ERI was recently awarded a grant from The Jefferson Trust to develop a comprehensive training program that enhances the capacity for actionable and interdisciplinary environmental research at UVA to find solutions for the challenges of climate change.

Participants of the program receive training on three topics: 1) ability to structure interactions to identify and envision actionable research, and 2) ability to work collaboratively with researchers from other fields of study, and 3) ability to identify and engage appropriately with community partners. Training will be provided through online training modules and peer-networking events for three research themes: coastal resilience, climate restoration, and mitigating health impacts from climate change.

ERI is partnering with the university’s Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs to administer the training program through PhD Plus. PhD Plus is a university-wide initiative enabling versatile academics who are deeply engaged with society’s needs to become influential professionals in every sector and field. Training materials will be created by faculty and graduate students with expertise in interdisciplinary actionable research topics from across Grounds. Through this and other efforts, ERI is advancing interdisciplinary readiness among faculty and students, even those working outside of environmental issues, so their scholarship can positively engage and impact communities.

The Jefferson Trust was founded by the University of Virginia Alumni Association in 2005 to provide grant funding to initiatives that enhance the University of Virginia and the student experience. Since inception, this donor-led organization has invested over $8.7 million in student, faculty, and staff ideas, supporting the people and projects that strengthen the University of Virginia. In 2020, the Jefferson Trust will award $1 million for the first time in the organization’s history through multiple funding opportunities. For more information on the Jefferson Trust, visit