The 2022 Environmental Futures Forum held October 14th centered climate change as one of the most urgent challenges facing society and spoke about the ways in which the University of Virginia is responding.
Provost Ian Baucom opened the event, by asking the audience to look ahead to a better future, and not to despair about the challenges of climate change.
He also made a request to attending faculty, students, alumni, and partners, asking everyone to pursue the mission of environmental resilience and sustainability as urgently as possible, working together across department and school lines.
Following the Provost’s remarks flash talks were made by over a dozen faculty members from many schools across the University. You can read more about some of their research on the ERI web site projects page.
Grand Challenges Launch
The mission of the institute is to link interdisciplinary research with action on policy and practice to find solutions for climate and sustainability challenges.
ERI’s Director Karen McGlathery remarked, “This is a great moment for UVA as new investments will bring faculty and practitioners together to find solutions to climate challenges that will lead to a better future.” In early 2023 ERI will be moving into a new office on the downtown mall. This will be a compelling and open environment that is a shared space for researchers, staff, faculty, and community partners to collaboratively learn together, advancing research towards action.
Through the Grand Challenges investment, there will be a host of new resources available to support collaborative research and translation, and 15 new faculty hires across five schools. Below is a short summary of some of these opportunities:
Climate Collaboratives ($10 million) – for place-based, solutions-focused projects that are interdisciplinary on climate adaptation and/or mitigation. Funding is available for 4-6 projects, ranging from $1-2 million over 3-4 years. A meeting will be held on December 1st, where we will describe the program components and invite feedback on what research questions are most critical and where UVA has opportunities to make an impact around the world.
Practitioner Fellows ($1.5 million) – We are opening this up to the community to propose who would enhance research related to climate and sustainability, and better link the results of our research to the world of practice. This will be an open solicitation, and we will have a brainstorming session in November, to leverage other existing practitioner programs currently at the university. Applications will start in the Spring of 2023.
Diversity Postdoc Fellowships ($1.5 million) – These fellowships are for researchers in any discipline focused on climate-related research. Projects can be designed either by faculty members or by the postdoctoral researchers themselves. The first round of applications will be due in January 2023.