Early-Career Researchers Program

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) invites applicants for a new series of stand-alone workshops through the Socio-Environmental (S-E) Early-Career Researchers Program. These workshops provide an opportunity for recent PhDs interested in learning about socio-environmental research and the natural, social, and actionable elements of a central S-E theme. The workshops will also provide participants with a brief overview of the skills needed to practice and implement S-E research. This unique educational program is adapted from our successful Immersion Program.

We anticipate offering three stand-alone thematic workshop each year. Each workshop will consist of lectures, plenary and small group discussions, and informal conversations to illustrate how different disciplines approach a shared set of S-E problems. Activities are planned to build collaborative skills, which improve teamwork with experts from different disciplines and stakeholders.

This highly interactive experience will:

  1. Immerse participants in the theories and the methods foundational to understanding current environmental challenges related to the designated S-E theme
  2. Introduce the skills needed to work in collaborative research, including developing interdisciplinary questions and applying systems thinking
  3. Expand their professional network through thoughtful discussions and interactions with 15-20 Early-Career Fellows and 4-6 Distinguished Scholars.
  4. Introduce workshop attendees to other SESYNC programs and opportunities.

Who Should Apply

Target Audience: SESYNC invites postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors, and other professionals with similar career experience to apply to one of the thematic workshops.

Eligibility: Applicants must hold a doctoral degree in any natural, physical, or social science discipline and be working in an area related to the theme. Applicants may be affiliated with any organization or institution, including universities, NGOs, government agencies, other research institutions, or the business sector.

SESYNC encourages applications from underrepresented U.S. minorities (African Americans; American Indians, including Native Alaskans; Hispanics; and Native Pacific Islanders) and persons with disabilities. Please see the National Science Foundation’s policy on Broadening Participation for more information on such efforts. Researchers working outside the U.S. and non-U.S. citizens are welcome to apply. Please review University of Maryland visa procedures and requirements, and note that travel visas are not guaranteed. Applicants must also be able to travel to Annapolis, MD and commit to the workshop in its entirety.

Selection Criteria: Successful applicants will demonstrate a strong interest in the selected S-E theme and demonstrate an eagerness to bridge disciplinary divides. Preference will be given to applicants that meet the criteria outlined above and have not previously engaged with SESYNC.

Costs and Travel

There is no cost to attend, although space is limited. Travel to SESYNC will be provided along with private accommodations in accordance with SESYNC’s travel policies. Additionally, SESYNC will provide lunch each day and reimburse participants at a per diem rate for costs of breakfasts and dinners during the workshop. For full reimbursement, applicants must attend the workshop in its entirety.

How to Apply

Please review the current workshop opportunities below and sign up for SESYNC’s monthly newsletter to hear about new opportunities.


Please contact us at education@sesync.org with any questions.

Feb 18, 2020 to Feb 21, 2020
S-E Approaches to Watershed Management and Governance Workshop
Application Deadline: December 6, 2019 5 p.m. ET