Climate Collaborative

Rotuna and Lawn

The $10 million Climate Collaborative, led by the UVA Environmental Institute, will support large, interdisciplinary research teams in specific localities dealing with climate-related challenges.  University teams will work with external partners, including policymakers, business leaders, local citizens, community groups and officials, to co-create climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that are based on cutting edge research and are actionable.   

In August 2023, EI Announced the First Two Climate Collaboratives

Flooding in Bihar India

UVA’s Environmental Institute announced new collaborative research teams to address renewable energy in Appalachia and water insecurity in India.

The UVA Climate Collaborative will support four to six research teams working in Virginia and in other places in the nation and the world.  Teams will focus on issues associated with climate change that intersect in a given locality, connect research across disciplines, and involve multi-sector partners in devising and testing novel climate solutions that will inform policy and practice.  Projects may address climate challenges confronted in a political unit (city, town, or county), or encompass a larger region, such as migration areas or a rural-urban continuum.  Team leaders are expected to have some previous experience and trusted relationships already established in the locality.  While the exact questions each project asks will depend on the community they are working with and the talents and interests of the research team, all of the projects should help answer the following broad questions:

  • What are the major climate change challenges the locality faces, as perceived by the community and based on climate risk?
  • What are the social and environmental assets in the locality that can promote equitable community mitigation and/or adaptation to climate challenges?
  • What are the location-specific barriers to developing and implementing mitigation and/or adaption solutions?
  • What are the potential strategies and pathways for the community to build equitable resilience to climate change, including co-benefits and trade-offs?

Leaders of the funded projects will share and develop best practices for collaborative place-based climate research in ways that simultaneously benefit partner communities and advance academic knowledge.  Cross-site activities will include regular meetings of project leadership teams, an annual research forum, and public-facing events.

Proposals will be funded in the range of $1.5 million over 3 years, and will include support for personnel (faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, community liaison), engagement (travel, community meetings, communications), and research expenses.

The Climate Collaborative is part of a multi-year Grand Challenge Research Initiative in Environmental Resilience and Sustainability, with a focus on climate solutions.  The University will invest $60 million in two areas: research on clean energy pathways, and research and translation to help local communities develop best practices for responding to climate change. In addition to substantial research support, the University will hire over 15 faculty across six schools. 

Contact:  Karen McGlathery, Director, UVA's Environmental Institute,