2021 Grants

Congratulations to awarded research teams!

Grants for Concept Papers on Resilience Research for Development Challenges

Family ties: Understanding household labor allocation for mitigating impacts of disasters, conflict, and COVID-19

Project lead: Ms. Ann Furbush, an M.S. student in the Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Other team members include Drs. Anna Josephson and Jeffrey Michler are Assistant Professors in the Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Ecosystem Services: An Analysis of Natures Framework to Scale Food Systems Resilience

Project team represented by lead Dr. Yevheniia Varyvoda, a Research Specialist I, and Dr. Douglas Taren, Professor of Public Health from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Measuring Individual-Level Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth in International Development: The Case of an Arts-Based Intervention among Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Project lead: William Paul Simmons; others: McKenna Braaton, Abigail Nelson, and Candice Montaño Human Rights Practice Program, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Agroforestry for climate resilience and sustainable rural livelihood

Project lead: Dr. Katherine Snyder, Director, Master’s Program in Development Practice, School of Geography and Development; Project Member: Marie-Blanche Roudaut, Ph.D. Candidate, Arid Lands Resource Sciences, GIDP


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.