Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Socio-Environmental Synthesis Research Workshop

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (All day) to Friday, March 27, 2020 (All day)
SESYNC, Annapolis, Maryland, United States


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in partnership with the Ecological Society of America’s Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) program invites PhD students from a wide range of under-represented experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds to attend an interactive, skill-building workshop on team-based, socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis. S-E synthesis accelerates knowledge production and solutions to pressing S-E problems by integrating diverse disciplines, data, ideas, methods, theories, and priorities from across the social, natural, and computational sciences.


Workshop attendees will learn from and build community with 25 of their peers as well as a team of synthesis experts and mentors who share interests in investigating complex S-E problems, translating scientific contributions to actions and decisions, and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. Attendees will participate in interactive activities and skills-based trainings spanning the science of team science, to interdisciplinary proposal writing and shared research design, to science communication and delivering actionable outcomes. Attendees will also have the opportunity to join facilitated discussions and coaching sessions with mentors who are heavily engaged in promoting inclusion and diversity, and who themselves identify with a wide range of under-represented communities.

Altogether, the workshop is designed such that attendees:

  • Enhance S-E synthesis and team science skills
  • Learn to communicate science to different audiences and inform relevant policies, decisions, and solutions
  • Expand and enrich science networks by incorporating and blending values and identities
  • Catalyze collaborative synthesis research projects as part of interdisciplinary teams
  • Engage with instructors, mentors, and peers in a welcoming environment conducive to diverse forms of thought, learning, expression, and exchange

Graduate Pursuits

In addition to building S-E synthesis skills and advancing scientific diversity, the workshop is designed to prepare graduate students to lead and/or otherwise contribute to the beginnings of a Graduate Pursuit. The SESYNC Graduate Pursuits Program is a first-of-its-kind program that supports independent research teams of 5-7 PhD students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Simultaneous to but outside of students’ doctoral degree programs, supported teams conduct data-driven synthesis research under one of SESYNC’s research themes over an 18-month period, with a focus on contributing fundamental scientific knowledge, solving synthetic problems, producing peer-reviewed products, and developing actionable outcomes. The Graduate Pursuits Program involves a series of multi-day meetings in Annapolis, long-term and structured engagement with SESYNC staff, and tailored cyberinfrastructure and computational support. Since 2013, SESYNC has supported 28 Graduate Pursuit teams. A list of supported Pursuit teams can be found here.

Costs and Travel

There is no cost to attend the workshop, although space is limited. Airfare (or costs incurred by other modes of transportation) to Annapolis will be pre-paid by SESYNC. SESYNC will also provide private hotel accommodations for up to five nights in accordance with University of Maryland’s travel policies. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served each day, with a welcome dinner also planned for the first evening. Attendees will be reimbursed for meals and other costs not directly provided by SESYNC during the workshop. 

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is January 21, 2020 at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).