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Week of September 24, 2012

Dow Sustainability Fellows nominees sought

The U-M Dow Sustainability Fellows Program — a new, multi-faceted, $10 million program designed to foster future sustainability leaders — officially kicks off this fall with schools and colleges across the university nominating master’s and professional-degree students for the program.

“This innovative program will support nearly 300 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in their sustainability-focused studies over the next five years,” says Graham Sustainability Institute Director and Special Counsel to the U-M President on Sustainability Don Scavia, who has been charged with administering the program on behalf of the university.

For this first component, U-M schools and colleges are being asked to nominate up to 10 eligible, interested and competitive graduate students from their respective schools by Nov. 1, after which nominated students will submit a formal application package by Nov. 18. A multi-disciplinary faculty review committee representing all participating schools and colleges will evaluate the applications and select a total of 40 fellows to be announced in mid December. The first cohort will begin in January 2013.

When in full swing, the Dow program will encompass fellowship awards at the master’s/professional degree, doctoral and postdoctoral levels. It also will include annual Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability to facilitate high-impact projects initiated by students and faculty throughout the university. In all, the program will invest $2 million per year to cultivate future sustainability leaders and tackle complex sustainability challenges.

The process for selecting postdoctoral fellows will begin later this fall and a call for nominations for doctoral fellows will be issued in December.

For more information, go to



Mark O’Brien, insect division collection manager, sees his world through many lenses.


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