Program Requirements and Guidelines

The appointment of Dow Master’s and Professional Fellows is for 12 months (January-December).

  • The schedule of Dow Fellows program events is posted on a Canvas website (current fellows will receive access once they are accepted to the program).
  • Events are designed to be Zero Waste, with efforts to reduce food and other waste.


Each Master’s and Professional Fellow receives up to $20,000, contingent upon satisfactory participation in the program. Award disbursement:

  • One $10,000 payment is disbursed to academic units prior to the start of the winter and fall academic terms for posting to student accounts.
  • These awards are intended to offset tuition and registration fees.
  • Fellows should notify their financial aid office in their home unit as soon as they are selected that they wish to use their Dow Fellows award for tuition and registration fees at the start of the winter term.
  • A fellow who would like to use the funds for any other purpose should consult with the financial aid office in their home unit to determine if payments can be posted as “refundable,” which may have federal and state tax implications for the fellow.
  • The University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute administers and supports the Dow Doctoral Fellows program. The Graham Institue manages the request for nominations process, disburses all stipend funds to departments, and oversees project and program expenditures.

Additional Support:

  • Each project team may receive up to $5,000 in additional support for client/community engagement, contingent upon the submission and approval of a project proposal and budget.
  • Fellows teams are eligible but not required to compete for a Large Grant through the Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability each fall.
  • Individual fellows are encouraged to work with their home schools or colleges and explore opportunities aligning their project outcomes with their degree requirements.

Unexpended Funds: Unexpended funds remain the property of the Dow Fellows Program.

Requirements and Responsibilities

All Dow Master’s Fellows Must:

  1. Reside in the Ann Arbor area for the duration of the academic year during the program period (May-August excluded). Reasonable absences for field work may be allowed but must be disclosed to and approved by the Dow Fellows Program Leaders (Director or Manager) in advance. Awards may be revoked if the fellow fails to fully disclose and seek approval for absences.
  2. Be enrolled and in good standing in a U-M, Ann Arbor, terminal masters or professional degree program throughout their fellowship appointment.
  3. Actively participate in program workshops/seminars/other events that occur throughout the year, a mentoring activity, and at least two additional co-curricular offerings from the program. Fellows who are unable to attend an event for any reason must notify the Dow Fellows Program Leaders in advance. Fellows may plan for most events to be scheduled on Monday evenings, from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, with a few exceptions, such as the Annual Dow Fellows Symposium (scheduled on a Saturday in late November or early December).
  4. Participate in Fellows cohort and skill-building activities and form interdisciplinary teams (4-6 fellows each) to develop and execute a project for a client. Fellows teams have worked with a variety of clients and communities, external to the university, locally and globally. Teams develop a scope of work based on client needs and create a comprehensive analysis of options focusing on the following six areas: sustainable food systems, cities, infrastructure, mobility, consumption, and energy systems. Project outputs include but are not limited to a written report available to the public, a summary and an oral presentation of project outcomes at the conclusion of the project. Other outputs include videos, infographics, photo essays, online applications, software, and other products/services. Teams will also present their findings at the annual Dow Sustainability Fellows Symposium.
  5. Abide by all applicable U-M policies (e.g., Academic Integrity, Conflict of Interest/Commitment Procurement and Expenses, and Research with Human Participants), including any non-academic codes and policies of their respective units and the academic integrity policy of the Program for the entirety of their engagement in the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, all fellows. Failure to adhere to these policies may result in revocation of their fellowship.