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Networking & Proposal Writing Workshop for Graduate Students (15-17 January 2014, Annapolis, MD, USA)


Request for Applications

Socio-Environmental Synthesis Research: Opportunities for Graduate StudentsNetworking & Proposal Writing Workshop

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is excited to offer new training and research opportunities specially designed for graduate students interested in the complex interactions between human and natural systems. This two-tiered program is intended to support current PhD students in the natural, social, and computational sciences in their pursuit of novel, independent synthesis research at our center in Annapolis, MD.

Tier 1: Training
SESYNC is currently accepting applications from graduate students for a Networking & Proposal Writing Workshop. This workshop will provide graduate students with:

  • introductions to SESYNC, socio-environmental synthesis research, team science, and actionable science;
  • networking opportunities to build professional relationships with other students, particularly those from different disciplines interested in the same types of research questions; and
  • training sessions on the methods, challenges, and strategies associated with writing successful proposals, especially those related to the type of work SESYNC supports.

The workshop will be held over 2½ days in Annapolis, MD, from January 15–17, 2014. It is intended to maximize progress by graduate students intending to apply to the research opportunities described in Tier 2.

Travel to our facilities in Annapolis, MD, accommodations, and food expenses for workshop attendees will be provided by SESYNC in accordance with our travel policies.

See below for information on eligibility criteria andapplication materials.

Tier 2: Research
SESYNC is preparing to announce a call for proposals for independent synthesis research by graduate students focused on two broad Themes:

  1. Cities in Sustainable Resource Management
  2. Surprise in Human Adaptation to Environmental Change

Under each of the two Themes, several graduate student teams will lead synthesis research projects ("Pursuits") over a 12–18 month period, including 2–3 team meetings at our center in Annapolis, MD. Each research team should produce final products that may include joint publications, conference presentations, and/or other scholarly output.

Graduate students interested in these research opportunities are highly encouraged, although not required, to first apply for the Networking & Proposal Writing Workshop described in Tier 1. SESYNC will use a structured engagement process and provide a suite of support services throughout the training and research components of this graduate student opportunity to assist participants with the creation of new data products, particularly ones that address questions in new spatial or temporal contexts or scales.

Support for this unique graduate research opportunity will be offered based on a competitive RFP to be issued later in 2014.

Workshop Eligibility Criteria

  • Currently-enrolled natural, social, or computational science PhD student
    • (Examples of relevant disciplines include but are not limited to: Sociology, Ecology, Statistics, Anthropology, Entomology, Computer Science, Geography, Engineering, Psychology, and Biology.)
  • Completed at least two years of doctoral degree
  • Interest in bridging and synthesizing the natural, social, and computational sciences
  • Exhibits academic success in terms of grade point average and other activities
  • Must commit to a 2½-day workshop in Annapolis, MD, from January 15–17, 2014

Required Application Materials

  • Letter of recommendation from doctoral advisor
  • One document containing:
    • A statement of no more than 400 words on a critical question relevant to one of the two Themes that can be addressed by socio-environmental synthesis. The statement must:
      • Explicitly identify sufficient data sources for the research question, and
      • Explain actionable outcomes in answering the research question.
    • A C.V. of no more than two pages.

Applications will only be accepted online at www.sesync.org/forms/graduate-student-proposal-workshop-app. Letters of recommendation (emailed directly to gradstudentworkshop@sesync.org) and online application must be received by September 20, 2013, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Please contact Rachel Berndtson at rberndtson@sesync.org with any questions.

Workshop Agenda

Day 1 (9am – 5pm)

  • Introduction to SESYNC and socio-environmental synthesis
  • Keynote speakers on graduate student Themes
  • The challenges of team science and SESYNC Pursuit Principle Investigator (PI) Panel
  • Social and natural scientist speed dating
  • Dinner as a group in downtown Annapolis

Day 2 (9am – 5pm)

  • Conceptual framing of Themes
  • Proposal writing sessions
  • Dinner on own

Day 3 (9am – 1pm)

  • Participants work in teams or alone to draft research proposals