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Linking research to action

The ERI advances socio-environmental research through close collaborations between disciplines and public/private partners to connect research discoveries to action. The Institute creates a shared vision and a culture of cooperation and trust that leverages UVA’s collective strengths and forms sustained partnerships.

ERI programs support multi-disciplinary collaborative projects focused on targeted solicitations. Teams bring together multiple perspectives, from the sciences, engineering, design and the humanities, to policy, law, markets, and public health. Projects leverage the science revolution underway in new technologies, big data, and computer modeling. UVA’s strength in Environmental Humanities sheds important light on human connections to the environment that shape perceptions and behaviors.

ERI connects world-class scholars with change agents – citizens, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and industries. By bringing diverse teams together to co-develop research projects, we develop integrated strategies based on novel frameworks, methods, and technologies that will lead to a better future. Our work is based on three pillars:


Understanding and Anticipating Change

There is a critical need to move from being reactive to proactive. Strategies must be developed that anticipate change, reduce risk, and create opportunities that enhance our physical and economic well-being. Working proactively means considering alternative futures and identifying leverage points where targeted actions can reduce vulnerability and create desirable change.


Accelerating Discovery, Promoting Innovation

Finding solutions to the challenges of climate change, population growth, and urbanization requires research on integrated systems that link people, technology, and the environment. The synergy among these will open innovative pathways to produce new knowledge, novel technologies, and predictive capabilities to guide decisions that could not emerge from research within single disciplines. 


Outcomes That Make a Difference

ERI focuses on research that has actionable outcomes. Our programs connect research to evidence-based decision-making and governance by developing predictive data-driven technologies, models and decision-support tools, studying human perceptions and the behavioral psychology of decisions, and engaging community members, non-profits, governmental officials, and business leaders.