A group of BU researchers from different disciplines was awarded nearly $3 million for a five-year National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to prepare a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists to tackle urgent urban environmental problems through what is hoped will be a model graduate program for other universities.
The Boston University Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience & Environmental Health (URBAN) was one of 17 institutions sharing a total of $51 million in NRT grants to develop transformative models for interdisciplinary graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“It’s very important that our students understand how to do basic science and publish their results in scientific journals, but we also want to train them to ask scientific questions.”
Pamela Templer, a professor of biology, is principal investigator on the BU grant. Jonathan Levy, a professor of environmental health, and Lucy Hutyra, an associate professor of Earth and environment, are coprincipal investigators and will serve as the directors of the new URBAN program. Together, they and a group of faculty and staff from across the University will train 60 graduate students in the biogeoscience, environmental health, and statistics needed to help cities address multidimensional problems at the intersection of the environment and public health.
“It’s very important that our students understand how to do basic science and publish their results in scientific journals,” says Templer, “but we also want to train them to ask scientific questions that will produce information that policymakers can use, so they can make a difference.”