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Hanley Sustainability Institute

HSI launches global search for graduate fellowship students to do research with faculty

By Mark Gokavi

The Hanley Sustainability Institute at the University of Dayton is expanding its reach in an effort to bring high-achieving graduate students to UD to work in sustainability-related research.

HSI has launched a graduate fellowship program for the 2021-2022 academic year to attract high-quality students with sustainability interests to UD through an internationally-advertised fellowship competition.

Applicants are invited to apply to one of six specific opportunities, each of which consists of a research project mentored by a faculty member and complementary programmatic efforts within HSI.

“HSI has long supported graduate assistants,” said Ben McCall, HSI’s executive director. “This shift to fellowships is intended to more directly connect students with faculty mentors, to integrate their scholarly work and their programmatic work, and to recruit from a broader pool of prospective students.”

Applicants also must apply (separately) and be accepted to the UD graduate program of their choice. Successful candidates will receive financial support in the form of tuition and a stipend, guaranteed for the 2021-2022 academic year and renewable for an additional semester or academic year pending satisfactory progress.

The six research opportunities and faculty mentors are: Community Based Integrative Sustainable Strategies to Address Climate Change and Build Resilience (Prof. Felix Fernando, Hanley Sustainability Institute); Forest Ecology & Sustainable Management (Prof. Ryan McEwan, Department of Biology); Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (Prof. Bill Meek, Department of Management and Marketing); Sustainability Education (Prof. Rebecca Potter, Department of English and Hanley Sustainability Institute); Behavioral Activation at the Shelter Farm (Prof. Roger Reeb, Department of Psychology); Business Waste Assessment (Prof. Denise Taylor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering).

McCall said this represents a unique opportunity for graduate students from multiple disciplines to join a cohort of sustainability fellows within an interdisciplinary institute and to receive full financial support.

McCall said successful applicants will be able to engage in “meaningful sustainability projects that are resonant with their scholarly work and degree programs - in contrast to some graduate assistantships where the work is programmatic or even administrative in nature, rather than linked to their scholarly work.”

Interested students can apply by sending a cover letter describing their interest and relevant experience (including an indication of which opportunity they are applying for), a curriculum vitae, and an unofficial transcript to For full consideration, applications should be submitted by Jan. 31, 2021. See the fellowship website for more information including detailed descriptions of each project.

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the sustainability program website. To sign up for HSI’s Sustainability Spotlight newsletter, register here.

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