Green-Wood Research Award in Human/Nature Interactions


The Green-Wood Research Award in Human/Nature Interactions provides support for emerging investigators and designers to conduct original research or design work that utilizes the location, landscape and/or collections of Green-Wood Cemetery and Historic Fund to advance the study of the relationship between humans and nature.

Green-Wood is a world-renowned arboretum featuring a dynamic living collection comprised of about 8,000 specimens representing 695 taxa, 61 taxonomic families, and 159 different genera. Some of Green-Wood’s oldest specimens predate the Cemetery’s founding in 1838, and the collection continues to grow—each new planting is selected for its climate adaptiveness, wildlife value, enhancement of the beauty of the landscape, and resilience. Every year Green-Wood’s living collection is responsible for sequestering 264,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide, removing 12,000 lbs. of pollution from the air we breathe, and mitigating 2,620,000 gallons of stormwater from overwhelming Brooklyn’s sewage system.

Green-Wood is also one of the largest green spaces in New York City and is surrounded by vibrant urban neighborhoods of various cultural, religious, and socio-economic compositions. In additional to its role as an active cemetery, Green-Wood houses expansive historical and cultural archives and collections and hosts a range of related public programs and workforce development initiatives.

Awards are granted to support research expenses and/or travel expenses associated with the proposed research. Project proposals will be reviewed and considered for funding up to a maximum of $4,000, but applicants are encouraged to leverage and combine funds with other sources of financial support to foster more ambitious projects. Multi-year projects may be eligible for continued funding, but a renewal proposal and progress report will be required for each year of Green-Wood support, and the entire cohort of proposals will be reviewed collectively each year, so there is no guarantee of continued funding for multi-year projects.

In addition to the monetary award, researchers will have access to landscape assets; data associated with plant records and wildlife; map layers; Esri GIS software and mobile app tools; support staff who can operate digging machines and electricians to assist with monitoring and other devices; storage space for equipment; freezers and refrigerators to store samples temporarily; and office space with desktops.

Proposals are due on or before January 15, 2023.

The project term is February 15, 2023, to January 31, 2024. Award recipients will be expected to participate in a program hosted by Green-Wood in the latter half of the award term to educate the public on the research study. A final report including project outcomes and impacts will be due by March 1, 2024. Final reports will be made available to interested stakeholders via the Internet and/or in printed form, and should include figures, tables, photographs, and other appropriate documentation for each project, written in a style and form accessible to non-scientists.

Application Information

Awards are granted through a competitive review process including Green-Wood staff and other qualified experts. Selection of recipient(s) will be based on the expertise of the applicant and their readiness to conduct the proposed study; the quality of the proposed study; and the relevance of the proposed study to Green-Wood’s collections and the goals of the award. Applicants may propose any project that spans the natural, social, and health sciences, and design fields, among others, and that focuses on the relationship between humans and nature. Sample topics might include, but are not limited to, the relationship between humans and nature through:

  • Bereavement
  • Physical and behavioral health
  • Gentrification
  • Environmental justice, colonial legacy
  • Urban climate resilience
  • Green burial and religious ritual
  • Ecological landscape design

To be considered for an award, applications should include the following:

  • Proposal Narrative (maximum of three pages, 1” margins, 12-point font in Times New Roman or Arial)
    • Project Title: Brief, clear, specific description of the proposed work.
    • Principal Investigator(s) and Cooperators: Names, titles, contact addresses and email addresses for those who will lead and collaborate in the proposed work and their primary roles.
    • Background: Describe the importance of the proposed study to the stated goals and priorities of the award program. Include reasons for doing the work, important problems or opportunities your proposal will address, needs your project will fulfill, and its intended beneficiaries.
    • Specific Objectives: Provide clear, complete, logically arranged statements of the specific objectives and, if appropriate, testable hypotheses for your project, and its measurable outcomes relating to human/nature interaction.
    • Approach/Methods: Briefly describe the overall strategy and methods proposed to achieve your objectives at Green-Wood/via Green-Wood’s collections, and innovative features of your approach relative to previous efforts and demonstrable needs.
    • Intended Outcomes and Impacts: Describe expected outcomes and ways in which your project could enhance knowledge of human/nature interaction.
    • Project timeline. Applicants should submit a timeline of the project and anticipated dates for on-site research.
  • Budget: Applicants should submit a simple, one-page budget that itemizes the research and travel costs associated with the proposed project. Awards are not intended to serve as a salary stipend. Total funding requests are limited to a maximum of $4,000 per year (as noted above).
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages).
  • Letter of recommendation for applicants who are not faculty. As part of the application, a referee must submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf directly to with “Human Nature Interactions Award” and the applicant’s name as the subject line by January 15, 2023.

Completed proposals must be received on or before December 31st to be eligible for funding (submissions in PDF format are preferable). Please upload proposals via the link below. Project leaders of all successful proposals will be notified in late January 2023. For questions about the award, Green-Wood resources, the research proposal, or submission process, contact

Additional Information and Special Considerations

The Green-Wood Research Award in Human/Nature Interactions is available to a range of emerging investigators including, but not limited to, graduate students, early-career faculty, NGO-affiliated staff and others trained in the natural, social, and health sciences, and design fields, among others. Special consideration may be given to advanced undergraduate students. Applicants should be well positioned to conduct original, independent research or design work and to publish their findings in peer-reviewed publications or in other credible formats. We encourage applications from groups under-represented in their fields of practice. Applicants are expected to be fluent in English. The award is not limited to universities in the United States or to United States citizens.

Submit Application

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