Propose a Workshop

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May 15, 2017

Workshops are single meetings of up to ~25 participants that focus on a broad topic or a set of related topics related to socio-environmental science and/or socio-environmental problems. Workshops may summarize and/or synthesize the state of the topic and/or identify future directions that have the potential to lead to a larger synthesis effort. We are particularly interested in workshops that bring together new combinations of individuals and disciplines.

For workshops, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) funding provides:

  • travel, lodging, and meals for participants in accordance with our Travel Policies;
  • meeting facilities;
  • on-site computing support; and
  • the opportunity to engage with Postdoctoral and Sabbatical Fellows at SESYNC headquarters in Annapolis, MD, or at our research affiliate, Resources for the Future, in Washington, D.C.

Workshop proposals will be ranked with regard to the following:

  • novelty, creativity, and/or urgency of the proposed workshop within the context of SESYNC’s mission;
  • feasibility to produce meaningful advancements, including identifying distinct and achievable goals and showing ability to access appropriate resources;
  • qualifications and disciplinary diversity of participants (note that SESYNC may ask that leaders provide opportunities for individuals who can apply to attend the workshop);
  • if successful, produce meaningful synthetic research or advance the process of synthesis;
  • inclusion of diversity to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups with respect to gender, ethnicity, disability, and geographic location; and
  • explanation of why SESYNC is the most appropriate way to support the proposed endeavor.

Submission Instructions

What to Include

SESYNC applications are composed of three parts to be submitted via SESYNC's online submission system:

  1. An online form on the submission website,
  2. A proposal in a single PDF, which should be uploaded to the online form, and
  3. A downloadable Excel spreadsheet of potential participants, which should be completed and then uploaded to the online form. 

Proposal Requirements

Include the following in your application in a single PDF using single spacing, 12-pt type fonts, and 1-inch margins.

Cover sheet (1 page)

  • Descriptive title of proposed workshop (“Workshop: ….”)
  • Short title (25 characters max)
  • Name and contact information for up to two PIs
  • Project summary (250 words): appropriate for the public; posted on the SESYNC website
  • Keywords (up to 5 keywords different from those used in the title)
  • Proposed start dates, duration of meeting, and the estimated number of participants (teams should expect to start no earlier than late fall/early winter)
  • Potential conflicts of interest with members of the SESYNC External Advisory BoardLeadership Team, Researchers, or Fellows

Main body (4 pages max including references)

  • Description of the workshop topic, why it is important to advancing in socio-environmental synthesis research, and its novelty or urgency.
  • Why SESYNC is the most appropriate place to hold the workshop. Note that the most competitive proposals will be for workshops that capitalize on SESYNC’s scientific community in residence, its cyberinfrastructure and technical resources, or its partners locally. SESYNC will not generally fund workshops in which the leads or the majority of named participants are engaged in a significant ongoing collaboration.
  • Metrics of success: describe metrics that are the most appropriate for evaluating the success of the proposed project (e.g., papers, policy-directed efforts, databases, models, development of new resources, grant proposal, etc).

Data Plan and Availability (1 page)

Briefly describe any anticipated cyberinfrastructure (CI) support needed prior to or during the workshop. Applicants should review SESYNC's Cyberinfrastructure Support Information and Policies to familiarize themselves with the types of CI support SESYNC can provide and expectations regarding release of software and data upon project completion. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed workshop with Mike Smorul ( or Mary Shelley ( prior to submission if significant CI resources are needed to make the workshop successful.

Please note: SESYNC discourages applications requesting funding for literature reviews. That said, we will consider meta-analysis synthesis of concepts, theories, and knowledge within the literature.

Other Information (1 page)

  1. Work plan with budgetary needs: this is not in dollars, but do provide the number of US domestic and international participants & days of local support for each. SESYNC provides neither honoraria nor stipends for workshop leaders or participants.
  2. Diversity statement: include two paragraphs describing the aspects of diversity in your participant list. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, disability status, career stage, geography, and type of home institution.
  • In paragraph one, please describe diversity of backgrounds (social and natural scientists), experience of participants, gender, career stage, country of origin, and persons of disabilities.
  • In paragraph two, please describe the diversity of participants with respect to groups underrepresented in SESYNC research including scholars from developing countries and participants from underrepresented U.S. minorities (African Americans, American Indians including Native Alaskans, Hispanics, and Native Pacific Islanders; for more information on such efforts see:  

Short CV of the PIs (2 pages for each)

Please ONLY include the CVs of the Proposal Leaders, 2 pages maximum for each. Do not include talks, society memberships, or papers in preparation.

Current and Pending Support (1 page for each PI)

Please list current, pending support and the relationship to the proposed work at SESYNC. In addition please list proposals that you anticipate will be submitted during the period of this project that are substantively related to the synthesis effort. 

Potential Participants

Please download the Excel spreadsheet provided and complete the template using the column headers listed below for all participants. This should be uploaded separately from your PDF application to the online form. 

    • Last Name
    • First Name
    • Affiliation (include department)
    • Website address
    • Primary Area of Expertise
    • Secondary Area of Expertise
    • Confirmed (Y/N)
    • Prior Collaboration with Applicants (Y/N)

List characteristics of potential participants that might be invited for open slots. Include current SESYNC Postdoctoral and Sabbatical Fellows, if appropriate.

We ask that you download and complete this spreadsheet, and then upload it separately to your online form once you are ready to submit your full application online. 


Proposals must be uploaded to SESYNC’s online submission system by May 15, 2017, at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).



The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply

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