Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan Q&A

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1 Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Q&A What is the announcement? The Dow Chemical Company and the University of (U-M) are announcing a Sustainability Fellows Program aimed at creating the world s future sustainability leaders through an effort unprecedented in its size and scope. A $10 million gift from Dow will invest in approximately 300 leaders in global sustainability over the next six years. This real-world, multidisciplinary program will leverage U-M s nearly $1.25 billion research portfolio to engage in and help solve some of the world s most pressing sustainability challenges, while driving innovation in and around the globe. The unique structure of the program will bring together a select group of the most promising students and potential future leaders from the natural and social sciences, engineering, business, law, public health, public policy, architecture, urban planning, and other disciplines. These graduate and postdoctoral scholars will learn together how to combine the power of their respective disciplines to help solve the world s greatest sustainability challenges energy, climate change, water, food, housing, transportation and health and become global ambassadors of change through collaboration. This is a bold experiment, harnessing the power of a leading research university with a leading technology company to help solve world challenges in new ways. It is focused on assembling graduate-level students (master s, doctorate and post-doctorate) into a cohort with the purpose, year-in and year-out, of providing integrated solutions to global challenges. No other program we are aware of comes close to this approach and scope. The real world of sustainability involves integrating many disciplines. This program will mirror that integrated approach, giving rise to a generation of thought leaders who can and will change the world. Participants will learn how to help solve world challenges by working alongside others, not in isolation, or as bench chemists, or lawyers, or social scientists, but rather as integrated and collaborative cohorts that reflect how the world must move forward. The nearly 300 participants in this program will represent a new vanguard of leaders who think in multidisciplinary ways, and who are the drivers of a more sustainable future in corporate, government, academic and non-profit sectors. 1

2 Why is a program like this necessary/important? The problems we face today cannot be solved with the same kind of thinking that created them. Corporations, governments, NGOs, academia and individuals need to push aside standard thinking and create new models. Collaboration across sectors is the key to accelerating change. Universities that prepare our future leaders to think, decide, and behave in collaborative ways will foster the same positive action in the world. This Dow Sustainability Fellows program creates a new interdisciplinary playbook that will educate in ways that make graduates immediately more effective at leading the changes required to secure a more sustainable future. Why has Dow selected the University of? The University of is one of the world s leading academic institutions. In particular, the University s disciplinary strengths and interdisciplinary approaches to education and research provide an ideal platform to develop wellrounded sustainability leaders. Alumni at Dow Dow Employed Alumni Professional Degrees Global Leaders Directors 29 R&D 80 + Manufacturing & Engineering EH&S/ Sustainability Dow AgroSciences Legal 14 Dow Retired Alumni thousands Dow and the University of enjoy a very successful relationship that spans decades. Both of our institutions are deeply committed to addressing the challenges of creating a sustainable world. The University of has been named among Dow s strategic R&D innovation universities, and is a vital resource for research projects and recruiting. The partnership between Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris and U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, especially through their work together on advanced manufacturing policy in the United States, is also at the core of this collaboration. This special relationship between two institutions, founded on deep personal trust between their leaders, is reflected in a myriad of connections throughout both organizations. University of Academic Profile Number of Students 40,000 + U.S. Public University 4 Undergrad Rank Research expenditures among public 1 universities Global University Rank 18 Programs in Top 10 Ranking 95 Nobel Laureate Alumni 21 MacArthur Prize Recipients 24 National Academy of Science 25 Members National Academy of Engineering 23 Members Dow Employed Alumni Dow Retired Alumni thousands Bringing about sweeping change requires unique partnerships like this. We are confident we can work through the challenges of creating a new model that promises to deliver enormous benefits to our organizations, our state, our country, and our planet. 2

3 Why is now the right time to launch the program? The two organizations, under the leadership of Andrew Liveris and Mary Sue Coleman and working together as well as apart, saw enormous opportunity for solving global sustainability challenges that were simply too difficult to tackle in more traditional ways. They recognized the value in cross-disciplinary collaboration, already a hallmark of the University s leading sustainability initiatives, and wanted to further accelerate s sustainable teaching and research impact. Their common vision brought us to this point, and results in a Dow Sustainability Fellows program that builds on the strong foundation of sustainability work at the University its Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, the Fred and Barbara Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, the Center for Sustainable Systems, and the 400 or more courses and projects that include key elements of sustainability. How will the $10 million be spent? The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program involves the largest gift from Dow to the University of. Over six years, the gift will fund Master s Sustainability Fellows, Doctoral Sustainability Fellows, Postdoctoral Sustainability Fellows, awards for interdisciplinary sustainability solutions, and a lecture series. It is expected that the program will produce nearly 300 Dow Sustainability Fellows. Fellows Master s Sustainability Fellows Master s and other professional degree students may apply for this one-year fellowship. As part of the yearlong series of co-curricular programming, Master s Fellows will work in small groups on projects that are informed by a broad range of disciplinary and sector perspectives. Doctoral Sustainability Fellows The Program will build on the University s existing interdisciplinary sustainability doctoral fellowship program, currently known as the Graham Doctoral Fellows, which will be a key part of the expanded and newly named Dow Sustainability Fellows Program. Over two years, Doctoral Fellows will broaden their understanding and effectiveness by engaging in cohortbuilding activities across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Postdoctoral Sustainability Fellows Postdoctoral Fellows will work over two years on sustainability issues that cut across social, natural, and technological science boundaries, participate in workshops involving University scholars and external partners to help define and shape their research, and engage in cohortbuilding activities. Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability will offer competitive incentives for Fellows to band together and develop robust concepts for high-impact sustainability solutions. Teams will comprise at least four Fellows representing four distinct U-M schools/colleges; at least one Master s Fellow; and at least one Doctoral or Postdoctoral Fellow. Project proposals will 3

4 require an applied effort to solve a specific sustainability challenge identified and articulated by the team. Annual Fellow Lecture Series The University will host a Dow Sustainability Lecture Series for each Program year. The Series will feature up to three lectures by Sustainability Fellows and at least one annual lecture by a distinguished sustainability scholar or practitioner from outside the University community. How will Fellowships be awarded? Fellowships will be awarded to applicants whose work most convincingly focuses on breakthrough solutions pertaining to sustainability challenges. While the selection processes will be tailored to each type of fellowship, all applications will go through an independent review by a diverse selection committee. Applicants will be rated according to the following merit-based criteria: Degree to which work/interests are relevant to sustainability Interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of proposed work and personal and professional interests Potential for significant impact resulting from the proposed work Productivity and quality of applicant's prior work and experiences Demonstrated accomplishments that show potential for sustainability leadership Interdisciplinary balance and diverse perspectives in the cohort, including students with a commitment to underserved and underrepresented populations What are the anticipated benefits of this program for Dow? This program will confirm Dow s reputation as a sustainability leader and become a powerful proof point for Dow s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education support at the graduate level. It also further elevates Dow s recruiting relationship with the world-class graduate programs at U-M, which have become a valuable resource for our talent and leadership pipeline over the years. Over time, it will help make Dow s science and technology more relevant and rapidly adopted as the corporation s innovation portfolio is aligned to the global megatrends of energy solutions, agriculture solutions, consumer and lifestyle solutions, infrastructure and transportation solutions. With chemistry and engineering at the root of many sustainable solutions, the more willing society is to change, the more valuable Dow s innovation engine becomes. What are the anticipated benefits of this program for U-M? It will significantly expand the University of portfolio of preparing future leaders in sustainability. This program is unique in that it is not rooted in particular colleges or disciplines, but open to students from across the University, reflecting the very essence of sustainability and its broad impact on society. It will also improve financial support and employment 4

5 preparation for students committed to driving sustainable innovation, and will expand the University s reputation as a sustainability leader. What are the anticipated benefits of this program for the State of and the world? Students emerging from this program will create a pipeline of creative sustainability experts for our State and world. They will become the professors of tomorrow, the sustainability leaders in corporate and nonprofit organizations, the inventors and implementers of new science, policies, and business models - and the catalysts of social change. They will inspire others by their actions and leadership, creating a domino effect contributing to global change inspired by the vision of Dow and the University of and others who are passionate about sustainable solutions to the world s challenges. What kind of sustainability issues will the Fellows program tackle? Fellows will develop knowledge and seek breakthroughs across myriad components of the sustainability challenge, including human behavior, energy, water, mobility, climate change, built environment, land use, and global health. Transformational advances in these critical areas will come from focusing on their intersections, and applying innovative approaches that cut across natural, social, and technological boundaries. The Dow Fellows at the University of will apply such approaches to make important contributions that help foster global sustainability. 5

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