encouraged. In such cases, postdocs might have 80%/20% appointments at both institutions, with the major funding source flipped midway during the project, or postdocs might be 100% employed sequentially for half of the project period by each institution, or each institute could support one postdoc, or any other workable solution can be deployed.
Funding requests for travel will be considered, but for equity and environmental reasons, much (or most or all) of the working group collaboration across institutions should be virtual.
In exceptional cases for IGCB and Cross-Institute Working Group proposals, requests for more postdoctoral positions and/or longer time periods will be entertained.
We encourage those interested in this RFA to discuss their ideas with the Chair of the Working Group committee (Inés Ibáñez; email@example.com) or IGCB Director (Peter Reich; firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to developing their proposal.
Proposal Selection Criteri. (Not all criteria need to be met to qualify)
- Identify the Global Change Biology question to be addressed by the Working Group, including the identification of critical knowledge gaps and needed research (i.e., the five points above that Working Group research should address).
- Develop methods and approaches (e.g., models, synthesis, experiments, frameworks) that integrate the expertise of the Working Group members to address the identified question. Outcomes of Working Groups should be transferable and improve linkages between ecosystem science, ecosystem services, and human health.
- Ensure an interdisciplinary focus (including a minimum of two units within and/or beyond UM). Describe connections to stake-holders and communities outside the working group.
- Promote studies of cross-system (atmospheric-terrestrial-aquatic) connections within and among coupled ecological-social systems
- Include scientists with a range of methodological approaches (e.g., experimental, modeling) to address the identified problem.
- Describe the individual expertise of the PIs and explain how they will work together as an interdisciplinary team,
- Show how the proposed characterization, solution, or model will reduce prediction uncertainty and be validated.
- Include a component for translating science to policy and accelerating the adoption of resulting solutions into practice.
- Describe how the proposed research will be used to obtain extramural funding and contribute to the IGCB goals.
- Timeline for Working Group activities.
Proposal Submission Instructions
- An IGCB Working Group includes a minimum of three U-M faculty or research scientists/professors from a minimum of two units.
- A Cross-Institute Working Group includes a minimum of one U-M faculty or researcher and one from another institution.
- Proposals should not exceed 3 single-spaced pages, excluding references, and make explicit the postdoctoral researcher positions (numbers, duration) being requested, as well as any ancillary funding request.
- Proposals should address the selection criteria (above).
- CVs (5-page max) of the PIs need to be appended.
Funded IGCB Working Groups:
Characterizing the magnitude, time course, and risk factors of pollen-associated health effects in the industrial Midwest in a changing climate (C Gronlund, A Steiner, A Baptist and others)
Predicting the limits to adaptive shifts in range and phenology in migratory birds (B Weeks, B Winger, and others)
Synthesizing the effects of human-mediated habitat loss on functional diversity (N Sanders, J Chase, T Gonçalves-Souza and others; IGCB-iDiv partnership)
Disentangling complex effects of climate change on forests (N. Umaña, I Ibáñez, V. Ivanov, P. Reich)
Forecasting climate-driven changes in human–wildlife interactions (N Carter, J Allgeier, B Weeks and others)
Climate-forest-fire feedbacks (G Keppel-Aleks, P Fischer, S Cousins, P Reich and others, WFFI-IGCB partnership)
Deep Soil 2100 - Soil carbon under climate warming (P Reich, M Torn and others; IGCB- Berkeley National Lab partnership)