Climate Collaboratives

Call for Submissions

Rotuna and Lawn

Program Summary

[download pdf version of this solicitation document]

The UVA Climate Collaborative supports large, interdisciplinary research teams in specific localities in Virginia, the nation, and the world dealing with climate-related challenges. These awards are intended to support partnership development, collaboration, and initial research that will make teams competitive for center-scale, externally funded research programs of distinction that will sustain the research and community partnerships beyond the funding period. Projects address place-based climate challenges confronted at local to regional scales. Interdisciplinary university teams will work with external partners, such as policymakers, business leaders, local citizens, community groups, and officials, to co-produce climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that are based on cutting-edge research and are actionable. Projects will span the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools. 

Anticipated Funding Amount

The UVA Climate Collaborative will support four to six project teams working simultaneously. Funding levels are $1.5 million over three years. 


All UVA faculty are eligible to submit proposals. An individual may be listed as a PI or co-PI on no more than one Climate Collaborative proposal but could be included on more than one research team.

Proposal Submission Deadline

June 15th, 2023, 2024 and possibly 2025

Interested applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent, due March 15 of one to two pages, outlining the theme and rationale, including current work the Climate Collaborative will leverage; PI and co-PI names and affiliations; and anticipated budget expenses.

Program Objectives

All projects will connect local knowledge with academic research. While the individual questions addressed by each project will be specific to a locality, all projects should address the following broad questions: 

  • What are the major climate change challenges the locality faces, based on climate research and as perceived by the community? 
  • What are the social and environmental assets and barriers in the locality that influence community mitigation and/or adaptation to climate challenges? 
  • What are the potential strategies and pathways for the community to build resilience to climate change, including co-benefits and trade-offs? 
  • What lessons from the project might be applicable to other places around the world?

Faculty, staff, and students working on each funded project will be expected to meet regularly with those involved in the other parallel projects funded by the Climate Collaborative to share knowledge and contribute to fundamental and translational methods for climate solutions. Projects will be supported by UVA's Environmental Institute staff for communications, finances, and program integration. The Institute intends to hire a program coordinator to facilitate collaboration among the funded projects.

Proposal Requirements

(15 pages maximum for 1-5)

  1. Vision, Justification and Impact
  • Identify a theme and specific research questions that both advance fundamental knowledge about climate adaptation and/or mitigation and addresses ways that this knowledge can be put to action. 
  • Define and justify the geographical boundaries of the locality that is the focus of the research.
  • Develop an integrative framework, and present clear goals, objectives, research questions, and outcomes. Objectives should emphasize interdisciplinary research and involve multi-sector partners in ways that will inform policy and practice and minimize social inequality and insecurity. 
  • Explain the ways in which specific research questions for the chosen locality advance climate adaptation/mitigation solutions. Projects may build on work currently underway, filling gaps in knowledge generation or translation, or may be new collaborations. The Institute’s SPARK grants are one mechanism to jump-start these collaborations.
  • Describe a plan for research translation and public engagement.
  1. Integration and Partnerships
  • Describe the UVA faculty partners who will participate in the project. Teams should be composed of researchers from multiple disciplines who together effectively address interactions between natural, human-built, and social systems. This program is focused on building collaborations across UVA, however, collaborators from other institutions can be proposed to fill gaps with appropriate justification.
  • Describe the non-academic partners (e.g., government officials, NGO leaders, community leaders, educators) who will participate in the project, including a history of prior research and experience building relationships of trust. Teams should identify a practitioner leader from the community who will be part of the project leadership team.
  • Provide a plan for how the project will be co-produced with locality partners and how community stakeholders will be involved equitably in the research and translation.
  1. Timeline
  • Provide a timeline for the proposed project duration indicating when specific activities will take place and outcomes achieved.
  1. Metrics of Success and Evaluation
  • Describe how progress will be measured and outline a process to develop effective ways to collect and analyze metrics that document progress towards goals, objectives, and outcomes.
  • Indicate how the project leadership anticipates contributing to and learning from the Climate Collaborative Program to develop best practices supporting collaborative community-based climate research.
  1. Sustainability
  • Outline plans to sustain and build on the research project and local engagement beyond the initial funding period. Describe how the project activities will build long-lasting relationships that will continue to have impact. 
  • Describe potential and specific targets (e.g., state or federal agency, industry, foundation) for follow-on funding after the initial funding period.

Budget and Budget Justification

Allowable expenses are as follows:

  • Personnel:  Lead PI – up to 2 months summer salary; Co-PIs – up to 1 month summer salary; Community Leader – part-time compensation; Trainees – Post-doctoral Fellows, Graduate Students (academic year RA and/or summer wages), Undergraduate Student summer wages
  • Non-Personnel:  Travel Expenses; Fieldwork Expenses; Community Engagement Expenses; Data Curation and Computing Time; Events

Provide full budget details in table format of requested expenses and a separate document with justification.

Include 2-page CVs for project PIs and co-PIs

Selection Criteria  

Projects will be selected based on the integration of social and environmental research, potential for authentic community collaboration and co-production, impact including translation to policy and practice, and sustainability plans. Projects will also be evaluated for the potential to contribute to the Climate Collaborative Program, including achieving geographic diversity of sites. 

Specific review criteria area as follows:

  1. Prominence of research; clear research questions related to climate adaptation and/or mitigation
  2. Large, interdisciplinary team addressing environmental (natural, built) and social systems
  3. Place-based
  4. Community engaged (reciprocal, community partners and community leader co-produce research)
  5. Linked research and policy / practice; potential for impact
  6. Prospect for sustained funding

Submit your Letter of Interest

Principal Investigator
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