The University of Arizona

Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program | CLIMAS

    Join Mail List

Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program

 2016 Fellowship Applications Due Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM

The Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS; program, based at the University of Arizona, is accepting applications for the 2016 Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program. The Fellows Program is designed to provide support for currently enrolled University of Arizona graduate students from any degree-granting program whose work is focused on the nexus of climate research and decision making. Up to four fellowships in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to selected applicants for projects occurring between January–December 2016. The Fellows will present results from their research at a symposium in November 2016 and a final project report will be due by January 15, 2017.

Proposals will be considered if they pertain to either of the following categories

Use-Inspired Projects: Students who are interested in collaborating with stakeholders may apply for funding to carry out a use-inspired research project. In this context, a stakeholder is a specific person or organization that might be affected by your research outcomes, and use-inspired refers to research that meets a need expressed by a stakeholder. Competitive applications will clearly articulate:

  1. why your research is useful to stakeholders,
  2. who your target stakeholders are,
  3. how engagement with stakeholders will be carried out,
  4. a substantive understanding of the literature regarding the practice of directly engaging with stakeholders to carry out use-inspired research, and
  5. how stakeholder engagement activities will strengthen your research project and overall career goals.

For selected Fellows who choose to do use-inspired projects, the final presentation and report will focus on the process of conducting use-inspired research, which may include discussing methods, outcomes, successes, and obstacles.

Outreach Projects: Students who have finished or are finishing research and want to communicate their results to interested groups may apply for funding for outreach. Competitive applications will clearly articulate:

  1. the main message from your research and why it is important,
  2. who your target audience is,
  3. how you plan to engage your audience,
  4. a substantive understanding of the current literature regarding the practice of communicating research to non-academic audiences, and
  5. how this experience will benefit your research project and overall career goals.

For selected Fellows who choose to do outreach projects, the final presentation and report will focus on the process of conducting outreach, which may include discussing methods, outcomes, successes, and obstacles.

Proposals must incorporate some aspect of climate research. Some examples include: developing climate information or decision-support tools, using climate research in outreach activities, examining societal impacts of climate variability and climate change, analyzing the vulnerability and resilience of people and/or ecosystems, fostering the development of adaptation or mitigation strategies, and conducting climate science research for specific stakeholder needs. While CLIMAS conducts research mostly in the southwestern U.S., this fellowship is open to students conducting research anywhere in the world.

Fellows will be selected based on:

  • Quality of the proposed outreach or use-inspired project and articulation of the criteria described above;
  • Cogent articulation of how your research will inform people's decision making and/or raise awareness;
  • Demonstration that you are collaborating with someone or a group who has a stake in your project;
  • The ability to complete project within 1 year.

Between 8–10 semi-finalists will be chosen by a review committee, composed of a subset of the CLIMAS team, and notified by Thursday, November 12, 2015. Semi-finalists will be invited to give a 5-minute presentation about their proposed project to the full CLIMAS team on Friday, December 4, 2015. Award recipients will be notified by Monday, December 7, 2015. Funding will be distributed in early January 2016.

Applicants must be:

  • A degree-seeking graduate student from any department at the University of Arizona;
  • Making good progress towards their degree, enrolled in Spring semester 2016, and able to attend the November 2016 symposium even if they have completed their degree;
  • Conducting research that incorporates climate research and societal applications.

Applications must include:

  • A concise description of your project (maximum 1500 words) including: a) what the project is, b) how your project fulfills the selection criteria; c) expected outcomes, and d) how the Fellowship will help advance or complete your project.
  • A proposed timeline outlining your project goals between January–December 2016.
  • A CLIMAS mentor. You must select a potential mentor who will help guide you during your fellowship year. You must make contact with your selected CLIMAS mentor prior to submitting your application. The strongest applications are often reviewed by a mentor before the application is submitted. Your mentor can be any of the following members of the CLIMAS research team: 

Heidi Brown               Bonnie Colby               Andrew Comrie               Michael Crimmins               David DuBois               Daniel Ferguson               George Frisvold

Gregg Garfin              Ben McMahan             Jonathan Overpeck         Gigi Owen                          Margaret Wilder            Connie Woodhouse

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
  • One letter of support. If you plan to work with a specific stakeholder or stakeholder group, the letter should be from them. Otherwise, the letter of support should be from your graduate advisor.
  • A brief statement from your graduate advisor that endorses your application, states that you are in good academic standing, and making progress towards your degree. If your graduate advisor is also providing your letter of support, this statement may be included in the letter.

The 2016 Fellows will be required to:

  • Submit at least two blog posts for Southwestern Oscillations (the CLIMAS blog; The first post will introduce your project and the second will include results from your Fellowship.
  • Give a 15 minute presentation at the Climate & Society Fellows Symposium in November 2016.
  • Submit a written report of results and findings from your Fellowship in January 2017.

Please submit your application via the webform below. Your application should be submitted as one document, either as a .pdf or .doc, except for the letter of support and the statement from your advisor. These letters should be emailed directly to Gigi Owen ( 

Applications must be received by Thursday, October 29, 2015 by 5:00 P.M.

Questions: Please contact Gigi Owen ( with any questions about the Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program or the application process. 

CLIMAS Background

CLIMAS, housed at the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, is part of the nationwide Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) program funded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CLIMAS promotes participatory research involving scientists, decision makers, resource users, educators, and others who need more and better information about climate and its impacts. CLIMAS investigators conduct research on the nature, causes, and consequences of climate change and variability in the southwestern United States. Please visit for more information.

Applications should include: -Project Description -Proposed Timeline -Proposed CLIMAS mentor -Your CV