Transformative Research in Urban Sustainability Training (T-RUST)
2017 - 2022
T-RUST is a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to establish a novel and transformative interdisciplinary graduate training program in Urban Sustainability that prepares the next generation of professionals to employ complex scientific reasoning across disciplines to solve urban challenges.
The T-RUST program provides PhD and MS students with community-based, collaborative training designed to develop a holistic understanding of interactions among urban environmental systems, both natural and engineered, in older industrial cities that are struggling to adapt to environmental and socioeconomic change.
Trainees develop interdisciplinary competence, guided by a competency model for interdisciplinary sustainability research including the ability to: a) demonstrate critical thinking about an environmental problem, b) pose important interdisciplinary research questions, c) effectively communicate research findings and implications, d) apply appropriate analytical problem-solving techniques responsive to interdisciplinary demands, and d) actively collaborate with interdisciplinary teams.
T-RUST program design and development addresses five key elements: (1) produces PhD and MS graduates who make important contributions to urban environmental system research, policy making and multidisciplinary problem solving; (2) a curriculum for our science leaders that meets the needs of the labor market in urban sustainability; (3) effectively addresses and develops solutions for local urban sustainability problems through a multidisciplinary lens; (4) generates knowledge that has applicability in other urban settings; and (5) a self-sustaining program that thrives beyond the life of the grant funding period.