AIR International Programs

The Arizona Institutes for Resilience International Programs advances resilience scholarship in international contexts and supports resilience research by stewarding the Arizona Institutes for Resilience International Development (AIRID) Network. We support faculty, students, and researchers at the University of Arizona who work on resilience topics in regions most sensitive to global environmental changes and on topics that advance international sustainable development objectives.

Call for Proposals Open Now

Grants for Concept Papers on Resilience Research for Development Challenges


Amount: $30,000 total; awards of $7,500 will be granted to teams (2 or more) for up to 4 teams

Grant announcement date: April 19, 2021

Concept paper proposal submission due date: May 24, 2021, 5:00 pm Mountain Standard Time

Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2021

Award period: June 1 - October 31, 2021

Expected outputs during award period:

  • September (date TBD), 2021: Presentation at an AIR International Programs symposium
  • October 31, 2021: Final submission of concept paper

The Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR) International Programs announces seed grants to develop concept papers on research topics of central importance for development challenges. The awards will provide $7,500 to support up to four teams of two or more individuals from the University of Arizona.

The concept papers will articulate new and innovative ideas that can inform international research projects on resilience as it is applied in development. The goals of this seed grant opportunity are to

  • develop innovative ideas on resilience from diverse fields of inquiry and
  • support interested faculty, students, and researchers to pursue resilience research for international development.


A long-held challenge facing development programming has been how to progress away from a continuous need for humanitarian assistance whenever a drought, flood, conflict, or pandemic occurs. In the international development community, the concept of resilience has inspired approaches for meeting development goals that reduce adverse outcomes created by poverty, conflict, economic shocks, and global environmental change. Resilience helps define strategies that builds capacities to cope, adapt, and transform in response to shocks and stresses across different scales of analysis and interventions (e.g., individual, household, community, and institutional levels).

The concept of resilience is taking on a heightened importance in the new Biden and Harris Administration and in the context of increasing risks around the globe brought on by the global pandemic, climate change, and conflict. Resilience spending is expected to rise from existing substantial investments, where USAID alone currently spends about 3 billion USD per year. At the same time, funders are seeking new ideas on resilience that are informed by academic scholarship, as well as greater higher education engagement in development-related research and project implementation.

Within this context, AIR International Programs is providing seed grants to support the development of concept papers that advance innovative and rigorous perspectives on resilience for international development. In addition to developing these concept papers, grant recipients will be encouraged to work with affiliates of AIR International Programs, which includes representatives from the Office of Global Projects and TANGO International, to translate their concept papers into future extramural proposals. For interested teams who receive the seed grant, AIR affiliates will offer support for this purpose by

  • promoting content from the concept papers to funders,
  • connecting the seed grant recipients to development program decision-makers,
  • advising on proposal development, and
  • providing feedback on how to tailor content from the concept paper into a proposal that meets the formatting requirements and technical language norms of the funders.


Over the course of the award period (June 1 – October 31, 2021), awarded research teams will develop concept papers that elaborate on a research question based on one of the themes listed below. These themes are core to new resilience initiatives among international development funders. Within these thematic areas, research teams are encouraged to focus the content of the concept papers on innovation in resilience research as it pertains to conceptual frameworks, research methodologies, analytical approaches, resilience measurement, and research or programmatic designs. Other ideas may be considered within the scope of resilience research for international development.

  1. The multi-stressors and compound risks of COVID-19, conflict, and climate
  2. Disaster risk reduction and recovery
  3. Migration in the context of multiple social and environmental shocks and stresses
  4. Climate resilient development
  5. Power and resilience in international development
  6. Equity, diversity, and inclusion in international development
  7. Technologies for resilience

Papers involving international research are preferred if possible. However, domestic research and/or scholarship may be selected if they demonstrate clear implications and/or applications for international development.


Team leaders and members may include UArizona faculty and/or continuing-status academic professionals, including postdoctoral research associates, across all disciplines. Students can also be team leaders or members.


Please submit a two-page maximum concept paper proposal by 5 pm Mountain Standard Time on May 24. Concept paper proposals should be single-spaced, in 11-point Arial font with 1-inch margins.

The concept paper proposal should include the following components:

  1. Title, the theme to be addressed;
  2. A description of the core idea of the paper;
  3. Justification of importance and novelty of the paper for resilience in international development;
  4. A short outline of the concept paper (in bullet form);
  5. Geographic scope and context, if applicable; and
  6. The project team and its lead

Please also submit a short, 1- or 2-page CV or resume for each team member as an appendix in addition to the concept paper proposal.

Team leaders should submit application materials by email in one PDF file to Dr. Corrie Hannah <> and Dr. Zack Guido <>

An internal review panel of 4-6 individuals will review concept paper proposals based on innovation and novelty of ideas to resilience, implications of concept papers for applied international development projects, and overall merit. Team leaders will be notified of the seed grant results by June 1, 2021.


Awarded teams will be expected to complete the following two activities over the duration of the award period (June 1-October 31, 2021). AIR International Programs staff will communicate these details and further information about the symposium to awarded teams. 

  1. Submit a draft of the concept paper to AIR International Programs staff (see contact below) by October 1, 2021 and a final draft of the concept paper by the conclusion of the award period on October 31, 2021. Concept papers should include and elaborate on the same components submitted in the concept paper proposal. Section d, which includes a short outline of the concept paper (in bullet form), should be replaced by a full elaboration of the paper’s innovation in resilience research. Final concept papers should be between 8 and 12 pages, single-spaced, in 11-point Arial font with 1-inch margins, excluding references, figure captions, tables, and appendices. The final concept paper should be emailed as a PDF document.
  2. Present their concept paper at a UArizona symposium on resilience and international development to be convened in September 2021 (date TBD) and hosted by AIR International Programs. More information on the symposium will be forthcoming in the summer months.


We expect to fund up to four grants of $7,500 each to four teams. The award can be applied to supplemental compensation (if eligible) and/or other expenses that follow university guidelines. The funds can be allocated based on the team leader’s discretion and specified after the award announcement.

Seed Grant Announcements - AIR International Programs.pdf

Seed Grant Announcements - AIR International Programs.pdf

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For questions about AIR International Programs or the seed grant opportunity for developing concept papers, please contact: Dr. Zack Guido <> or Dr. Corrie Hannah <>.