The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is dedicated to solving society’s most challenging and complex environmental problems. We foster collaboration amongst scholars from a diverse array of the natural, social, and computational sciences (such as ecology, public health, and political science), as well as stakeholders that include resource managers, policy makers, and community members.
SESYNC uses a structured engagement process and an adaptive organizational model to:
- facilitate the co-development of research topics and associated questions that are of mutual interest to natural and social scientists, and that have the potential to be actionable;
- foster synthesis and discovery across funded projects; and
- maximize progress by the socio-environmental scholarly community, and grow the synthesis process.
We offer a variety of integrated programs to support socio-environmental synthesis. The structure of these programs allows us to make advances in areas of national and international priority while accommodating the need for innovation and knowledge generation around emerging problems or opportunities. Within each program, we encourage links to policy and actionable outcomes.
We actively solicit project proposals under thematically-oriented RFPs—we also welcome unsolicited synthesis proposals at any time for innovative projects or workshops that are not linked to a research “Theme.” Postdoctoral scholars and other types of fellows, as well as educational outreach, are key components of SESYNC’s programmatic structure.
Coordinated Synthesis Projects
Themes are general research topics that may include a variety of related research questions. Under each Theme, SESYNC funds a limited number of Pursuits, which are designed to facilitate face-to-face engagement of researchers at the Center in Annapolis.
Special Opportunity Synthesis Projects
Ventures and Workshops address emerging issues and opportunities in socio-environmental synthesis. As high risk/high reward or time-sensitive synthesis projects, Ventures and Workshops can be proposed on any topic relevant to socio-environmental science provided they address a pressing need or the opportunity to develop innovative concepts and/or tools.
Fellowships are awarded to scholars to pursue independent social, environmental, or cyberinfrastructure synthesis projects that are consistent with the mission of SESYNC. Fellows also participate in collaborative Center activities, which could include working with an existing Pursuit team, organizing a Workshop, or developing an education or outreach activity.
SESYNC offers several types of fellowships to qualified scholars:
- Postdoctoral Fellowships to support early career researchers;
- Sabbatical & Research Fellowships for scholars who are at least three years post-PhD;
- Policy & Practice Fellowships to support short-term visits (<2 months) in which individuals from government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, and the media interact with the SESYNC community in Annapolis, MD, or at Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington, DC; and
- Maryland Fellows, who are from University System of Maryland universities or other institutions within commuting distance who apply to work at SESYNC during periods of leave or sabbatical from their home institutions.
Visit our Programs page to learn more about synthesis opportunities at SESYNC.