PULLMAN, Wash. – Interdisciplinary research teams poised to address food-energy-water (FEW) system challenges are encouraged to submit a proposal by Feb. 15 to participate in a tri-state workshop April 10-11.

As population grows and climate change alters ecosystems worldwide, societal demands for agricultural, energy and water resources intensify, bringing the intersections of FEW resources into sharper focus. Solutions that ease cross-sectoral tensions and alleviate pressure on FEW resources will inevitably involve deep collaboration among multiple disciplines and institutions.

Convening to protect natural resources

To facilitate that collaboration, vice presidents for research at Washington State University, University of Idaho and Oregon State University will convene the Tri-State FEW Workshop on April 10-11 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Researchers from the three institutions, Idaho National Lab and Pacific Northwest National Lab are encouraged to submit proposals by Feb. 15 to res.dev@wsu.edu. Research teams must involve confirmed participants from more than one institution and are encouraged to be as inclusive as possible.

Three to five distinct, multi-institutional teams will be selected to participate in the interactive, intensive gathering.

The workshop will facilitate face-to-face time with colleagues to actively develop funding strategies (grant proposals) and plans to build programs. Teams will work on their focused research plans but will also interact across teams to find other opportunities for collaboration.

Proposal submission process

Researchers are invited to submit 1-page proposals for convening a multi-institutional team at the workshop. Successful proposals will present:

1) a compelling vision for interdisciplinary FEW research;
2) specific funding targets (National Science Foundation INFEWS, DOE Energy-Water, USDA NIFA Water for Agriculture, etc.);
3) a multi-institutional team with confirmed participation by key individuals, and
4) a tractable timeline for achieving research goals, including the manner in which the workshop will further the goals.

The lead principal investigator(s) should append a two-page CV that includes his/her most relevant publications or other products in the past five years and his/her most relevant funding in the past five years. Participants from other institutions also may be named.

Travel support available

The vice presidents of research from the three universities have committed to supporting travel costs for the workshop. There are also limited funds available to support pre-workshop travel costs for collaboration among teams.

The workshop is one way WSU’s Office of Research is supporting interdisciplinary work that addresses the Grand Challenges, a suite of research initiatives aimed at large societal issues. The event is particularly relevant to the sustainable resources challenge.

For more information, contact Stephanie Hampton, director of the WSU Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO), at s.hampton@wsu.edu.