About the contest

Calling all science Wordsmiths!

Explaining complicated scientific concepts is hard. Explaining those concepts to your 80-year-old grandma? Way harder than joining her and all her friends in a game of bridge.

We are looking for students who can explain carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to a grandparent in 300 words or less. Four winners will receive a $1000 travel grant and waived registration to the 2018 International Conference for Negative CO2 Emissions! Why carbon dioxide removal, you ask? It is a critical climate solution, but key messages get lost in academic jargon. A winning explanation should pass the “grandparent” test by being simple and clear enough to understand without skimping on the essence of CDR and its role in climate change mitigation.

Intrigued? Great! Welcome to the travel award application process for the International Conference for Negative CO2 Emissions, co-sponsored by the Center for Carbon Removal (CCR). The conference will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 22-24, 2018.

A limited number of travel awards are available for students and will cover conference registration and travel expenses up to $1000, including housing, airfare and ground transportation.

The CCR Travel Award Application DEADLINE is Friday, March 16th at 11:59pm (PST). The four winners will be announced on March 31st.


CCR Travel Award applicants must be:

(A)  Students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program who participate in research or education projects related to carbon dioxide removal, negative emissions, carbon capture, utilization, sequestration, geologic storage, and other natural carbon sequestration strategies.

(B)  Brilliant at explaining CDR to a grandparent.


Don't have a passport? Never booked an international flight? You should still apply! We'll work with you and do what we can to make your trip happen.

the application

Your statement will be evaluated by a panel of CDR experts and actual grandparents — so use language that speaks to them! Your <300 word submission describing CDR should answer the following:

  1. What is carbon dioxide removal? (Please include descriptions of leading solutions.)
  2. Why is it important?
  3. Why should your grandparent care?

*** We may contact the faculty mentors of award finalists to verify student status.

Our organization values plurality and diversity. We are committed to working towards empowering individuals that are historically underrepresented in environmental science and climate change. Because of this, proposals that creatively advance the principles of inclusion and plurality in substantive ways will be favorably evaluated.

Please email all questions regarding this scholarship to Jane Zelikova at jane.zelikova@centerforcarbonremoval.org