Graduate Research Opportunities
Princeton graduate students interested in the environment have the opportunity to participate in one of several multidisciplinary research projects administered through the Princeton Environmental Institute.
PEI research programs bring together the expertise of faculty, research scientists, visiting collaborators and students from departments across the Princeton campus to address environmental problems of critical importance.
PEI research centers have a track record of long-term support from government agencies, foundations and industry partners and offer a broad range of opportunities for novel graduate level research.
Carbon Migitation Initiative (CMI)
The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), initiated in fall 2000, is a 15-year partnership among Princeton University and BP. CMI scientists, engineers and policy experts aim to find solutions to the carbon and climate problem. CMI research involves topics related to carbon capture, carbon storage, carbon science, and carbon policy.
Graduate students from various engineering, science and social science departments are encouraged to visit the CMI Lead Project PI page to learn about current research activities and opportunities. Program contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for BioComplexity (CBC)
The Center for BioComplexity (CBC), established in September 2000 and funded by the National Science Foundation, seeks to understand the mechanisms responsible for the homeostatic processes that regulate climate and maintain the physical and chemical environment that sustains our life-support systems. Through collaboration among ecologists, biogeochemists and hydrologists, CBC aims to understand how macroscopic properties at scales of ocean basins and forested regions emerge from the interactions between organisms and their environments.
Graduate students in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geosciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics have the opportunity to participate in this project. Program contact: Professor Simon Levin
Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS)
The Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS) was founded in 2003 to foster research collaborations between Princeton University and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Its work is carried out through a partnership between the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) Program, an independent program in the Department of Geosciences.
CICS is built upon the strengths of Princeton University in biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, paleoclimate, hydrology, ecosystem ecology, climate change mitigation technology, economics and policy; and those of GFDL in modeling the atmosphere, oceans, weather and climate. CICS offers graduate study through the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) Program. Program contact: email@example.com.
Energy Systems Analysis Group
The Energy Systems Analysis Group, a research unit at Princeton University since 1971, became part of PEI in July 2001. Research activities focus on identifying technologies and policies that could facilitate solutions for the long term of major energy-related societal problems—including global climate change, urban air pollution, energy-import dependence, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, and poverty in developing countries.
Members of the Group advise dissertation research of graduate students in diverse departments at Princeton, including those in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Program contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Challenges Program
In 2007 the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Woodrow Wilson School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science launched the Grand Challenges Initiative, an integrated research and teaching program designed to promote student involvement and faculty research on complex global environmental issues with scientific, technological and policy dimensions.
The Energy Challenge examines the impact of our energy consumption, and addresses the immediate need to transform the global energy system by engaging research in climate change and its impacts, alternative energy sources, and geopolitical factors such as oil and the Middle East. The cooperative supports projects and courses that address the management of fossil fuels, the expansion of alternative energy sources, and the reduction of energy demand through technological and societal changes.
The Development Challenge focuses on the difficult balance between economic development and natural resource preservation in sub-Saharan Africa. Eliminating poverty among a growing population that survives directly off the fragile land is a vexing challenge, one exacerbated by perennial water scarcity.
The Health Challenge focuses on the complex and pressing problems of infectious disease around the world, and specifically its impact on developing countries. The cooperative bridges the natural and social sciences by examining multiple dimensions of disease ecology, management, treatment, and prevention, and by seeking solutions through scientific, technical, and health policy investigations.
Graduate students who wish to engage in Grand Challenges research may contact faculty directly to learn more about ongoing opportunities. Program contact: email@example.com