Calls for Proposals

We periodically invite scientists to submit research proposals for collaborative, synthesis projects in both basic and applied environmental science. If selected, research teams meet one to two times per year at our headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA to focus on their projects.

Successful proposals present research questions that could benefit specifically from the synthesis of existing data and analysis by an interdisciplinary team. Learn more about our working group model.

We also issue calls for postdoctoral researchers to support a working group of one of our research programs, join us as a postdoctoral fellow, or conduct their own independent research. Postdoctoral researchers are typically based at our headquarters in Santa Barbara.

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Current Calls for Proposals

Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Synthesis Working Groups

The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office, which is operated through NCEAS, solicits proposals for synthesis working groups that will use LTER data and involve LTER researchers. A wide array of researchers are eligible to submit proposals that address topics in LTER's 7 core research areas or other novel topics for which LTER data is well suited. Apply by October 23, 2019.

Get the full details on LTER Network's website>


Artist-in-Residence Program

Our artist-in-residence program brings artists to Santa Barbara, CA for one to four weeks to observe and engage with the scientists in our working groups. This opportunity is open to artists of all sorts, such as painters, poets, musicians, photographers, illustrators, printmakers, playwrights, digital artists, and more. Learn more about Art+Science at NCEAS. Apply by September 13, 2019.

Download the call for proposals


National Science Foundation's "Dear Colleague Letter: Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) for driving convergent science with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)" - Convene at NCEAS

For this program, NSF approves funds devoted to convening synthesis working groups at NCEAS. You are encouraged to consider including within your application a request for funds to do this. For more information, see this PDF and/or contact NCEAS Director Ben Halpern at halpern [at] or Deputy Director Geoff Willard at willard [at]


Research Programs

Calls for proposals are typically associated with one of the following initiatives.

Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP)

SNAPP is our collaborative initiative with The Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Conservation Society to fill important knowledge gaps and advance solutions to challenges that lie at the intersection of nature conservation, sustainable development, and human well-being. Teams are typically a mix of academic and non-academic researchers, sometimes also including experts from the realms of policy, management, and business. Calls for proposals are typically issued once a year between February and April.

To get a sense of what SNAPP looks for, download the last call for proposals.

Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network

Through the LTER Network Communications Office, we solicit proposals for projects that synthesize and analyze data from one or more LTER sites. While all relevant ideas will be considered, the selection committee is most interested in ideas that could have high-impact results in the five core LTER thematic areas: 1) primary production, 2) population studies, 3) organic matter dynamics, 4) mineral cycling, and 5) disturbance patterns and processes. Principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the NCO to briefly discuss ideas before submitting proposals.

To get a sense of what LTER looks for, download the last call for proposals.

Special projects

Occasionally, we convene one or more working groups to tackle a specific issue of interest to a funding partner, such as a foundation, consortium, or government agency. Recent examples include the State of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP) project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project, funded by the TomKat Foundation and University of California Office of the President.