Subject Areas:
Community Improvement/Capacity Building
Science and Technology Research Institutes/Services
Environmental Quality, Protection & Beautification
Donor Partner:
Gulf Research Program
36 days to register / Status: Open for Registration

Gulf Futures Challenge

Launched on June 18, 2024, the $50 million Gulf Futures Challenge will support and fund impactful ideas that aim to create a safer, more resilient, and sustainable future for the U.S. Gulf Coast Region. The registration period is now open.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program launched the Gulf Futures Challenge, a $50M open challenge, to discover and invest in bold ideas that apply, translate, or communicate science, engineering, and medical knowledge to address critical challenges in the Gulf.

The Challenge aims to leverage the inherent talent and knowledge of the people of the Gulf by supporting ideas and solutions from those who understand the region best. The Challenge seeks innovative solutions at the intersection of three futures:

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The Future of the Energy Transition

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The Future of Environmental Change along the Gulf Coast

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The Future of Healthy and Resilient Communities

About the process

The Challenge will take place in multiple stages, including a Participatory Review and an Evaluation Panel. During Participatory Review, each applicant organization will review the applications of three peer applicant organizations using the scoring rubric that outlines four criteria: impact, inclusivity, innovation, and ability to bridge knowledge to action. Top-scoring proposals from Participatory Review will advance to the Evaluation Panel, where projects will receive additional review and comments from five Evaluation Panel Reviewers. During the Evaluation Panel Review, proposals will be assessed using the same scoring rubric. Technical experts will review top-scoring proposals.

Up to ten finalists will receive up to $1 million in project development support and technical assistance to strengthen their proposals. Two of the finalists will be selected to receive awards of $20 million each to implement their solutions.

Nonprofits, local, state, and tribal governments, and academic institutions are eligible to participate as lead organizations, with partnerships and collaborations encouraged. Lead organizations must be based within Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi or Texas, and proposed projects should occur within 100 miles of the U.S. Gulf coastline.

Proposals should bridge knowledge to action to produce inclusive, innovative, and transformative solutions to the key challenges facing the Gulf region.

Next steps

Interested applicants should visit the Challenge website for more information and take the Organizational Readiness Tool assessment to determine eligibility. Applicants must register to apply by August 20, 2024, at 4 p.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time. Once registered, applicants must submit an online application by September 20, 2024, at 4 p.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time.


Determine whether your idea is ready to submit.


Learn more about our scoring rubric and process.


Learn more about our Evaluation Panel.


Questions about the Gulf Futures Challenge can be directed to [email protected].

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