RISA FY2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Federal Agency Name(s): Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research , Climate Program Office

Notice of Funding Opportunity Title: Climate Program Office (CPO), Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program FY2021

Announcement Type: Initial

Notice of Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-OAR-CPO-2021-2006677

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 11.431, Climate and Atmospheric Research

The Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program supports the development of knowledge, expertise, and abilities of decision makers to plan and prepare for climate variability and change. Through this announcement, CPO is seeking applications for two competitions in FY21: 1) a competition for regional RISA teams in nine U.S. regions, and 2) a competition for collaborative planning activities in the Southeast and U.S. Caribbean. Prior to submitting applications, investigators are highly encouraged to learn more about the RISA program.

This information, along with the names and contact information of relevant Competition managers, is provided below.

In FY21, approximately $7,200,000 will be available for approximately 9 new awards in competition 1 and approximately $400,000 will be available for approximately 4 awards in competition 2. For competition 1, it is anticipated that most competition 1 awards will be at a funding level between $600,000 - $700,000/year range for core RISA work. For proposals including a sustained assessment specialist Supplement, applicants can propose an additional $100,000-$135,000/year for accompanying sustained assessment specialists components. For proposals including a small-grants competition supplement, applicants can propose up to an additional $160,000 total to support the competition. For competition 2, awards will be at a funding level of up to $100,000 total per award for projects.

General Information

The RISA program supports the development of knowledge, expertise, and abilities of decisionmakers to plan and prepare for climate variability and change. Through regionally-focused and interdisciplinary research and engagement teams, RISA builds and expands the Nation's capacity to adapt and become resilient to extreme weather events and climate change. RISA teams accomplish this through co-developed applied research and partnerships with public and private communities. A central tenet of the RISA program is that learning about climate adaptation and resilience is facilitated by and sustained across a wide range of experts, practitioners, and the public. As such, the RISA program supports a network of people, prioritizing wide participation in learning by doing, learning through adapting, and managing risk with uncertain information. Early decades of the program focused on understanding the use of climate information at regional scales (e.g., through experimental seasonal outlooks), improving predictions and scenarios, building capacity for drought early warning, and advancing the science of climate impact assessments. More recently, emphasis has shifted to address the growing urgency to advance approaches that tackle the complex societal issues surrounding adaptation planning, implementation, and building community resilience. To do so, RISA continues to prioritize collaborative approaches that incorporate multiple knowledge sources and integrate social, physical, and natural science, resulting in long-term support of and increased capacity for communities. As the adaptation community in the United States advances and evolves, RISA seeks to support new creative, solution-oriented approaches that are both responsive to communities and that integrate across silos of scientific knowledge and expertise. Central to achieving the RISA mission are:

    - Regional Relevance, Local Expertise
    - Integrated Scientific Approaches
    - Knowledge-to-Action Partnerships
    - A National Network of Resilience Researchers and Adaptation Science Specialists

The RISA program encourages applicants and awardees to support the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion when writing their proposals and performing their work. Ensuring justice and equity -means paying particular attention to the most vulnerable populations, which are often low-income, those already overburdened by pollution, those who lack economic or social opportunity, and people facing disenfranchisement. Diversity here is defined as a collection of individual attributes that together help organizations achieve objectives. Inclusion is defined as a culture that connects each person to the larger organizing structure. Promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion improves the creativity, productivity, and vitality of the communities in which the program engages.

List of Competitions

Open to view competition details, information sheets, and contact information.

NOFO at a Glance


Links to Full NOFO and Grants.gov Listing

Important Dates/Deadlines

Letters of Intent

Letters of intent (LOIs) should be received by email by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 9, 2020.

A response to the LOI from the Competition Manager (e-mail or letter) will be sent to the investigator within four weeks after the LOI’s due date encouraging or discouraging a full application based on its relevance to the targeted competition.

Full Applications

Full applications for Competition 2 must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, February 8, 2021. Full applications for Competition 1 must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, February 16, 2021.

Applications received after these dates and times will not be considered for funding.

Applications must be submitted via http://www.grants.gov. For applications submitted through grants.gov, the basis for determining timeliness is the receipt notice issued by http://www.grants.gov, which includes the date and time received.

