Each year, the Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS; http://disccrs.org) brings together a select group of 34 recent Ph.D. graduates to facilitate peer networking and professional development and to encourage interdisciplinary research related to climate change. This year, the invited scholars included physical, biological, and social scientists specializing in fields ranging from atmospheric science to environmental governance. The meeting focused on the challenges and benefits of collaborative interdisciplinary research and the imperative to achieve climate change solutions. Professional development activities provided participants with new tools for scientific communication, leadership, and facilitation of collaboration. The symposium demonstrated the value of interacting in an intensive, structured setting with a highly diverse group around a shared scientific interest.