Doctoral Fellowship

Program Factsheet (PDF)

This component of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program creates a lifelong community of scholars devoted to developing and implementing innovative ideas in pursuit of sustainability and becoming leaders in academia, business, government, and non-governmental organizations.

Expanding Understanding

A primary purpose of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program is to encourage cross-disciplinary study with potential impact. Fellows participate in a series of cohort-building activities designed to expand individual understanding and effectiveness through regular engagement across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Thus, research efforts confined to a single discipline are unlikely to receive funding.


Fellows engage in seminars and related activities designed to share and expand research perspectives and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, including collaborations with Dow Master's Fellows. Fellows are required to participate in the program's co-curricular activities and to collaborate with other fellows on projects that leverage their individual areas of expertise to develop interdisciplinary sustainability efforts. The faculty advisor(s)of the fellow is also encouraged to participate in fellowship activities.

Meet the Current Doctoral Cohort


  • Dow Doctoral Fellows are required to be on campus in-residence during the winter and fall terms and participate in the Dow Doctoral Sustainability Fellow lunch seminars, the Dow Distinguished Sustainability Faculty seminars and the annual Dow Sustainability Symposium. (Fellows unable to attend any of these events must notify the Education Program Director in advance.)

Specific Activities:

  • Present research, collaborate with others, participate in seminars, and engage in discussion about sustainability challenges and opportunities with colleagues and others.
    • Co-present a research poster or oral presentation at the annual Dow Sustainability Symposium.
    • Present research for other program stakeholders during the fellowship period, as requested.
  • Engage in activities to strengthen a U-M sustainability network, such as mentoring Dow Masters Sustainability Fellows; submitting a proposal for a Dow Distinguished Award seed grant; and petitioning the Education Program Director to conduct a self-determined project that includes collaboration with at least one other fellow (e.g., a new course “Sustainable Neighborhoods in Detroit”). Previously, fellows also participated in the Michigan Journal of Sustainability, by serving on the editorial board (see: Michigan Journal of Sustainability). 

Dow Doctoral Lunch Seminars (subject to change, please RSVP, by invitation only)

  • All presentations will be held at Graham North unless noted otherwise.

Cross-campus Support

The Dow Doctoral Fellows Program also receives support from the following U-M units: College of Engineering, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Ross School of Business, School for Environment and Sustainability; School of Public Health; School of Social Work, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute administers and supports the Dow Doctoral Fellows program.

Acknowledgment of Support

Please use the following acknowledgment in presentations, papers and other research: This work was supported by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation and the University of Michigan, through the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan.