Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul
RFP issue date: Dec. 4, 2023
Deadline for submissions: Feb. 5, 2024
Columbia Global is seeking proposals from Columbia University faculty and researchers for projects that advance relief and recovery work in the regions of Turkey affected by catastrophic earthquakes in February 2023. Prior experience working in the country or region is not required.
The Columbia Global Center in Istanbul has more than 10 years of experience facilitating the work of Columbia faculty, researchers, and students in Turkey and has established extensive partnerships in the country. The Center will play a supportive role facilitating, engaging with, and monitoring the work funded by these awards.
In response to the alarming increase in the complexity and frequency of global crises, Columbia Global established a Global Resilience Fund to serve as a platform for the Columbia University community to respond to major global crises in a coordinated and synergistic way. The Global Resilience Fund is designed to harness the University’s intellectual resources and practical expertise–in partnership with local, in-country institutions–to support recovery and resiliency efforts, and to enable research and scholarship that lead to increased understanding of the root causes of crises and the development of novel, feasible, and scalable solutions.
The 2023 Resilience Fund Awards will focus on the effects of the catastrophic earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria in February 2023. Annex 1 provides a list of recommended reference materials for interested applicants.
Priority Thematic Areas
Key themes of interest for this inaugural round of Columbia Global Resilience Fund Awards include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental Sustainability: Activities may include conducting research on the environmental impact of the earthquakes and subsequent recovery efforts, developing programs to promote sustainable rebuilding and infrastructure development, and working with local governments to research environmentally sustainable practices.
- Education and Capacity Building: Activities may include developing and delivering informational programs for local communities on disaster preparedness and response and working with educational institutions to develop disaster-related curricula.
- Health: Activities may include conducting research on the health needs (including mental health) of the affected populations and working with local institutions to strengthen the response to these needs in the affected region.
- Economic Development: Activities may include developing programs to map small businesses affected by the earthquakes, conducting research on the economic impact of the disaster and subsequent recovery efforts, and working with local institutions to develop policies and programs that promote economic development and job creation.
- Social Justice and Human Rights: Activities may include conducting research on the effect of the earthquakes on vulnerable and marginalized communities (e.g., children, women, displaced individuals, refugees); shaping policies and programs that address social justice and human rights issues in disaster response and recovery efforts; and working with local organizations to develop technologies to promote and protect human rights in the affected region.
- Preservation of Monuments and Cultural Artifacts: Activities may include conducting assessments of cultural heritage sites affected by the earthquakes, developing plans for the preservation and restoration of damaged monuments and artifacts, and providing training to local communities on conservation techniques.
- Architectural and Engineering Research: Activities may include developing new building designs and materials that are more resilient to earthquakes, conducting simulations to better understand the behavior of structures during earthquakes, and studying the impact of earthquakes on critical infrastructure (e.g., water and energy systems).
- Policy and Regulations: Activities may include conducting research on disaster response policies and regulations in the affected region, analyzing the effectiveness of existing policies and making recommendations for improvement, and working with local governments to develop more effective disaster response plans.
Types of Awards
Resilience Fund Awards are available at two funding levels:
- Resilience Fund Seed Awards will provide a maximum award amount of $50,000 (per award) for activities to be conducted over a period of up to 18 months. A maximum of two awards will be made.
- Resilience Fund Vision Awards will provide support for projects that aim to generate innovative, feasible, and scalable solutions through interdisciplinary collaborations with in-country institutions. The maximum award amount is $150,000 (per award) for work to be conducted over a period of 2-3 years. A maximum of one award will be made.
Recipients of both types of awards will be invited to participate in the Columbia Global Resilience Conference to share findings and engage in interdisciplinary discussions that aim to advance recovery and resiliency strategies and approaches.
Eligibility and Review Criteria
- Proposal lead(s) must be full-time faculty or researchers at Columbia University, with an interest in pursuing relief and recovery-related work in response to the 2023 earthquakes in Turkey. No prior experience in the region is required.
- At least one proposal lead must be eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator per Columbia University guidelines.
- Partnership with faculty, researchers, academic institutions, and/or civil society organizations in Turkey or the broader region is required.
- Interested applicants are encouraged to have preliminary discussions with the Columbia Global Center in Istanbul about potential partnerships in the region and the feasibility of proposed projects.
