Doctoral Fellowship

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 program activities. Events include a full-day retreat in early January, the Dow Doctoral Sustainability Fellow lunch seminar series (scheduled monthly on Monday's throughout the fall and winter semesters), the Dow Distinguished Sustainability Faculty dinner events (scheduled two evenings in the fall and winter semesters) and the annual Dow Sustainability Symposium (scheduled in early December). Fellows unable to attend any of these events must notify the Education Program Director or Manager in advance.

Specific Activities:

  • Summarize and present research, collaborate with others, participate in seminars, and engage in discussions about sustainability challenges and opportunities with colleagues and others. Fellows co-present at the annual Dow Sustainability Symposium, and discuss research with others during the fellowship period, as requested.
  • Engage in activities to strengthen a U-M sustainability network, such as 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”). 

Acknowledgment of Support

Please use the following acknowledgment in presentations, papers, and other research: This work was supported by Dow and the University of Michigan (U-M, through the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at U-M.

Dates to Hold

  • Early January 2021 - Full-day Retreat: Both Masters and Doctoral Fellows cohorts will participate in networking and sustainability discussions, and learn about program expectations.
  • Dow Doctoral Lunch Seminars - Monday, 12:00-1:30 PM - throughout winter and fall semesters: Hold open this time for cohort networking, peer-to-peer presentations, and other activities, (please RSVP, by invitation only). Lunch seminars will be virtual or 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.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Community Engagement

Dow Doctoral Fellows represent disciplines throughout the university. Fellows value the interaction with colleagues and many actively facilitate opportunities to engage with others. Opportunities include:


Current Doctoral Fellows:
Please see COVID-19 Resources