Awards & Honors

Three SSA Profs Named Co-PIs in CCNY Research Vision Project

Team Climate Solidarity, featuring Spitzer professors Zihao Zhang, Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, and Shawn Rickenbacker as co-leads, has been named the recipient of the 2022 College-wide Research Vision (CRV) Initiative and funding of up to $600,000 over the next three years. Of eight multidisciplinary teams, Climate Solidarity was selected by the CCNY College Research Council based on its strong proposal, which will have the team developing a vision of climate justice and residential decarbonization informed by and tested in Harlem. The initiative presents significant opportunities for ongoing student and local community engagement in the creation of a more resilient and equitable New York.


Original Announcement From the CCNY Office for Research

Dear CCNY Community,

Imagine if solidarity surrounding climate actions were leveraged to reimagine and co-create a future for New York City?

The Office of Research of the City College of New York (CCNY) is pleased to announce the selection of the 2022 College-wide Research Vision (CRV) Initiative: Team Climate Solidarity led by Dr. Yana Kucheva, Assistant Professor, Sociology, with the project titled “Energizing Equity: Co-creating Scalable Urban Resilience via Climate Solidarity” as the recipient of up to $200,000 annually of seed funding, for three consecutive years (a maximum of $600,000).

CRV’s objective is to cultivate a collaborative environment that will foster an inter-divisional approach to research.   The CRV Initiative’s competition provided the opportunity for CCNY faculty across academic divisions to partake in the vision for greater research opportunities.  In October 2022, we received 15 concept papers of which eight multidisciplinary teams proceeded as finalists to present their proposals to the College Research Council (CRC) and the CCNY community.   The final team proposals were carefully reviewed and recommendations were submitted to the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.

Team Climate Solidarity, comprised of an interdisciplinary team of faculty and scientists, was rated the top team by the CRC and was endorsed by Provost Tony Liss.  Please review the project highlights in the attached summary or read their presentation.

The research efforts for this project will begin on September 1st and the team will present annual progress updates to the CCNY community. A CRV announcement will be posted with the details of the presentation once the 2023 date is confirmed.

We look forward to sharing updates about their successful collaboration.

Thank you.

Office of Research


Further Details on the Origins of This Initiative

Seed Funding Opportunity for the CCNY Community

The Office of Research of the City College of New York announces a competition for seed funding and invites the CCNY community to harness paradigm shifting fundamental research to address challenging real-world problems by connecting diverse disciplines, techniques, and ways of thinking.  To achieve these objectives, faculty from different disciplines must share knowledge, ask questions from multiple angles, collaborate on research, and tear down academic barriers. The College-wide Research Vision (CRV) aims to remove academic silos and foster research that addresses the toughest questions facing humanity and that has practical implications for New York City, the nation and the world.  CRV will support researchers as they form inter-divisional teams tasked with investigating urgent issues, the results of which will have direct impact.  We are looking for work that may portend solutions attainable in less than a decade.  These projects must be rooted in collaboration to produce practical solutions to social, environmental, economic, cultural, political and humanitarian challenges. The collaborative team must commit to seek funding to grow and sustain the effort during and after an initial three-year period of internal funding.


The Office of Research requests Concept Papers that embrace the above goals. The concept papers should provide forward-looking views and identify new opportunities at the forefront of research and innovation. Concept Papers should not simply represent the PIs’ ongoing or planned research activities. Researchers should identify challenges or opportunities, potential solutions and outline the collaborative team necessary to address the challenge. In order to facilitate broader discussions of the submitted ideas, topic suggestions will not be kept confidential. The College Research Council (CRC) will review submitted Concept Papers and invite up to five submitters to engage with the CRC in further discussions of their proposed topic. Concept Papers should consider the following:

  • Does the proposed topic represent an opportunity for a significant leap or paradigm shift in a research area, or have the potential to create a new research area, generally and on our campus?
  • What are the underpinning breakthroughs? Why is now the right time?
  • Is there potential for making significant progress on a current national or societal need, or “grand challenge”?
  • Does the topic require inter/multi-disciplinary expertise? Is the research scope beyond the capabilities of one school/division?
  • How will the project be managed and what role will the non-lead personnel play in the research?

This will be a multi-stage discussion and selection process to determine a collaborative college-wide effort.  The process may include discussions among proposers whereby ideas / teams could merge into a single funded project.