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 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 workshops each year. Each workshop consists 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 that improve teamwork with experts from different disciplines as well as stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.

This highly interactive experience:

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

Who Should Apply

Target Audience: SESYNC invites PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors, and other professionals with similar career experience to apply to one of the thematic workshops. Social scientists are highly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: Applicants may be doctoral candidates through early career researchers holding a PhD in any natural, physical, or social science discipline. Applicants may be affiliated with any organization or institution, including universities, NGOs, government agencies, other research institutions, or the business sector. All applicants must be engaged in a project related to the thematic workshop for which they apply.

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 must demonstrate a strong interest in the selected S-E theme and demonstrate an eagerness to bridge disciplinary divides. SESYNC will give preference to applicants who meet the criteria outlined above and who have not previously engaged with SESYNC.

Costs and Travel

There is no cost to attend a workshop, although space is limited. SESYNC provides travel and private accommodations for these workshops in accordance with SESYNC’s travel policies. Additionally, SESYNC provides lunch each day and reimburses participants at a per diem rate for costs of breakfasts and dinners during the workshops. For full reimbursement, applicants must attend a 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 19, 2020 to Feb 21, 2020
S-E Approaches to Watershed Management and Governance Workshop
Application Deadline: January 10, 2020 5 p.m. ET