Sabbatical & Research Fellowships

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Please Note

Before applying, prospective applicants should first contact SESYNC at to express interest in this opportunity.


Sabbatical & Research Fellowships are awarded to established scholars who will be in residence at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) for 2–12 months to undertake activities that will advance socio-environmental synthesis research. Applicants propose synthesis activities consistent with the mission of SESYNC and are also expected to participate in collaborative Center activities as part of their efforts while in residence.

National Science Foundation synthesis centers are not designed to fund the collection of original (raw) field or survey data. Instead, they support the collation of information/data that already exists, as well as the integration and analysis of different types of information/data, synthetically derived data products, model building, and other creative processes. SESYNC’s focus is on the integration of social and natural sciences.

SESYNC provides a stipend based on time in residence (not to exceed 50% of the fellow’s home institution salary) and a small housing allowance (up to $1000/month). Fellows must be in residence at SESYNC full-time to be eligible for funding. Sabbatical & Research Fellows are considered Visiting Scientists at the University of Maryland and therefore are not eligible for benefits under the USM system; benefits would continue through the fellow’s home institution.

Components of a Sabbatical & Research Fellowship Application

Applications are accepted by May 15 or October 15 for biannual evaluation.

Include the following using single spacing, 12-pt type fonts, and 1-inch margins.

Cover sheet (1 page)

  • Descriptive title (“SESYNC Sabbatical & Research Fellowship: ….”)
  • Short title (25 characters max)
  • Name and contact information
  • Project summary (250 words): appropriate for the public; posted on the SESYNC website
  • Keywords (up to 5 keywords different from those used in the title)
  • Proposed start dates
  • Potential conflicts of interest with members of the SESYNC External Advisory BoardLeadership Team, Researchers, or Fellows

Main body (4 pages max including references)

  • Problem statement: clear and concise statement of the project goals, including the social and/or environmental synthesis to be undertaken and how it will contribute to actionable socio-environmental synthesis science or policy.
  • How the proposed project/activities will make use of SESYNC’s opportunities to enhance the scholar’s project, i.e., why SESYNC is the most appropriate place to undertake the work.
  • Collaborative SESYNC interests to pursue while in residence.

Other Information (1 page)

  • If applicable, briefly describe any anticipated needs for cyberinfrastructure (CI) support and any new data sets or software expected to result from the project. Applicants should review SESYNC's Cyberinfrastructure Support Information and Policies to familiarize themselves with the types of CI support SESYNC can provide and expectations regarding release of software and data upon project completion. Examples of supported CI needs include but are not limited to large data storage with collaborative access; assistance with database development, collaborative code development, and tool integration; use of SESYNC’s schedule cluster for large analyses; and advising/consulting on geospatial data processing and visualization. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed project with Mike Smorul ( or Mary Shelley ( prior to submission if the project’s CI needs are significant in scope.
  • Name and contact information for a representative of the home institution who will be the primary contact regarding institutional arrangements for the fellowship (usually the applicant's Department Head or Dean).

Full CV of the Applicant

To Apply

Before applying, prospective applicants should first contact SESYNC at to express interest in this opportunity. Applications are accepted by May 15 or October 15 for biannual evaluation.

Due to varying visa requirements, please note in your email if you are an international prospective applicant. Once a prospective applicant is approved, applications should be submitted as a single PDF using the webform at:

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