SESYNC and LTER offer Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellows and Collaborating Mentors

Network News Winter 2014, Vol. 27 No. 4
Network News

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), in collaboration with NSF’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, invites applications for two-year Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellowships that will begin August 5, 2015. SESYNC and LTER also invite applications for Collaborating Mentors, who will co-develop postdoctoral projects and provide substantive intellectual and methodological mentoring during the fellowship.

Synthesis is a research approach that accelerates knowledge by distilling or integrating existing data, ideas, theories, and methods to draw more reliable or generalizable conclusions and to reveal novel areas of study. Synthesis often involves merging large or heterogeneous data sets from multiple sources, researchers, or fields of inquiry, and it can employ a diverse array of theoretical and methodological approaches.

SESYNC–LTER Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellowships will engage and assist early-career investigators in the use and analysis of existing long-term data and in advanced computational methods to ask new questions and initiate new research collaborations. Each Fellow will work with a SESYNC facilitator and cyberinfrastructure specialists to identify the data and tools needed to address the proposed synthesis questions. These must involve LTER data, but applicants are encouraged to include additional long-term data collected for projects outside of the LTER network as well. All types of projects may be proposed, including those that synthesize data across LTER sites and those that synthesize natural and social science data.

In addition to their own research projects, SESYNC–LTER Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellows will have opportunities to collaborate with other SESYNC Postdoctoral Fellows and early career scholars and to participate with teams of researchers at SESYNC. Examples of current SESYNC projects include non-native pest risk and globalization, adaptive water governance, macroevolution of ecosystem services, and differing ecological vs. political time scales.


Fellowships are awarded for a maximum of two years. Appointments will be through the University of Maryland, and Fellows must be based at SESYNC’s facilities in Annapolis, Maryland, where they will have access to a full range of sophisticated analytical, modeling, and visualization tools. The SESYNC–LTER Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellowship will provide an annual stipend, full University of Maryland employee benefits, and a small annual travel allowance to attend meetings or to meet with collaborators.

Collaborating Mentors will receive support to travel to SESYNC to work with the Fellow. SESYNC will also provide a month of summer salary each year for the Mentor via a sub-award to the Mentor’s home institution.


For Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellowships, visit Interested applicants must first submit a pre-screening application, accepted on a rolling basis but no later than February 2, 2015. Final fellowship applications must be submitted by April 1, 2015.

For Collaborating Mentors, visit Applications for Collaborating Mentors are accepted on a rolling basis but no later than February 2, 2015. All deadlines are by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).