- Interdisciplinary collaborations at Columbia University—across disciplines, schools, institutes, and/or centers—are strongly encouraged.
- Participation by Columbia University students and students in Turkey is strongly encouraged.
- Proposed projects must include clear objectives, defined activities, and rigorous approaches and plans for the measurement of outputs and outcomes.
- Participation in relevant events organized by the Columbia Global Center in Istanbul is required.
- The articulation of plans to pursue additional funding to expand the work accomplished is strongly encouraged.
Application Process and Deadlines
Proposal submissions are due February 5, 2024 at 11:59 pm EST. Award announcements are anticipated in late March 2024.
Templates to be used for developing your project work plan, budget, and budget narrative are included below:
- The total budget must not exceed the award’s budget ceiling.
- If consultants and/or partner organizations will be used, a detailed budget outlining all planned expenses to be incurred by consultants and/or partner organizations must be included.
- There is no indirect cost recovery allowed within Columbia University. Collaborators external to Columbia University that are registered as a 501(c)(3) may recover no more than 10% of total direct costs. No indirect costs are allowed for in-country institutions.
- Your budget must not include a line item for contingencies.
A virtual event to answer questions about this request for proposals will be held on January 10, 2024 at 9 a.m. EST. Registration is open.
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule time to discuss your project idea with the Columbia Global Center in Istanbul, please contact [email protected].
Annex 1: Recommended Reference Materials
Columbia Global Center in Istanbul Events
- Rising from the Rubble Webinar Series
- Webinar - The Aftermath of the Turkish and Syrian Earthquakes from Relief to Reconstruction: Examining the Impact on Refugee and Displaced Populations. May 23, 2023.
- World Bank. Earthquake Damage in Türkiye Estimated to Exceed $34 billion: World Bank Disaster Assessment Report. February 2023.
- United Nations. Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response.
- Turkish Philanthropy Fund. TPF Türkiye Earthquake Relief Fund: 3rd Month Impact Report
- UNDP - Turkish Universities React to Recent Earthquakes
- Turkish Republic’s Presidency of Strategy and Budget. Türkiye Earthquakes Recovery and Reconstruction Assessment
- International Labour Organization. Urgent Support Needed for Hundreds of Thousands of Workers after Türkiye and Syria Earthquakes
- IGAM Academy. Improving Syrian Refugee Inclusion in the Turkish Economy: How Can the International Community Help? September 2021.
- Columbia World Projects. Rebuilding Beirut: A Roadmap for an Equitable Post-disaster Response. February 2023.
- duvaR.english. Even After Four Months, Protracted Crisis Persists in Turkey's Quake Zone. June 7, 2023.
- Phys.org. How Earthquakes Impact Hospitals: Insights from the 2023 Turkey Earthquake Sequences. June 21, 2023.
- New York Times. Why One Upscale Apartment Building Became a Death Trap. May 11, 2023.
- Reuters. Earthquake Fans Anti-Syrian Sentiment in Turkey Amid Desperate Conditions. February 13, 2023.
Frequently asked questions
The Columbia Global Resilience Fund is a new initiative established by Columbia Global to serve as a platform for the Columbia University community to respond to major global crises in a coordinated and synergistic way. The Fund is designed to harness the University’s intellectual resources and practical expertise–in partnership with local, in-country institutions–to support recovery and resiliency efforts, and to enable research and scholarship that lead to increased understanding of the root causes of crises and the development of novel, feasible, and scalable solutions.
The Columbia Global Resilience Fund Awards support innovative projects proposed by Columbia University faculty to advance recovery and resiliency efforts in crisis-impact regions around the world. The inaugural Resilience Fund request for proposals focuses on responding to the earthquakes that devastated Turkey in February 2023.
Yes, full-time faculty and researchers from all Columbia University schools and affiliates are invited to apply. Proposal leads must be eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator per Columbia University guidelines.
Faculty/researchers may serve as proposal lead on only one proposal, but may serve as a collaborator on more than one proposal.
An annex of recommended reading materials is provided in the RFP document.
No prior experience in the region is required. However, partnership with local organizations is encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to connect with the Columbia Global Center in Istanbul to discuss potential partnerships.