Science Communication Fellows: Frequently Asked Questions

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Does my project proposal have to be about a SESYNC-funded researcher or research project?

No. The fellowship is intended to promote high-quality, well-informed media about any socio-environmental topic. Visitors to the Center will have a range of expertise beyond their project funded by SESYNC.  Please note that the fellowship does not provide travel costs.

How long should my project be?

There are no set criteria for project size or length. Projects could be one distinct piece, such as a long-form magazine article; multiple parts, such as a series of podcasts; or comprise multiple components and platforms. Competitive projects proposals will be those most related to the mission of SESYNC and that have the potential to reach a large audience of the educated public.

How will I interact with researchers at SESYNC?

Fellows are expected to be able to work independently and initiate contact with the visitors they wish to engage. Fellows will have access to contact information, meeting dates, project background, and logistical information regarding working groups.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States in order to be considered.

Do I need to live in Annapolis?

Not necessarily. Fellows are expected to be on-site in order to engage with researchers but do not need to be at the Center every day. For exceptionally qualified applicants, part-time engagement may be considered for support by a reduced stipend.

Will SESYNC need to approve my project before publication?

No. Fellows will have complete editorial independence. Your plan for publication should be included in your project proposal. If relevant, the proposal should address any legal and/or ethical issues about your project that SESYNC should know about.

What are some examples of socio-environmental synthesis topics being studied at SESYNC?

The expertise of SESYNC-funded research spans social, natural, biophysical, and computational sciences. Working group projects are built around fundamental research questions such as: Can large dams be built to withstand the effects of climate change? Does creating a national park harm nearby fisheries? Why, how, and should people/businesses/governments value natural resources?

The topics addressed by working groups are developed by a community-driven process that identifies major research areas in need of study. Current research themes and links to associated projects and group members are listed here.

What resources will I have access to at SESYNC?

The main benefit fellows will receive is access to many different types of researchers from all over the world who come to the Center. In the first two years of operation, Pursuit and Venture participants have come to SESYNC from 70 universities, 17 non-profits or non-governmental organizations, 15 federal or state agencies, and 16 countries.

Fellows will also be provided office space while they are on-site, and may request available computational, audio or visual equipment and resources.

How will fellows be selected?

The first cohort of fellows will be selected by a panel of science communication professionals and researchers based on the project proposal as well as the potential for the applicant to advance the mission of SESYNC.

Click here to return to the opportunity page.