Science Communication Fellows

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Dec 20, 2013

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at the University of Maryland seeks proposals for three-month fellowships from science communicators to carry out media-based projects about complex environmental problems. This new fellowship program is intended to offer science communicators the opportunity to produce content informed by interactions with the diverse transdisciplinary research teams working at SESYNC.

Fellowship projects could take any form (long-form journalism, a podcast series, video, etc.), but must be in line with the overall mission of SESYNC—i.e., they must be informative about some aspect of the complex interactions between humans and the environment. We are particularly interested in funding fellowship projects that explore research on solutions to environmental problems and how environmental data are used to make decisions, rather than projects focused solely on the causes or impacts of environmental problems. The intended audience and venue of publication for the project should be specified in the project proposal.


SESYNC, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded transdisciplinary synthesis research center, brings together diverse experts in unique collaborations to carry out fundamental research on society’s most challenging environmental problems. We host natural and social science scholars to work in research teams; short courses and workshops; and an in-house research staff that includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and sabbatical fellows. Research funded by the Center involves creative integration of data, models, and theories from disparate disciplines.

This fellowship is intended to promote in-depth exploration and understanding of socio-environmental topics by connecting motivated writers, journalists, and other science communicators to the researchers hosted by SESYNC. In a typical three-month period, collaborative working groups bring ~300 people to SESYNC from academia, NGOs, government agencies, foundations, and international organizations such as the World Bank, NASA, Conservation International, USAID, and the World Wildlife Fund.

Find out more about the diversity of ongoing projects here.

How It Works

The fellow will be required to work at least partly at the Center in Annapolis, MD, to engage with SESYNC researchers, and to present updates on their work to the Center’s leadership staff. We invite fellows to attend seminars, workshops, and team research meetings, as well as talk individually with visiting scholars. Fellows will be oriented to SESYNC and have access to schedules and background information on projects and upcoming research meetings, but are expected to be self-guided in carrying out fellowship projects.

Fellows can begin as early as February 1, 2013. Fellows in residence full-time (three or more days per week) will receive a stipend of $3,000 per month. Travel costs and benefits are not provided with this fellowship. 

How To Apply

Upload the following documents as a single PDF file to the application website here.

  • Project Proposal: Describe your project, its goals, and how you will benefit by carrying it out at SESYNC. Include a timeline or description of how you will spend your time for the duration of your fellowship, along with a description of your plan for publication. (750 words max)
  • Short Resume or CV: Include education, work history, and any experiences and training that are relevant to your ability to carry out your project. (2 pages max)
  • Work Samples: At least two but no more than five examples of your work that demonstrate your skills and interests. Include a description of your role in the project if it is the product of a collaboration.

In addition, two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your ability to carry out your proposal and your passion for science communication should be emailed directly to


Applications must be received no later than Friday, December 20, 2013, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Please contact Kelly Hondula at with any questions.

More Information

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply

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