Predoctoral Fellowship Competition

Deadline Monday, May 2, 2016, 3PM


The UIC Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP) announces the predoctoral fellowship award competition for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The mission of IESP is to advance interdisciplinary inquiry on the environment among the sciences and engineering, economics, social thought, and policy among UIC’s faculty and students, transmit workable solutions for environmental problems to the public sectors, and prepare the next generation of environmental decision-makers. These guidelines set forth the procedures for applying for predoctoral student fellowships supported by IESP.


Exciting thinking often lies at the borders of academic disciplines, including the many that have contributed to advances in environmental scholarship. For IESP fellowships, the program of study, the theme of the proposed research, and the methodologies to be used should seek to be interdisciplinary in nature. Interdisciplinary study is integrative, seeking to forge new models of scholarship which build upon the traditional disciplines. The world of the future will require scholars with a global approach to problem solving. It will no longer be enough to know one area, one discipline, or one field of study. Inquiry and discovery are crossing disciplines. With this in mind, the mission of the IESP predoctoral fellowship program is to span traditional boundaries among disciplines while helping students develop knowledge and skills for independent research on the fundamental and applied issues of the present and the future. Research topics within the IESP predoctoral fellowship program are highly varied. Past projects have included research areas such as:

• The development of metrics for assessing sustainability
• Nanotechnology and environmental policy
• Ecology and management of invasive plants using field surveys, manipulative field experiments and mathematical modeling
• Novel technologies for limiting waste emissions during manufacturing
• New methods for enhancing material recovery and/or recycling
• Urban agriculture and environmental justice
• Applications of life cycle and material flow analysis
• Aspects and impacts of local, regional, and global material, energy, or information flows through an economy
• The role of market forces in carrying out environmental regulatory policy
• Valuation of ecosystem services
• Developing process-based hydrologic models for managing water resources
• Energy efficiency and social policy

These research areas are indicative only; new applications are not limited to these topics.

The UIC IESP Predoctoral Fellowship Program

The IESP predoctoral fellowship program is open to any predoctoral student at UIC whose research is related to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship. All applicants must have been accepted into an existing doctoral program. Successful applicants will be appointed as Predoctoral Fellows of IESP. Each fellowship carries with it an award of up to $15,000 which can be used for all legitimate research expenses except tuition and fees, and capital equipment. All awards are dependent on the availability of funds.

Criteria For Selection

• Relevance of the research theme to the mission of IESP
• Extent to which the research plan draws upon and synthesizes knowledge from more than one disciplinary area
• Likelihood that the research will lead to new modes of environmental scholarship
• Multidisciplinary nature of coursework, advising strategy, and plans for publication of results
• Willingness of faculty mentors to support, both financially and intellectually, the research described

Application, Schedule and Deadlines

All full time students pursuing doctoral studies at UIC, regardless of major, are eligible to apply for IESP predoctoral fellowships. Applications must be written and submitted by the student. By submitting an application, students and mentors acknowledge their willingness to participate in the core functions of IESP, and must acknowledge the support of IESP in all publications and presentations that result from the research effort.

Applications must include the following documents (in this order):

1) A cover page. (e-mail for a template)
2) Proof of acceptance into a doctoral program.
3) A narrative statement of research interests, including rationale, methodology, and expected outcomes (five pages maximum).
4) A one page statement that specifically identifies the disciplines upon which the research is based and the strategy for integrating these disciplines.
5) All graduate and undergraduate transcripts.
6) A brief (two pages maximum) curriculum vita.
7) Three letters of reference from UIC faculty members or past mentors who are familiar with the student’s record of achievement; these must include reference letter(s) from the students’s research advisor(s).
8) A one page budget indicating how the awarded funds will be allocated, and clearly showing how the funds will be used to enhance the fellow’s research efforts.
9) A list of suggested 4-6 suggested reviewers outside UIC, including name, title, institution (including name of department or institute), and e-mail.

Omission of any of these items will result in the proposal being returned without review.

Evaluation of proposals will be made by a panel of independent faculty from UIC and other institutions.

Page and font requirements. Text should be single spaced, one inch margins all around, fonts either Times Roman or Arial 11 point minimum. Tables and figures are counted within the five page limit. Bibliography, while required, should be no more than one page.

Applications are due Monday May 2, 2016, by3PM. Funded fellowships will be available August 16, 2016 and must be used during the 2016-2017 academic year. All application materials must be sent electronically to the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy,, as one PDF packet. Fellowship awardees will be notified by August 1, 2016. Questions regarding the application procedure or the administration of fellowships should be directed to Tasneem Chowdhury (, or 312-996-1081).


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