Saturday, April 18, 2009

Announcing the UIC IESP 2009 Doctoral Fellowship Competition

The mission of IESP is to advance collaborative inquiry among the environmental sciences, engineering, economics, social thought, and policy among UIC’s faculty and students, transmit workable solutions for environmental problem to the public sector, and prepare the next generation
of environmental decision-makers.  These guidelines set forth the procedures for applying for doctoral student fellowships within the Institute for the 2009-2010 academic year.


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, theme of the proposed research, and methodologies to be used should be interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary study is integrative in nature, seeking to forge new models of scholarship that build upon traditional disciplines. Interdisciplinary scholarship is a moving target; what was once considered an interdiscipline may over time evolve into a traditional discipline. For example, the integration of concepts from chemistry, microbiology, and sanitary engineering resulted in the creation of environmental engineering a mature body of knowledge today. The synthesis of concepts from various disciplines of engineering and science, economics, planning, architecture, and ethics has created the newly formed interdiscipline of industrial ecology. Many more examples exist.

Research topics within the IESP doctoral fellowship program are highly varied. Topical areas have included, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The development of metrics for assessing sustainability
  • Novel technologies for limiting waste emissions during manufacturing
  • Toxicology of nanoparticles
  • New methods for enhancing material recovery and/or recycling
  • Applications of total cost accounting for assessment of environmental costs
  • Material substitution for improved waste management
  • Sustainability theory
  • Applications of life cycle 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
  • The interface of social and environmental policies
  • Systems approaches for environmental management
  • New methods for energy generation that minimize waste production
  • Energy efficiency
  • Biomarkers in sediments and soils

The UIC IESP Doctoral Fellowship Program

The IESP doctoral fellowship program is open to any doctoral student at UIC whose research is related to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship. All applicants must be accepted into an existing doctoral program. Successful applicants will be appointed as Doctoral Fellows of IESP. Each
fellowship carries with it a $12,000 stipend; however, the fellowship does not cover tuition and fees.

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
  • Interdisciplinary 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

Applications must be made directly by the student and must include a statement of approval by the student’s advisor. Applications must indicate a willingness to participate, by both student and advisor, in the core functions of IESP, and must credit the support of IESP in any publications that result from the research effort.

Regardless of the topical area, applicants must address how the research is congruent with the aims of the fellowship program.  All applications must include UIC and/or prior college transcripts, a brief (one page) curriculum vita, and three letters of reference from UIC faculty members or others who
are familiar with the student’s record of achievement, including a letter/statement of approval from the students’ advisor. The IESP doctoral fellowship program is intended to augment other sources of student support, thus the type and anticipated amounts of such support should be explicitly stated.

Completed applications should be no more than five pages in length, excluding transcripts, letters of reference, and bibliography.  Applications are due Monday, May 11, 2009 by 3PM.   All application materials must be sent electronically as a single PDF file to Ms. Maggie Jameson. Fellowship awardees will be notified by July 1, 2009. Funded fellowships will be available August 16, 2009 and must be used during the 2009-2010 academic year. Questions regarding the application procedure or the administration of fellowships should be directed to Professor Thomas L. Theis, (312)

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