Applicants without internet access

Please contact the CPO Grants Manager Diane Brown by mail at NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 to obtain an application package. Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response. Hard copy submissions will be date and time stamped when they are received in the Climate Program Office.

Emailed or faxed copies of applications will not be accepted.

For Federal Investigators

Federal lead investigators who wish to apply to this Announcement of Opportunity must prepare a proposal according to the FFO guidelines and submit the proposal to the program manager directly, instead of to http://www.grants.gov. Federal co-investigators must submit a proposal identical to the proposal lead's but with personalized budget information.

Letters of Intent should be received by Competition Manager by 5 p.m. Eastern Time, December 9, 2020.

Full applications for Competition 2 must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, February 8, 2021. Full applications for Competition 1 must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, February 16, 2021.

Where to Submit

Application packages:

Visit Grants.gov and click on Apply for Grants. You may also directly view the Grants.gov listing here.

Notice of Funding Opportunity Number:


Applicants without Internet access:

Please send mail to:
Diane Brown
CPO Grants Manager
NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response.

General Grants Questions

Diane Brown, CPO Grants Manager   

Funding Opportunities Home


All FY23 Funding Opportunities

Applicant Resources at a Glance

About CPO Funding Opportunities

CPO manages competitive research programs through which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity building activities designed to advance the understanding of Earth’s climate system and to foster the application for of this knowledge to enable effective decisions. CPO supports research that is conducted across the United States and internationally. CPO also provides strategic guidance for the agency’s climate science and services programs and supports NOAA’s contributions to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and its National Climate Assessment and similar international endeavors.



Funding Recipients

Competition 1: Regional RISA Teams competition for the Northeast, MidAtlantic, Intermountain West, Carolinas, Great Lakes, Alaska, Pacific Islands, South Central, and Pacific Northwest

Competition Number: 2925458

Chelsea Combest-Friedman, Caitlin Simpson, Sean Bath

We are accepting team applications focused on the regions currently covered by the RISA Network. A maximum of one RISA team will be funded per region. The regions listed below, and their states, are guidelines, i.e., they are not prescriptive determinations for potential RISA coverage. Applicants are permitted to go beyond the states listed below within a region if there is justification for determining alternative boundaries. Please see the corresponding information sheet for details on how to determine regional coverage. The following are the nine regions being competed:

  • • Northeast: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
  • • MidAtlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
  • • Intermountain West: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
  • • Carolinas: North Carolina, South Carolina
  • • Great Lakes: Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio
  • • Alaska
  • • Pacific Islands: Hawaii and U.S. affiliated Pacific islands and territories
  • • South Central: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana
  • • Pacific Northwest: Washington, Oregon, Idaho


Applicants applying to Competition 1 for a regional RISA team are also eligible to apply for one or both of the following optional supplements as additional components to their proposal. NOTE: Supplements will only be awarded to teams that are successful in the core work of Competition 1- Regional RISA Teams.

  • • Sustained Assessment Specialist Supplement
  • • Small-Grants Competition Supplement

Competition 2: Competition for collaborative planning activities in the Southeast and the U.S. Caribbean

Competition Number: 2925459

Ariela Zycherman, Sean Bath

The RISA program is accepting applications for one-year awards to conduct multistakeholder workshops or other innovative planning activities to identify and examine issues of regional importance within the Southeast and the U.S. Caribbean, related to social and economic dimensions of climate variability and change. For the purposes of this competition, the Southeast includes Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and the Caribbean includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The goal of this competition is to support new RISA engagement activities related to resilience and adaptive capacity in the Southeast and Caribbean regions of the United States where RISA teams do not currently operate. These activities support preliminary trust-building activities between partners and scoping activities for future collaboration. Proposals must reflect RISA program objectives and priorities and focus on issues that are relevant across the targeted region. Activities should accomplish this by 1) developing new collaborative relationships within the region (that might include universities, local government entities, regional NOAA entities, existing climate networks such as the Regional Climate Centers, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and USDA Climate Hubs, non-profit organizations, and other groups involved in climate preparedness, adaptation and mitigation efforts); and 2) co-developing community-relevant research questions and identifying research needs, methodological approaches, and/or potential user application.


1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.