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Seed Grants

Seed Grant opportunity (en Español)
Deadline: March 12, 2024

We are pleased to announce a call for seed grant applications to support research and/or public discussions on consent for temporary storage of nuclear waste.

This program is supported by the Common Ground consortium, a community network of universities and a national tribal organization plus public and private sector partners. Common Ground focuses on mutual learning to provide feedback to the U.S. Department of Energy on ways to improve consent-based processes.

The seed grant program seeks to advance understanding of how communities define and arrive at consent, and apply it in decision-making and engagement. Consent is recognized as critical for legitimacy and procedural fairness within siting processes for spent nuclear fuel and other critical infrastructure. In addition, the program aims to expand understanding of better practices on community engagement and decision-making.

Note: This seed grant program and the Common Ground consortium that oversees the program will not identify communities for potential siting of a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, but rather are focused on developing recommendations for the U.S. Department of Energy on a process, based on learning from forums such as public discussions or research. For the purposes of this seed grant program, ‘a community’ can mean a specific place or a group of people with shared interests. 

Funding: Seed grants aim to fund local or topical studies, or public forums (such as structured conversations, focus groups) that shed light on how consent is agreed upon and shaped by community engagement processes. A total of approximately $125,000 is available in this first round. We anticipate funding projects for $30,000 to 40,000 each. Projects should be carried out between April 2024 and March 2025 (once contract details are settled).    

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, Tribes and/or Tribal organizations, schools, libraries, civic associations, service clubs, student groups, cooperatives, and similar organizations based in the western US are eligible. (Other national consortia are focusing on other regions.) We encourage projects that are led or facilitated by under-represented or under-served groups. If you have questions about eligibility, email or call the contact below. 

Proposals are encouraged to examine consent-based decision-making in the above context and in terms of fairness, trust, equity, and/or inclusion. 

Review criteria will include:
(1) the feasibility of completing the project within the proposed study period;
(2) diversity of partners, participants, as well as new perspectives incorporated;
(3) potential for impact in terms of meaningful engagement, mutual learning, diverse perspectives; and
(4) innovative, significant or expanded use of existing methods and practices. 

How to obtain and submit an application packageThis includes forms in English or Spanish, as hard copies or digital files.

How to obtain (multiple ways):

  1. Call 208-426-6542 or email Cassie Koerner at Forms will be emailed or sent to you in hard copy by postal mail; or
  2. Download here: Seed Grant Application (Microsoft Word), and Seed Grant Budget (Microsoft Excel). [Documentos en Español Componentes necesarios para la solicitud, y Presupuesto]; or
  3. Use this webform  where you input or copy/paste your answers and upload your completed budget file as a pdf.

How to submit (multiple ways):

  1. Email the full application (Main form in Word.doc plus Budget file in Excel) to; or
  2. Mail hard copies to Seed Grant Program, 1149 E. Victory Rd. Boise, ID 83706; or
  3. Submit via webform.

Additional details

At the conclusion of the grant period, grant awardees will be required to submit a report of findings and present to the Common Ground consortium.

To learn more about the Common Ground consortium on consent-based siting, led by the CAES Energy Policy Institute, based at Boise State, visit our website:

In addition, to learn more about the U.S. DOE consent-based siting process and activities, visit: