NSF Graduate Research Assistantships


Theoretical / Computational Graduate Research Assistantships

Apply Online

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the University of Maryland (UMD), the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is a national research center that hosts scholars from around the world who are working on problems related to the complex interactions between humans and the environment. The Center is located in beautiful historic Annapolis, which is just 25 miles from UMD’s College Park campus. State-of-the-art facilities, advanced cyberinfrastructure, and scientific staff provide resident and visiting scholars and students with a high level of support.

Full-time graduate research assistantships are available for students working on theoretical, computational, or mathematical problems relevant to the dynamics of socio-environmental systems. The Center seeks applications from current PhD students from any discipline who have passed their qualifying exams (a.k.a. preliminary exams) and are undertaking strongly quantitative investigations at the interface of the social and environmental sciences.

Assistantships provide one year of support for students who spend six months in residence at SESYNC, or one semester of support for students who spend at least two months in residence. Students within commuting distance from Annapolis must be at the Center 2–3 full days per week or equivalent for the entire duration of the assistantship to qualify for support. During a graduate research assistant’s time at SESYNC, he/she is considered as an employee of UMD and will receive full university employee benefits. In addition to a stipend, non-local graduate research assistants are provided funds to defray the cost of housing and travel from their home institution.

Selection Criteria:

Graduate research assistant applications will be ranked primarily by the quality and feasibility of the work to be undertaken at SESYNC. In particular, applications will be ranked with regard to the:

Explanation of how the theoretical, computational, and/or mathematical aspect of the applicant’s research may lead to advances in understanding the dynamics of socio-environmental systems.
Novelty, creativity, and/or urgency of proposed activities.
Types of researchers/research activities the applicant may wish to interact with while at SESYNC and how this could contribute to the applicant’s education.
Applicant’s qualifications and experience.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated quarterly.

Submission Instructions:

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF file including cover sheet, full CV, and the names and contact information for three references. This information must be submitted online at http://www.sesync.org/graduate-program-application.

For information on the application requirements, click here.

The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer – 
Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply


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