Graduate Leaders in Socio-Environmental Synthesis Workshop

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Nov 15, 2019

Workshop Dates: January 15–17, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) invites applications for the first ever Graduate Leaders in Socio-Environmental (S-E) Synthesis workshop. Graduate Leaders in S-E Synthesis is a new training opportunity open to master's and doctoral students from the social, natural, and computational sciences. The workshop is designed as a highly interactive experience that grounds key S-E synthesis concepts and skills in the context of students’ own research. The goals of the workshop are that students return to their home institutions with: (1) an improved understanding of S-E synthesis and how to adapt this interdisciplinary approach to their own topics of interest; (2) enhanced leadership capacities to navigate and more effectively address S-E problems in scientific settings and decision-making roles; and (3) expanded abilities to work in dynamic, interdisciplinary research endeavors. 



Workshop attendees will be immersed in a diverse, collaborative environment and provided with tools to broaden their scientific thinking, networks, and practices. Participants will build from the foundations of their own graduate research projects and work together to develop new ways to bridge disciplinary divides and enhance the relevance of their studies by integrating new S-E synthesis concepts, frameworks, materials, and methods. A significant amount of time will be spent cultivating essential S-E synthesis skills, including but not limited to developing interdisciplinary questions, thinking at the systems-level, capturing complex processes in research designs, blending disparate ideas and information, working collaboratively, and communicating research to diverse audiences. Workshop attendees will also receive leadership training as a critical means of effecting change and advancing synthesis research.


Who Should Apply 

Applicants must be currently enrolled doctoral or master’s students from any discipline relevant to S-E research. Applicants must also be able to travel to Annapolis and commit to the workshop in its entirety. Non-US citizens and graduate students studying outside the US are welcome to apply.  

Successful applicants will show strong support for incorporating S-E synthesis approaches into their graduate research. Successful applicants will also demonstrate eagerness to bridge disciplinary divides, conduct use-inspired (or actionable) research, and assume leadership roles in this regard. In order to effectively engage with workshop materials and activities, applicants must show evidence of a well-conceptualized S-E research project that is either in development or newly underway. Applicants with research projects that are not sufficiently developed to interact with key components of S-E synthesis or that are too inflexible or too far along to incorporate lessons learned will not be considered. 


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 University of Maryland’s travel policies. SESYNC will additionally provide lunch each day and reimburse participants at a per diem rate for costs of breakfasts and dinners during the workshop. 


How to Apply

Proposals must be uploaded to SESYNC’s online submission system by November 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

Click here to apply.

  •  Applications must be submitted as ONE PDF document, containing:
      • Applicant’s C.V. (no more than two pages)
      • Statement of interest (no more than two pages) that:
          • Describes the applicant’s research project
          • Discusses how the applicant and project would benefit from S-E synthesis training, including any challenges or constraints encountered so far
          • Demonstrates the applicant’s enthusiasm for fulfilling leadership roles and addressing complex S-E problems within and/or beyond their graduate training


Please contact Dr. Nicole Motzer, Assistant Director for Interdisciplinary Science at SESYNC, at with any questions. 


The University of Maryland Is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply

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