Program Requirements and Guidelines

The appointment of Dow Master’s and Professional Fellows is for 12 months (January-December). Fellows are expected to participate in a variety of program events, including but not limited to:

  • January 11, 2020 - Full-day Retreat: Both Masters and Doctoral cohorts will participate in a welcome to the program, networking, and discussion, and learn about program expectations.
  • Monday Evenings (5:30 - 7:30 PM): Hold open this time during the winter and fall semesters for skill sessions, cohort networking, meetings with project teams, and consultants.
  • Early December - Full-day Symposium: A culminating event, all Dow Fellows will present a summary of their work. 

The full schedule of Dow Fellows Program events, in addition to resources and key documents, are posted on a Canvas website (fellows will receive access once accepted to the program). All events are designed to be Zero Waste, with efforts to reduce food and other waste.

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, in a terminal master or professional degree program throughout their participation in the program.
  3. Actively participate in program workshops/seminars/and an interdisciplinary project and at least two additional co-curricular offerings throughout the year. 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:
    • Full-day (Saturday) Retreat and Welcome in early January
    • Annual (Saturday) Dow Fellows Symposium in 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 over the course of the year. Each Fellow should prepare to spend approximately 150 hours on an interdisciplinary team project, working in collaboration with a client or community external to the University of Michigan.

    Fellows teams work with a variety of local-global clients and communities. Teams develop and submit a scope of work and a budget based on client needs and create a comprehensive analysis of options focusing on the following six sustainability areas: 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 present their findings at the annual Dow Sustainability Fellows Symposium.

    • All teams must submit a scope of work and budget, and a project report to the Dow Fellows Program for review, and present a project summary at the Symposium. 
    • Teams should provide a scope of work and project report and engage both their advisor and client throughout the project duration. Engagement with team members, advisors and clients/stakeholders/partners is essential to the success of an interdisciplinary and collaborative project and the overall Fellows Program experience.
  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.
  6. Ensure the materials produced during participation in the Dow Fellows Program are available to the public, including reports and summaries, recommendations, toolkits, applications, graphics, presentations, and other work. All project reports will be published on the Dow Fellows Program website.


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 academic terms (December and August) 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 for Project Teams:

  • 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. Teams and individual fellows may also apply for additional funds, as available.
  • Unexpended Funds: Remain the property of the Dow Fellows Program.

Academic Credit:

  • Individual fellows are encouraged to work with their home schools or colleges and explore opportunities aligning their project work with degree requirements.

Acknowledgment of Support

Please use the following acknowledgment in presentations, papers and with the news media: 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.