Call for Applications: Transdisciplinary workshops on the impacts of urbanization on the food-energy-water nexus


The Belmont Forum, START, Future Earth, and regional partners seek applications to participate in a skill-building opportunity on conducting transdisciplinary (TD) research. The workshops will focus on advancing principles of co-design and co-production in the natural, social, and engineering sciences that address complex sustainability challenges associated with the Belmont Challenge (

These workshops seek to advance skill development in TD research, as well as increasing aptitude for developing proposals with strong TD elements, which is a cornerstone of all the Belmont Forum’s multi-year Collaborative Research Action (CRA), including the recently launched call on urbanization and the food-energy-water nexus ([1]. Learning activities within each workshop will be organized around a regionally relevant case study on the food-energy-water nexus.


The workshops will be three-day events with approximately 30 participants per workshop. We welcome applicants from researcher, policy, private sector, and practitioner communities. The participants will be apportioned as approximately 2/3 from the research community and 1/3 from practitioner, private sector, and policy communities.



  • Understand TD research in the context of urbanization and the food-energy-water nexus
  • Identify opportunities and barriers related to TD research and application
  • Explore how to broaden impacts by adopting TD process design
  • Acquire usable skills and competences in TD research on:
    • Building a TD team
    • Collaborative problem framing
    • TD settings and roles of researchers and practitioners
    • Integrative approaches and methods
    • Evaluating TD process and scientific and societal impacts



  1. Tempe, Arizona

Dates: February 22-24, 2017

Theme: Extreme heat and its impact on the Food-Energy-Water nexus

Venue: Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University

Partners: NSF, START, Belmont Forum, Future Earth, Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, and Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC)


  1. Boulder, Colorado

Dates: March 1-3, 2017

Theme: Food-Energy-Water on the South Platte River

Venue: University of Colorado

Partners: NSF, START, Future Earth, Belmont Forum, and Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado at the University of Colorado


  1. Baltimore, Maryland

Dates: Late Spring 2017 (A separate call will be released for this workshop)

Theme: TBA

Venue: TBA

Partners: NSF, START, Belmont Forum, Future Earth, and others



  • Applicants must be based in the U.S.



Applications must be submitted by January 18, 2017 to Sarah Schweizer at The application requires the following components:


  • A Statement of Interest describing: 1) relevant background knowledge and experience that the applicant can share with other participants; 2) the anticipated impact of participation on the institution where you work; 3) how the workshop will advance your own ability to conduct TD research or to engage with a TD process design; 4) if a co-collaborator/partner you work with is also applying; 5) any unique ideas, skills, and/or foreseeable opportunities for advancing follow-on activities subsequent to workshop participation, including the identification of potential partner organizations; and 6) how the workshop will improve your potential proposal submission for the Belmont Collaborative Research Action on food-energy-water nexus-in-urban (
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Supporting letter from applicant’s home institution
  • Specify which workshop location you would like to attend


Travel support is available for those individuals selected to participate and will include round-trip economy class airfare, accommodations, and modest daily subsistence while at the workshop.


For further information please contact Sarah Schweizer at



[1] Please note that participation in a workshop is not mandatory to submit a proposal to any of the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action call for proposals.

Download the call for applications