Climate Research Idea Generation Hackathon

WSU has significant research strengths, and underlying infrastructure and partnerships, in a broad range of activities related to climate change effects, mitigation, adaptation and impact. These capabilities can address critical questions in areas such as environment and health, green design and infrastructure, renewable energy, regenerative management, and community resilience.

The Office of Research and CEREO would like to capitalize on our strengths in climate research to organize and mobilize our researchers to increase our readiness to respond to funding opportunities, encourage new collaborations, and identify research projects to address some of the world’s climate challenges.

To this effect, we are inviting you to participate in a hackathon that will result in the formation of interdisciplinary teams and identification of research projects to address climate challenges.

Goals of the hackathon:

  • Define the scope of the climate change-related challenges
  • Evolve common languages and terminologies among people from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines
  • Share understandings of the challenges, and the expertise brought by the participants to the hackathon
  • Take part in break-out sessions focused on the challenges
  • Capture the outputs in the form of highly innovative research projects
  • Use “real-time” peer review to develop projects at the hackathon


1-2 teams will be selected to receive seed funds to develop their ideas into large interdisciplinary proposals. Amount available – $150-250K


WSU faculty members in all disciplines with interests in basic as well as applied inquiry are encouraged to apply. Selected candidates will be expected to participate in intense idea generation discussions over 1.5 – 2 days at an offsite location (scheduled for May 11 and 12 at a hotel in Spokane).


  • Application due: March 28, 2022
  • Selected participants notified: April 15, 2022
  • Climate hackathon event: May 11 and 12, 2022

Application Guidelines:

Submission of an application is required for participation in the hackathon. APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA THE FORM BELOW. Please note, the application must come from one individual and cannot include Co-PIs or collaborators. 

A responsive application consists of two pages as described below and a two-page Biographical Sketch.

Page One:

  • A brief summary of your professional background (no more than half a page). Please note that if you are selected as a participant, information provided in this section will be made available to the other participants to facilitate networking at the hackathon.
  • The expertise you bring that is relevant to realizing the goal of developing innovative, impactful, equitable knowledge and solutions towards addressing climate change and climate change-related issues in WA and beyond.

Page Two: 

Respond to the following four questions (no more than 150 words each) to help reviewers identify candidates with desirable skills and aptitudes for participating in the hackathon (unrelated to your research track record).

  1. What is your personal experience with working in teams, including leading teams?
  2. How would you describe your ability to explain your research to non-experts?
  3. The hackathon is especially suited to individuals who are willing to step outside their particular area of interest or expertise, who are positively driven, who enjoy creative activity, who can think innovatively and who can settle in easily in the company of unfamiliar colleagues. What experience(s) have you had in a comparable environment?
  4. What would you personally and professionally gain from participating in this hackathon?

Please submit any questions to using “Climate Research Hackathon” in the subject line, or call Geeta Dutta at (509) 335-5980.