UW–Madison launches Sustainability Research Hub

Paul Robbins, Matt Ginder-Vogel and Holly Gibbs

Paul Robbins, Matt Ginder-Vogel and Holly Gibbs

In early February 2024, University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin announced a new cross-campus initiative focused on environmental sustainability, centered on five goals. Now, in keeping with those goals, the university has launched the Sustainability Research Hub, a new service to campus that will make the university a preeminent destination for sustainability research and education.

The Hub, which is jointly administered by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Office of Sustainability, aims to bring significant interdisciplinary sustainability research funding to campus by connecting researchers across departments and targeting major federal research grants.

“The breadth and depth of sustainability research on this campus — from engineering to agronomy, and from history and art to chemistry and geosciences — is remarkable,” says Paul Robbins, dean of the Nelson Institute. “But the challenges of coordinating all this talent, the effort required to produce the synergies needed to be competitive, and the expertise to turn all that talent into major, highly competitive, multi-million-dollar grants: those are things that the Hub can address.”

Matt Ginder-Vogel, the associate director of Sustainability Research and Innovation who will lead the Hub, notes that its services aim to alleviate financial and administrative barriers to collaboration and coordination: “We believe the Hub will appeal to a wide range of researchers, from those accustomed to writing major grants to those who are emerging in their fields.”

Holly Gibbs, a geographer with the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, says the Hub will bring together new teams of researchers and “accelerate our capacity to get the funding needed to implement our ideas.”

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