2023 Climate and Health Interdisciplinary (CHI) Awards


Opportunity type:



Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Award amount and duration:

$375,000 over 3 years




Faculty, Postdoc
  • Proposals must be submitted by a US or Canadian institution, which will serve as the sole payee. Proposed teams may include researchers from beyond the US and Canada, including those from Low- and Middle-income countries (LMICs).
  • BWF values diversity, equity, and inclusion both in researchers and in the places research is conducted. They encourage proposals from minority serving institutions and from small, medium, or large organizations in rural, urban, or other settings.
  • Award recipients will be expected to participate in BWF network development activities and interdisciplinary research career development activities associated with this award.
  • Postdoctoral fellows and early career faculty applicants should demonstrate that they are in an environment that appreciates the challenges of interdisciplinary work and the extra effort required to build relationships across multiple fields, as documented by a letter of support submitted by each institution.
  • Applications may be submitted by teams or individuals. Teams must designate one member as a representative who will speak should the proposal make it to the program’s final interview stage.
  • Award recipients may not hold concurrent BWF awards.

Examples of projects might include but are not limited to the following:

  • The role of climate change in exacerbating vector borne-, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • Using “big data” to predictively model aspects of health impacted by climate change
  • Engineering or architectural approaches to alleviating climate related health risks
  • Developing new research tools at the interface of health and climate-informed disciplines



The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) Climate and Health Interdisciplinary (CHI) Award provides support for collaborative exploratory work that opens new ground for comprehensively assessing or mitigating the impacts of climate change on human health. This program will support both individual scientists and multi-investigator teams. Early career faculty and postdoctoral fellows nearing their transition to independence are especially encouraged to apply, whether individually or within teams.

The goal of the Climate and Health Interdisciplinary (CHI) Award program is to prime new discovery in areas that are difficult to reach through discipline-specific, silo-driven approaches. Through this program the BWF will provide flexible funding for conceiving and piloting work that will grow into productive and informative collaborations among researchers approaching connected questions from fields that usually do not interact.

These awards will support research and research coordination to unravel the relationships of climate change and human health. The awards are meant to stimulate development of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to problems with interconnected and potentially cumulative impacts on human health in general, and vulnerable populations, specifically.

All proposed work, including projects focusing on problems like PM2.5 exposure, heat stress, migration after flooding, etc. must include substantial insights about climate change, not simply begin with the assumption that climate change will increase a problem’s occurrence. Climate change is a dynamic process: proposed work should not address health impacts as though the climate in which they occur is static.

Projects must draw on the basic or applied biomedical sciences—disciplines ranging from biochemistry to population health, including public health research focused on social justice and equity—collaborating with disciplines beyond biomedicine, for example planetary and earth sciences, architecture, engineering, mathematics, law, public policy, other applied social sciences, communications, field ecology, agricultural sciences, or other disciplines appropriate to the research proposed. The BWF views biomedicine as including veterinary medicine and other clinical disciplines, biology, physiology, development of in vitro and/or organismal models and more.

Proposals should be driven by broad questions that present significant potential for evidence-based discovery. Workthat includes consideration of social justice in addition to evidence-based discovery is welcome. Proposed aims must be measurable, well-articulated, substantial, achievable, and must include not only planning activities but also scholarly research findings. Projects in environmental health, health disparities, and One Health are competitive for this program when climate change is addressed as a core element. Solutions and insights from both global and hyperlocal viewpoints are of interest.

Application Process

Applying for this award is a two-stage process:

1. Letter of Intent (LOI). Interested candidates who meet the eligibility criteria will need to submit an online Letter of Intent (LOI) through BWF’s Grant Application System by August 31, 2023, 3:00 pm EST. Though the LOI is short, it should be well thought out and prepared with care: only a fraction of those submitting LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal. Refer to the Letter of Intent Instructions for details.

Applicants must obtain institutional approval from the University of Calgary prior to submitting their Letter of Intent to Leducq Foundation. Initiate required University of Calgary internal approvals by completing a Pre-Award/Letter of Intent record in RMS (https://my.rms.ucalgary.ca/), attaching a PDF of your completed LOI, and submitting for approvals from your department head and/or faculty Associate Dean (Research). Please ensure that you allow time for academic approvals prior to the Research Services Office internal review deadline of 12:00pm MT, August 31, 2023.

2. Full proposals. Submission of full proposals will be by invitation only after review of LOIs. By September 15, 2023, a selected group of applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Instructions on how to prepare a full research proposal (elements listed below) will be provided by email with the invitation to participate. If your application is selected for full proposal, please contact Chantal Lemire for instructions on how to prepare your pre-award/application record in RMS.

Full application instructions can be found here.


Not Applicable. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund does not provide institutional overhead and indirect costs may not be charged against this award. 


Pre-application deadlines

RSO internal deadline

August 28, 2023 - 12:00 PM

Pre-application program deadline

August 31, 2023 - 1:00 PM

Application deadlines

RSO detailed review deadline

October 18, 2023 - 12:00 PM

RSO final internal review deadline

October 27, 2023 - 12:00 PM

Program application deadline

November 1, 2023 - 1:00 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs: Complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at rsogrants@ucalgary.ca.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Additional Information

Contact Details


2023 Climate and Health Interdisciplinary (CHI) Awards
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Climate Change and Human Health Research
International Foundations