Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
On what types of sustainability challenges will Fellows focus?
Fellows will develop knowledge and seek breakthroughs across myriad components of the sustainability challenge, including human behavior, energy, water, mobility, climate change, built environment, land use, and global health. Transformational advances in these critical areas will come from focusing on their intersections, and applying innovative approaches that cut across natural, social, and technological boundaries.
What are the Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability?
Please click here for information about this awards program.
How do I apply?
Applications for the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program vary for each of the different components (i.e. masters/professional, doctoral, and postdoctoral), so please look at each specific program page for application details.
What are the criteria for awarding fellowships?
Fellowships will be awarded to applicants whose work most convincingly focuses on breakthrough solutions pertaining to sustainability challenges. While the selection processes will be tailored to each type of fellowship, all applications will go through an independent review by a diverse selection committee. Applicants will be rated according to the following merit-based criteria:
- Degree to which work/interests are relevant to sustainability
- Interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of proposed work and personal and professional interests
- Potential for significant impact resulting from the proposed work
- Productivity and quality of applicant's prior work and experiences
- Demonstrated accomplishments that show potential for sustainability leadershipInterdisciplinary balance and diverse perspectives in the cohort, including students with a commitment to underserved and underrepresented populations
Who selects the fellows?
Fellowship applications will go through an independent, multi-stage review by multidisciplinary committees composed of U-M faculty and staff with sustainability expertise. Anyone participating in the application review process at any stage must recuse himself or herself from reviewing applications submitted by students with whom they work, or in any other case where there may be a conflict of interest. Final application reviews and fellowship recommendations will be made by Graham's Executive Committee (EC), which is composed of ten senior U-M faculty members with significant and diverse sustainability expertise, representing nine U-M Schools & Colleges and the Office of the Vice President for Research. EC members serve three-year terms and are selected by the Dean/VP of each participating unit in consultation with Graham's Director. Drawing upon EC recommendations, Professor Scavia will make final decisions on all fellowship awards, including possible revocations if fellows do not meet pre-defined Program requirements. For postdoctoral fellowships, the proposed U-M faculty advisors, their home academic departments, and the Graham EC will be jointly responsible for recommending fellows for final selection by Professor Scavia.
Who controls the Program?
All gifts to the University of Michigan (U-M) are governed solely by U-M. This particular gift is governed by the U-M Provost, and responsibility for administering the Program resides with a U-M faculty member designated by the Provost. The Provost has designated Donald Scavia, Graham Family Professor and Director of U-M's Graham Institute to fill this role. The Dow Chemical Company has no authority over program processes or decisions.
What is the role of the Dow employee being loaned to the Program?
Reporting to Professor Scavia, the Employee will work as member of a team of U-M faculty and staff administering the Program. In collaboration with other team members, the Employee will:
- Assist in developing and drafting Program materials including calls for proposals, fellowship tracking tools, internal communications, and annual Program performance review documents.Work with U-M communications personnel to promote the Program to a wide audience of potential applicants and to publicize Program fellows, activities, and accomplishments.
- Work with U-M financial and administrative support personnel to develop and refine back-office tools to effectively manage the fellowship application process, ensure accurate disbursement of fellowship awards, and ensure all aspects of Program meetings/workshops are planned and executed professionally.
- Assist in the timing, design, and delivery of co-curricular Program activities, including engaging relevant U-M faculty and staff, and external stakeholders in co-curricular Program activities.
- Help track fellows participation to ensure they are meeting Program requirements, and serve as an informal advisor to Program fellows (when requested by fellows).
U-M expects the Employee to have credentials appropriate for a non-tenure track academic appointment in a U-M School or College; all decisions regarding an academic appointment and related duties will be made by the potential appointing School or College in accordance with the standard policies of that academic unit.