Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.18
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Columbia University
ER-18: Sustainability Research Incentives

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 Alison Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Earth Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

The Earth Institute offers a wide array of support for research opportunities to students in order to achieve a sustainable research and knowledge base. Undergraduate and graduate students are given many options for study and research programs, including undergraduate research assistantships, travel grants and the Millennium Villages Internship program.
We encourage students to share their work with their peers and present it in a number of different conferences throughout the year. On this page you will find links to past student research conferences at Columbia University, showcasing the research work of students in education programs supported by the Earth Institute.

In addition to directly supporting research and holding the conferences, the Office of Academic and Research Programs offers a variety of student resources, including listings of funding opportunities, student groups and organizations, related coursework and recent news.

Research Assistant Program:
During Fall and Spring semesters, the Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs sponsors a number of undergraduate research assistantships, giving Columbia and Barnard students a valuable chance to participate in projects involving sustainability, development economics, Earth sciences, ecology, atmospheric research, and environmental policy. Students will work directly with faculty on current research projects, on a part-time basis. The program aims to give students a valuable chance to collaborate on substantive matters of inquiry.

Internship Program:
The Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs sponsor internships in EI departments and centers for both undergraduate and graduate students from Columbia University and Barnard College year-round. Part-time internships are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters, while full-time positions are offered through the summer. Internships are a wonderful opportunity for both students and their host departments, offering students invaluable exposure to EI research and operations and offering EI departments the contributions of bright and dynamic CU students.

Travel Grant Program:
Each year, the Earth Institute allocates funding to support travel by students matriculated in Columbia University degree programs engaged in research projects dealing with issues of sustainable development and/or environmental protection. This travel is for projects directly related to degree studies at Columbia University. The maximum travel grant award is $750 per person, and students must use this to cover the cost of their travel for research they are conducting to meet specific degree requirements. The travel grant program funds individuals rather than projects. In so doing, each member of a research team may apply individually for funding and there is no limit on the number of people who may apply from any one project group. The travel grant program is offered once per year at the beginning of each Fall semester.

Earth Institute Student Research Showcase
Each year, the Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs bring together student interns, research assistants and travel grant recipients at the Earth Institute Student Research Conference. All of the research projects involved students who are currently studying under an academic program affiliated with the Earth Institute or have received funding through a travel grant, internship, or research assistantship from the Earth Institute.

The Earth Institute Climate Change Adaptation Initiative provides opportunities for students to work on climate change adaptation issues affecting the New York Metropolitan Area. Internships are supported in centers and institutes across Columbia University and in government agencies, community groups and environmental organizations throughout New York City. Course research and workshop field trips are also funded through this initiative. The Climate Change Adaptation Initiative is made possible by a grant from HSBC in the Community (USA) Inc.

Millennium Villages Student Internships
The Millennium Villages project, the groundbreaking collaboration between the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme, allows a small number of students each year to assist project personnel with various interventions designed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa. Students can submit applications to assist with projects identified by Earth Institute personnel on site and in New York. The Millennium Villages Internships provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn about implementing public health, business development, agriculture, infrastructure, and other development interventions though firsthand participation. Students will be placed in one of the fourteen (14) sites in ten (10) countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Interns provide assistance to the MVP teams overseeing the interventions. In addition, students will gain knowledge, tools, skills, and experiences that they can apply to their coursework/thesis project as well as to their future professional pursuits. Students have a rewarding and challenging experience and make a genuine contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa.

Learning through Ecology and Environmental Field Studies (LEEFS) is a program of Columbia’s Earth Institute that creates partnerships between Columbia graduate students and science teachers in New York City public schools. Columbia graduate students receive National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellowships that include a stipend and tuition assistance. In return, they work in one of our partnering schools, enhancing science education for grades 6-12. Teachers in the program receive a stipend and professional development through the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), or the Columbia Summer Research Program (CSRP). The LEEFS program is funded by a $3.1 million, 5-year grant from NSF’s Division of Education and Human Resources

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

: Columbia has several sustainable/environmentally focused research centers in which Faculty are encouraged to conduct collaborative, cross-disciplinary sustainability research. As a research University, it is expected of all full-time faculty members to engage in research. Further, EI provides fellowships for faculty and seeking grant opportunities is encouraged.

The Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) aims to facilitate studies of complex problems in the field of sustainable development that require bridging disciplines. The CCI strives to achieve new insights into intrinsically cross-disciplinary problems and to enable solution-oriented outcomes. The Earth Institute’s Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) is one of the initiatives largely responsible for shaping these core research activities. Through allocation of seed funding through the CCI, Earth Institute scholars are able to apply their expertise to theme-driven research in response to complex global challenges. The CCI aims to establish new methods for bridging disciplines to enable scientists from different fields to achieve new insights into intrinsically cross-disciplinary problems and work toward practicable solutions (leading to work in the Earth Clinic).

Research Initiatives for Science and Engineering (RISE)
Each year, the Office of the EVP for Research sponsors a competition for RISE funding. These seed monies enable researchers to initiate a project to test a theory in development or a novel idea in order to gather the data necessary to then secure external funding. Interdisciplinary projects are favored. These formal announcements are sent via email to the University community, and contain the details on proposal submission, availability of funds, eligibility and deadlines.

Columbia Technology Ventures
CTV facilitates the translation of academic research into practical applications, for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis. Support research, education and teaching at Columbia by generating funding for the University and facilitating partnerships with industry where appropriate.
Educate and serve as a resource for the Columbia community on matters relating to entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and technology commercialization. Many projects have an environmental, energy, and agricultural focus, for a full listing go to: http://techventures.columbia.edu/technologies/technologies

The Marie Tharp Fellowship is awarded to outstanding women scientists. The three-month fellowship can be taken at any of the research units or departments affiliated with the Earth Institute. Typically two to three fellowships are awarded per year. These prestigious fellowships are awarded to earth scientists outside of Columbia University to collaborate with researchers at Columbia.

Additional URL regarding faculty research: http://evpr.columbia.edu/

The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.