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Graduate Research Opportunities

Matt Escarra
Matt Escarra, PEI-STEP Fellow (Photo: Brian Wilson)

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 seek solutions to the carbon and climate problem. CMI research involves topics related to carbon science, low-carbon energy, fluids and energy, and policy and integration.

Graduate students from 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: cmi@princeton.edu

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: cics@princeton.edu

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 to 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 over the long-term.

Members of PEI's Energy 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: energy@princeton.edu

Grand Challenges Program

The Grand Challenges Initiative is an integrated research and teaching program designed to promote student involvement and faculty research on complex global environmental issues with scientific, technical, public policy, and human dimensions. This multidisciplinary Program offers faculty, students, and researchers opportunities to tackle some of the world's most pressing environmental issues in the areas of climate and energy, sustainabile development, and global health.

Graduate students who wish to engage in Grand Challenges research should contact faculty directly to learn more about ongoing opportunities. Program contact: pei@princeton.edu