This component of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program has three primary objectives:
- Foster cross-campus, cross-disciplinary collaborations on sustainability challenges
- Integrate new approaches and research in interdisciplinary sustainability research
- Enhance social sciences applied to sustainability issues at U-M
To achieve these goals, the program seeks accomplished, connected, and motivated candidates working on sustainability issues at the interface of the social sciences and the natural sciences and/or engineering. The Postdoctoral Fellows benefit U-M faculty, existing research programs, and the University as a whole by bringing in new ideas and approaches and creating enhanced engagement across campus and among disciplines. They interact especially closely with the Distinguished Faculty Fellows in Sustainability, an interdisciplinary community of elite scholars from across the University of Michigan campus, whose goal is the nurturance of ongoing intellectual exchange around issues of sustainability.
The Dow Postdoctoral Fellows and the Distinguished Faculty Fellows in Sustainability join together monthly for presentations/discussion and dinner during the academic year. Presentations focus on proposals and preliminary results for projects in sustainability scholarship, with the entire community then able to give feedback from their diverse perspectives; the goal is a vibrant exchange of ideas and approaches from a group of dedicated, thoughtful scholars.
In addition, the Dow Postdoctoral Fellows meet monthly for a lunch-time research symposium in collaboration with the Dow Doctoral Fellows in Sustainability, where fellows present and facilitate discussions around their work in progress. Other activities include skills-building workshops, discussions on sustainability topics jointly with graduate fellows. Also encouraged are collaborations through the proposal competition for the Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability and submissions to the Michigan Journal of Sustainability. Postdoctoral Fellows are also encouraged to mentor doctoral and masters/professional degree fellows as appropriate.