DOE Proposal Development for Justice40
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposals now include requirements that projects document their approach to community benefits & engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA), workforce development, and environmental justice. Each funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is unique. Some require separate documents, while others bundle these themes into one umbrella document (such as a Community Benefits Plan). In order to keep the Mines research community current and provide adequate support, Dr. Jessica Smith has designed this toolkit and provided a workshop on May 15, 2023 entitled DOE Community Benefits & J40 Workshop w/ Jessica Smith & RTT, to help Mines researchers better understand these requirements and how to incorporate this plan into their project effectively. Please access the toolkit and view the recorded workshop using your Mines credentials.
This toolkit is in no way a replacement for the value and competitiveness you bring to your proposal by adding a social scientist to your project team. Still, this toolkit is designed to help get you started and to understand the complexities of these DOE requirements for your proposal submission.
As the DOE itself spells out, these documents must go beyond restating organizational policies and must be uniquely written for each proposal, as they depend on project specificities. For example, there is not one template Justice40 (J40) assessment for carbon capture in Colorado because each project will make different decisions about the technologies being used, where the projects are sited, how stakeholders have been integrated into project planning, etc.
Most of these documents are aimed at helping program officers assure that their portfolio meets federal Justice40 requirements, which you can read more about in the 101 Justice40 document. Keep in mind that the goal of J40 is to ensure that 40% of the benefits (not 40% of the budgets) of federal programs benefit underserved populations. Your proposal will have a better chance of being funded if you can help your program meet that goal.
The following shared files will bring you to the full toolkit and Workshop recording from May 15, 2023, created by Dr. Jessica Smith. You will need to click the link below and use your Mines login credentials to access the files.
Environmental and Energy Justice Resources
DOE is committed to ensuring that the principles of environmental justice (EJ) are applied to all the DOE’s programs, policies, and activities. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no population bears a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or from the execution of federal, state, and local laws; regulations; and policies. Meaningful involvement requires effective access to decision-makers for all, and the ability in all communities to make informed decisions and take positive actions to produce environmental justice for themselves. The file link below provides some guidance on these types of plans. Please use your Mines credentials to access these files.
Community Benefits & Engagement Resources
DOE is dedicated to communicating accurate and timely information to communities to protect human health and the environment. DOE is also committed to transparency, integrity, and empathy in all its work. For these reasons, a competitive proposal should include a Community Benefits Plan (CBP), either to fulfill the FOA requirements outlined or as part of your integrated community engagement plan.
The DOE has released a CBP Template and two informational videos specifically on Community Benefits Plan 101 and R&D Community Benefit Plans. The file link below also provides some guidance on these types of plans. Please use your Mines credentials to access these files.
DEIA/DI&A Resources and Support
The DI&A Office and the Office of Research and Technology Transfer collaborate on supporting the development and inclusion of DI&A efforts in grant proposals. For more information or support, please click the link below and let us know what you need help with. The appropriate office will get in touch with you.
DI&A has developed a menu of evidence-based programs that are campus-wide efforts. These can be included in proposals, complete with background information, and references. The idea behind proposal collaboration between the DI&A office and PIs is to leverage the programs and resources that are already in place or to create new opportunities campus-wide.
For needs that are outside the scope of campus-wide DI&A efforts, the Research Development team will route you to an on-campus or off-campus consultant for custom workshops, experts as Co-PIs or Senior Personnel, customized plans, evaluation, and other needs.
Dr. Jessica M. Smith is an anthropologist and Science and Technology in Society (STS) scholar whose research interests center on energy, engineering, and public accountability. She is a Professor in the Engineering, Design & Society Department at the Colorado School of Mines, where she also was the inaugural director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Science graduate program. Her book, Extracting Accountability: Engineers and Corporate Social Responsibility, was published open access by The MIT Press in September 2021 and was funded by a Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM grant from the National Science Foundation. Professor Smith holds a PhD in anthropology and graduate certificate in women’s studies from the University of Michigan and a BA from Macalester College, where she majored in anthropology, international studies, and Latin American studies.