The Climate Science Research Fund

Operated by the SMU Earth Hazards and National Security Research Cluster

The fund for climate science research was established in 2023 through a bequest from Dedman College alumnus Dr. Myra Nicol Williams. Dr. Williams graduated from SMU with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and in Mathematics; she received a PhD from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and spent her career in pharmaceuticals at Merck Sharp & Dohme and as vice president of the Glaxo Research Institute. She is a data-driven scientist with interest in solving complex real-world problems. It is fitting that the Climate Science Research Fund sponsors the collection of primary data, research and public dissemination of results to push forward pure and applied climate science that solves pressing societal challenges.

Learn More About SMU's Key Research Areas

The fund will provide support to graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty to collect primary data relevant to climate science and/or conduct research with immediate impact. Publication charges of climate-related research will also be supported. Priority will be given to topics with immediate relevance to climate science and/or policy. Multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies are highly encouraged through collaborative proposals.

Request for proposals (RFP) will be rolling for up to 2 years or until available funds are expended. Review of proposals will occur quarterly (Jan 15, April 15, July 15, October 15).


The application must provide evidence to support the following:

1. The recipient(s) will be engaged in basic or applied research focused on modern environmental and/or climate change.
2. The proposed work is directly motivated to address environmental and climate change
3. The proposed project is aimed at producing a scientific publication
4. The outcomes and/or expected deliverables are clearly described
5. The budget(s) are justified with sufficient detail to understand how costs link to outcomes


The fund provides financial support for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and/or faculty for a self-designed project. Applications from students who are currently applying for initial admission into SMU graduate programs or postdoctoral researchers not yet official SMU employees are generally not accepted. Students on academic probation are not eligible to apply.

Amount of Support

Priority will be given to primary data collection, analyses of such data, and support of publication charges. Field expenses and related travel may be requested.

Travel money for presentation of research at regional, national and international meetings will not be supported.

Up to two months of summer support for SMU student salary/stipend or up to 1-month postdoctoral salary with benefits will be considered. Tuition and faculty summer salary may not be requested.

Collaborative Proposals reflecting multi-disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary research are allowed to submit separate budgets for individual principal investigators. The budget justification for multiple principal investigators, especially if from the same SMU department, should be explicitly addressed in the main proposal text. The main text of the proposal should be identical and such proposals should be submitted as “Collaborative Research: [Title]”.

Requests for individual principal investigators should not exceed $30,000.