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Network Now Accepting Applications for Legal and Policy Assistance to Address Climate Change

Deadline: April 30, 2020

The Network for Public Health Law is pleased to announce this call for applications from those seeking legal and policy support for efforts to mitigate or adapt to public health impacts of climate change.

The Network for Public Health Law promotes health and health equity through law and policy. We do this by providing legal technical assistance and training, creating legal resources, and facilitating connections and the exchange of ideas. Climate change is one urgent public health threat where the Network seeks to amplify the power of public health leaders, communities, community-based and nonprofit organizations, professional associations, policymakers, researchers and educators, health care providers, and advocates to make an impact. The Network can help you to understand laws, access regulations, identify and overcome barriers, develop and share innovative policy solutions, and make sound, evidence-based decisions in order to make our communities healthier and more equitable as we strive to prevent or mitigate and respond to the public health impacts of climate change.

Application Materials

Select the “Read Full Application Criteria” tab to learn more about the types of legal and policy assistance available, the application criteria, and applicant responsibilities. Or, if you’re ready to submit an application, select the “Submit an Application Online” tab.

Types of Legal and Policy Assistance Available

A selected application might seek legal and policy support from the Network on one of the following:

  • Identify legal components of a barrier to progress on climate change, and brainstorm strategies to overcome the barrier
  • Analyze the authority of a government to implement a proposed policy to mitigate public health impacts of climate change,
  • Identify and briefly assess innovative laws to address a health threat or opportunity related to climate change in other communities or states
  • Develop a fact sheet, issue brief, toolkit, or other legal resource that sets forth a range of policy options for mitigating a specific public health harm or threat resulting from or increased by climate change as well as criteria to help decision-makers choose among options
  • Identify differences and similarities in how different jurisdictions (whether local, state, or tribal) have implemented a climate and health law or policy strategy
  • Provide public health law training to increase knowledge and skills and build capacity to prevent or address the human health effects of climate change
  • Draft an ordinance or model law to mitigate a specific public health harm or threat resulting from or increased by climate change.

Please note that the Network does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship as a result of providing legal and policy support for these projects. The Network provides legal research, analysis and technical assistance, but it does not provide legal advice. Successful applicants are encouraged to share the products of their collaboration with the Network with their legal counsel for review.


We are seeking projects that meet most of the following criteria:

  • Led by a local, state, or tribal health department; community-based or nonprofit organization; professional association; grassroots group or coalition; health care providers; or other entity
  • with high relevance to preparing for or avoiding public health impacts from a changing climate;
  • that are grounded in principles of health equity and the priorities of frontline communities (including low-income communities, communities of color, tribal communities, coastal communities; rural communities; urban communities; children, senior citizens);
  • which could be implemented in other communities;
  • whose legal scope is well-defined  or which would benefit from planning assistance to define their legal scope (estimating scope may be hard; that said, we are seeking projects estimated to require between 10 and 40 hours of attorney time to complete); and
  • that provide one or more public health benefits.

Applicant Responsibilities

The Network commits to working with selected applicants to provide the assistance described in the application, barring an unforeseen change of circumstances. In order to ensure a successful collaboration, applicants will be asked to commit to:

  • Provide documents in order to provide necessary background and legal information related to the project
  • Identify one project point person who will participate in check-in calls and e-mails as needed;
  • Work with the Network to evaluate the legal and policy assistance program and make recommendations for improvement.

Successful applicants may also be invited to (1) participate in the 2020 Public Health Law Conference (September 15-18) in Baltimore, MD, (2) inform the Network’s efforts related to climate and health including by serving on a steering committee to plan a Climate and Health Summit in fall, 2021, and (3) participate in a community of practice related to public health, climate change, health equity, and the law.

We will accept applications through April 30, 2020, and will be announcing those selected by July 2020.  Depending on the complexity of the legal issues, projects may take between one month and one year to complete. We anticipate working on selected projects for up to one year, and thus completing all selected projects by July 2021.  If you have any questions about this application or our process for selecting projects, please contact Jill Krueger or Betsy Lawton at

The Network’s efforts on these projects will be supported with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Submit an Application Online

Because this online form cannot be saved, we suggest that you answer the questions in a separate document first, then paste them into the application. Please keep responses to 250 words per question.

The Network may follow up with an applicant by email or phone to seek clarification on an application prior to the announcement of decisions in July.