SESYNC Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Team-Based Research Projects

Due Date: 05/15/2017

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) invites proposals for collaborative team-based research (Pursuits) that synthesize existing data, methods, theories, and tools to address a pressing socio-environmental problem. Researchers are encouraged to develop research questions and methods for results that can be applicable across multiple places and scales and have the potential to inform decision makers. They are particularly interested in novel, actionable synthesis efforts that employ synthesis methodologies in new ways. Projects that can bring together quantitative and qualitative data and knowledge are of special interest. 

Teams should be comprised of no more than 15 members who will meet at SESYNC in Annapolis for 2 - 4 meetings of approximately 3 - 5 days over a period of 1 - 2 years. The composition and number of participants in a Pursuit will vary depending upon the nature of the research problem and the expertise needed to address it. Teams should be highly interdisciplinary, and we encourage the inclusion of individuals from outside of academia (e.g., governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, the business sector, etc.). SESYNC places priority on teams whose members have not had extensive prior collaborations with one another.

In this round, the following two themes are of particular interest. However, SESYNC will accept proposals for socio-environmental synthesis outside of these two themes:

  1. Environmental Dynamics and Food Systems. Projects that synthesize diverse data sources and/or develop models and scenarios that reflect the intersection of food system activities with ecological and/or broader socio-environmental systems. Ideally, studies will seek to identify the mechanisms that link the ecological and social dimensions of one or more activities within the food system, or those that link the food system to other (e.g. water or energy) systems. 
  2. Sudden or Unexpected Events: Environmental Recovery, Reorganization or Restoration. Projects that synthesize data, develop and apply models, or couple quantitative and qualitative information in new ways to identify the mechanisms that lead to different ecological or socio-environmental responses to discrete events, which could have long-lasting environmental impacts. 

SESYNC encourages those interested in these opportunities to discuss their ideas with SESYNC prior to developing their proposal. Discussions with team leaders can often help determine if an idea is appropriate for SESYNC, as well as how syntheses might be structured to achieve strong interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary outcomes. Please contact to schedule a conversation. To be effective, this should occur no later than 3 weeks prior to submitting a proposal.

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A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt