Global Health

April 13, 2023

Apply now! Radiology launches VUMC-wide climate pilot grant initiative

Green thinkers and dreamers from anywhere within Vanderbilt University Medical Center are encouraged to apply for a Climate Action and Sustainability Pilot Grant from the Department of Radiology.

The goal is to support projects and early-stage ideas from any division or department to make the VUMC community greener and more sustainable. Radiology will provide 7 pilot grants of up to $2,000 in direct costs for 4 months. There are no limitations, if it focuses on how to make VUMC more climate focused, or ways that demonstrate the potential to reduce the Medical Center’s carbon footprint.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the VUMC community to think creatively and critically about how we can be more sustainable. To make a positive difference for our patients and our planet we need ideas – lots of ideas! The pilot grants are designed to encourage people to get involved or try something out that has been on their minds,” said John Scheel, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor and vice chair of Global and Planetary Health for Radiology.

All VUMC staff, trainees, and faculty are eligible for the pilot grants, which are funded by WM Inc., a national waste management company based in Houston.

The proposals should address a new project or idea. Applications should not be an extension of ongoing well-established or recently funded studies. There is particular interest in projects that forge new collaborations between the VUMC community in different disciplines, roles, and campuses.

“I’m confident that these pilot grants will embolden our community to make a difference for the Medical Center. As the magnitude of climate change differs from all other environmental concerns, we are inspired to begin an important journey for the Department of Radiology and VUMC. I am proud of the energy around our community and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together. After all, climate care is health care,” said Reed Omary, MD, MS, Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Professor and chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.

Potential applicants are encouraged to work with a mentor, colleague, or team leader to develop a competitive application. Any proposal should include permission to be implemented on a limited basis if the application is selected. In the proposal, please explain why this pilot project is important and how it would work.

The application should describe how this idea addresses a gap in climate change in health research; sheds light on an area where emissions could be reduced; increases literacy around climate and health; or can green our operations.

Key Dates

  • Applications open through May 18, 2023: Applications due by 5:00 p.m. CT. Applications received after this deadline will not be accepted for evaluation by the Review Committee
  • May 26, 2023: Semi-finalists notified
  • June 26, 2023: ‘Shark Tank’-style pitch for semi-finalists (7-minutes/group + 3 minutes questions)
  • June 27, 2023: Awardees notified
  • July 1, 2023 – Oct. 31, 2023: Funding period
  • November 14, 2023: Planetary Health and Sustainability Summit at VUMC

To learn more, reach out to Dr. John Scheel and Denise Pullella ( or