The Coalition is at a pivotal point in its evolution as a collaborative group of the world’s leading research universities and university systems committed to accelerating climate action. While members continue to advance their institutional climate priorities, they are also seeking ways to implement concrete actions that achieve the collective and collaborative goals and strategies included in UC3’s 2020-2025 UC3 Strategic Plan.

To advance meaningful collective actions at UC3 member institutions and contribute to Coalition-wide collaborative activities, UBC is leading the formation of the UC3 Fellows Pilot Program. 

Program Concept

The Pilot Program invites UC3 member universities to award full- and part-time fellowships to postdocs, graduate students, faculty, and/or staff to become UC3 Fellows tasked with:

  1. Advancing one of several member-led, collaborative climate action Fellows projects (see list of UC3 Fellows Pilot Projects below)

  2. Contributing part time to other university-specific climate action work

It is the intent of this Pilot Program that UC3 Fellows be hosted by climate-related research groups/centers/institutes/offices at participating UC3 universities, and that broader management of the Pilot Program (e.g., scheduling of regular Fellows meetings, progress tracking, reporting, etc.) will be coordinated by selected project leaders from partner universities along with staff from UBC and Second Nature. For UC3 members who commit to funding a Fellow but have not yet hired a suitable candidate, here is a link to example job descriptions that can be adapted to fit the needs of the participating university. Please contact Mia Sen ([email protected]) for more information. Note: The Pilot Program, and its related initiatives, will also provide ample opportunities for undergraduate engagement in climate action across the Coalition.

2021-22 Pilot Program Timeline

February 2021: Launch Program; finalize list of initiatives championed by member institutions; appoint and/or recruit UC3 Fellows committed to participating in assigned initiatives; compile background data/information as inputs to the UC3 Cities Climate Action Network initiative

March – June/July 2021: Launch UC3 Cities Climate Action Network project; develop other initiatives and continue appointing and/or recruiting additional Fellows

June/July 2021: Present progress on UC3 Fellows Program during UC3 President’s Roundtable

August – October 2021: Finish appointing and/or recruiting additional Fellows to join the initial cohort; onboard all Fellows

February 2022: Present interim progress report during Second Nature’s Higher Education Climate Leadership SummitJune/July 2022: UC3 Summit at the University of British Columbia

Current UC3 Fellows Pilot Project

Project: UC3 Cities Climate Action Network

UC3 Champion(s)

University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, & University of Toronto

Participating UC3 Universities

Drexel University & University of Michigan


Many cities and local communities have adopted ambitious climate goals and targets; however, how to achieve these goals and targets remains a significant challenge and will “require transformational changes in how we live, work, commute, and build” (City of Toronto, 2017). What is proposed in this project is to harness the diverse strengths UC3 research universities and power of a collective partnership between member institutions, their cities, and other cross-sector stakeholders to provide a broader range of climate services, resources, and expertise needed to achieve the climate goals and targets in many UC3 communities.

+ Read full project description

Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

Project: Guidelines for Equitable and Just Climate Action Planning

UC3 Champion(s)

University of California & University of British Columbia

Participating UC3 Universities

University of Colorado Boulder


“Now is a pivotal moment for higher education to escalate collective action for transformative, scalable climate solutions that integrate environmental justice and social equity at their core” (IEN, 2019). To help integrate climate justice and social equity into core climate action planning processes, Fellows involved in this pilot project will:

  1.  Research and recommend guidelines and best practices for incorporating climate justice into climate action planning based on examples collected from campus and municipal CAPs

  2. Develop climate justice principles that could be universally applied across a broad range of higher education institutions

  3. Identify important equity and social impact metrics that can be used to measure and track progress on climate justice

Photo by Lawrence Makoona on Unsplash

Project: Midwestern Climate Research Agenda

UC3 Champion(s)

Washington University in St. Louis

Participating UC3 Universities



Building on the work of the Midwest Climate Summit, this project aims to build a collaborative, cross-sector climate research agenda for the Midwest region.