delware environmental institute

Environmental Fellows

Bridging Science and Society

The DENIN Environmental Fellows Program supports doctoral students carrying out environmentally relevant research at the University of Delaware. The goal of the program is to help prepare students whose scientific research and interests demonstrate a clear link to societal needs and benefits. We anticipate that, over time, DENIN Fellows will pursue diverse careers across academia, the public and private sectors.

Screen shot from DENIN Fellows videoDENIN Fellows are selected to function as a team for two years and work together in ways that complement their primary academic programs. Fellows participate in and lead a select number of DENIN events and activities each year, including symposia and seminar series. DENIN will provide opportunities for networking with domestic and international scientists and leaders, as well as for professional development in areas such as effectively communicating science. Fellows may also propose new initiatives. 

Fellows are selected by a committee of internal and external reviewers. The fellowships include a $30,000 annual stipend. A cost-of-education allowance is also permitted; applicants may request up to $6,680 per year to be used for tuition, research supplies, or research-related travel. Fellowships are paid over a two-year period, as long as the Fellow remains in good standing academically. DENIN Fellows may not have concurrent RA or TA positions.

Funding for the DENIN Fellows is provided in part through private philanthropy. If you are interested helping to support the next generation of environmental leaders, please contact Jeanette Miller.

In 2015, three Fellows will be selected. These fellowships will begin September 1, 2015. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on May 15. Please scroll down for complete instructions and link to the online form.

Meet our 2014–16 Fellows:

Photo of Jean BrodeurJean Brodeur, originally from Connecticut, received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Southern California in international relations and is currently a marine science and policy Ph.D. student. As a former Washington, D.C., lobbyist who has returned to school in order to learn more about oceanography, she knows the importance of scientists and policy makers working together to create positive environmental change. Brodeur’s research focuses on the intersection between ocean acidification chemistry and policy.

Watch Jean's video


Photo of Audrey GambleAudrey V. Gamble is a Ph.D. student in the environmental soil chemistry program at UD. Originally from Headland, Alabama, she received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry as well as her master’s in crop, soil and environmental sciences from Auburn University. Gamble is interested in research that connects agricultural practices to their environmental implications. She is currently seeking to understand the chemistry of phosphorous retention and transport in soils from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Watch Audrey's video


Photo of Mahfuz KhanMahfuzur Khan, from Jamalpur, Bangladesh, received both his bachelor’s and masters’ degrees from the University of Dhaka. He is currently a Ph.D. student in geological sciences at UD. Khan’s research revolves around arsenic contamination in groundwater and river deltas. He is interested in the sustainability of deep groundwater in Bangladesh as an arsenic-safe water source as well as the management of highly seasonal cross-regional and international river basins. 

Watch Mahfuz's video

Photo of Kelsea SchumacherKelsea Schumacher, a student in the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, is originally from Bend, Oregon. She has a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering and a master’s in civil engineering from Oregon State University. Her Ph.D. research aims to determine the capabilities and capacity of the U.S. electronic waste recycling infrastructure, so that effective industry and policy measures can be designed to increase collection for recycling and close the loop on the lifecycle of electronic products.

Watch Kelsea's video


How To Apply

A complete application requires four documents:  
1) Proposal
2) Resume
3) Adviser Letter
4) Second Recommendation Letter

The first two, listed above, are assembled into a single PDF file and uploaded to the online application system. The third and fourth required documents are letters of recommendation from your academic adviser and a second reference. The application system will send a request to your references via email. Please ensure that you have a correct email address for each reference. You have the option to include a third letter, in the event that you have an external partner or other important reference with whom you will interact and share results of your research.

Eligibility: Current and newly admitted University of Delaware doctoral students with an environmental focus may apply. Students in natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and engineering are eligible. 

Adviser Limitations: Only one student per faculty research group will be considered. Advisers must be DENIN Affiliate faculty members.

Focal Areas of Interest: Areas of interest include climate change and sea level rise; social science and environmental justice; land use and water quality; biogeochemical cycling of contaminants; environmental sensing; alternative energy research.

Reporting Requirements: Fellows will be required to provide a brief written report annually, to attend DENIN events and the annual Delaware EPSCoR State Meeting, and to make presentations to the DENIN or EPSCoR communities.

Application Instructions: All application documents are due via this online form by 5:00 p.m., May 15, 2015.  Please review all instructions noted here and prepare your materials prior to going online. The online system will not save partial applications, so be prepared to upload all of your materials and to provide the names and email addresses of those who will provide letters of reference.

Assemble your application documents in the following order: 1) Proposal, 2) Resume. Save your proposal and resume as a single .pdf file. Proposals should include the following elements. Note page specifications for the narrative and other sections; text in these sections should be single-spaced, minimum 11-pt font, 1-inch margins.

1. Online Form
Complete the online form in the application system. Information you will need to complete the form includes:
a) Applicant contact information and demographics.
b) Adviser contact information. 
b) Name and email of each person who will provide a letter of reference for you.

2. Project Narrative (7 pages)
a) Summary (1 page)
Include a one-paragraph summary, that describes your background and current research focus, suitable for use in public reports and on the DENIN and NSF EPSCoR websites, that crisply describes the research to be carried out. 

b) Context and Research Focus (1 page)
Discuss your background, and how you became interested in your research area. 

c) Intellectual Merit (2 pages)
Describe the research you are carrying out, theoretical grounding, existing literature, plan for empirical research. Discuss why it is significant. Note areas of innovation. Include a timeline of your core activities. 

d) Broader Impacts (2 pages)
What are the social dimensions or implications of your work? How will your work address a societal need, or provide a benefit to society? Describe how the activities of the proposed research can be linked to needs and challenges of communities, government agencies, the business community or environmental nonprofit groups.  Each proposal should identify an external contact/organization that might be the ultimate user of these research results. A letter of endorsement is not required but will strongly enhance the proposal. What prior experience do you have in communicating science to non-academic audiences? 

e) References Cited (1 page)

3. Resume (2 pages)
Provide a resume that includes your education, work experience, honors, awards, and publications.

4. Letters of recommendation (no page limit)
Request a letter of recommendation from your academic adviser and a second reference. The application system will email your references, requesting a letter. Please ensure that you include a correct email address for those who will provide references. An optional third letter is permitted.

a) Adviser Letter
Your academic adviser’s letter should discuss your potential as an environmental researcher who is able to link science and engineering research to societal needs.  Your adviser should a) state a commitment to support you academically and financially after the Fellowship concludes, and b) support your work as a member of the DENIN Environmental Fellows team, who will help to organize (both intellectually and logistically) several environmental meetings and events each year. DENIN Environmental Fellows will also receive communications coaching as part of the Fellowship.

b) Second Recommendation Letter
Request your second letter from a faculty member or other individual who knows you and your work well. The second letter could be from a former research mentor, supervisor, or from a faculty member who knows you well from a class.

c) Optional Third Letter
If you have a community partner, NGO collaborator, state/federal agency contact, industry partner, or another person outside of academia who can comment on your potential as a DENIN Fellow, and on the significance of your research focus, you have the option to include a third letter of reference.  The third letter is especially appropriate if an agency or group will be working with you, or if you plan to present your research results to them. The application system will request a letter from that person via email; ensure that you have a correct email address for your referee.

Address questions regarding the fellowship or the application process to DENIN Associate Director Jeanette Miller by email or by calling 302-831-4167.