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Sustainability Institute selects the second cohort of Exploratory Research Groups

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October 30, 2023

In the fall of 2021, the Sustainability Institute launched the Exploratory Research Groups (ERGs), a new initiative designed to support early-stage, exploratory scholarship focused on researcher-determined topics of interest. The first cohort of ERGs included fifteen groups focused on topics on a wide range of topics including decarbonization, race and sustainability, sustainable finance, urban rivers and more. ERGs, which were given logistical support from the Sustainability Institute (SI), had the freedom to self-organize and determine topics, activities and goals that met the needs of the group.

The ERG process represented a new way in which SI sought to support team development. An experiment in and of itself, it was expected that some ERGs would thrive while others may find the loose guidelines and lack of deadlines challenging. Over the first two years of the program a number of ERGs opted to sunset their group activities. In the spring of 2023, SI put out a call for new ERG proposals. At the same time existing ERGs were asked to determine if they wanted to continue ERG activities or retire.

SI is pleased to announce the launch of the second cohort of ERGs, with activity set to begin in this fall. A total of six new ERGs were accepted into Cohort 2. Additionally, six ERGs from Cohort 1 opted to remain active through the 2023-2024 academic year. The Exploratory Research Group Guide provides details about the structure of the ERG initiative. Visit the Exploratory Research Group webpage to learn more about both cohorts of ERGs.

Membership in the ERGs is open to the Ohio State community. Interested individuals should reach out to the current ERG leaders to get involved. Further, all twelve active ERGs are now eligible for activity support funding.