Call for Nominations


The MIT faculty is invited to nominate one outstanding student to become a member of the Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability for 2021–2022. A nominee for the Martin Fellowship should be working in an area of environment and sustainability as indicated by his/her clearly articulated statement of interest, subjects taken, and proposed research area. Sustainability includes all areas of inquiry that strive to understand the relation between human systems and the natural world and offer enhanced prospects for a transition toward an equitable balance between people, prosperity and the planet. The primary framework governing this transition is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Eligible nominees are current PhD candidates who are on schedule to successfully complete their doctoral exams before the start of the fellowship year (i.e., on or before August 31, 2021), are in the initial phases of their research towards a dissertation, and will be in residence at MIT during the fellowship period. Prospective nominees who do not plan to complete their qualifying exams by August 31 are urged to wait until the following year for nomination.

Selected fellows are awarded two semesters of full funding as a research assistant (tuition + stipend).

Deadline

The nomination period for the 2021-2022 Martin Fellowships will open on December 7, 2020. The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2021.

Activities of the Martin Fellows

Martin Fellows are required to participate in two public events during the year of their fellowship. The first will be a presentation of their research activities and interests. This event is intended to promote the work of each Martin Fellow and connect this cohort with the MIT community and others beyond our campus. The Fellow will be asked to prepare a 20-minute presentation that details the content of their work with an emphasis on how that work contributes broadly to solutions to societal environmental challenges.

The second will be participation in an event that includes a diverse cross-section of other MIT students (undergraduates and graduate students), research scientists, members of the MIT faculty and others to discuss the academic opportunities and career prospects in fields that directly address societal environmental challenges. Martin Fellows will be asked to actively participate in offering their experiences in the academy and beyond and prompting conversations on how to craft an education that leads to engagement on a wide range of environmental topics.

Both events will be organized and managed by the ESI. Martin Fellows will be encouraged to invite their labs and advisors to attend and participate.

Submission

Nomination packets should be submitted to Scott Tirrell, Director of Graduate Fellowships, Office of Graduate Eduation (OGE) at stirrell@mit.edu in two parts. Part 1 may be submitted by the student candidate OR by the nominating faculty (or his/her assistant).  Part 2 must be submitted by the nominating faculty or his/her assistant.

Part 1:  STUDENT CANDIDATE: Submit the following, in a single PDF, in the order given below:

  1. A completed Martin Fellow Nomination cover sheet.
  2. The student’s curriculum vitae.
  3. A current, unofficial copy of the student’s transcript (this can be obtained free of charge with photo ID from Student Financial Services, room 11-120). Note that the Martin Society seeks students with outstanding academic credentials; candidates must demonstrate a graduate GPA of 4.5 or higher.
  4. A statement of interest from the student. The statement should directly address the four questions below. IMPORTANT NOTE: the statement must be written with a multidisciplinary audience clearly in mind. Reviewers will be from multiple disciplines, and non-specialists should be able to clearly understand your work and its implications for the environment and sustainability.
  • What is your research question? How do you plan to answer it (methods, workplan)? (2 pages maximum)
  • How will your project contribute to sustainability? (1 paragraph)
  • Beyond your research, how have you been or how do you plan to be an ambassador for sustainability? (1 paragraph)
  • Please list the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are most relevant to the work and interests of the candidate and their advisor.

Part 2:  NOMINATING FACULTY MEMBER: Submit the following as a PDF:

A signed letter of nomination on MIT letterhead that provides an appraisal of the student’s qualifications and capabilities and indicates why he/she believes the student should be awarded a Martin Fellowship for Sustainability. Please also indicate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are most directly and indirectly relevant to past and ongoing work of the candidate and the nominating member of the faculty.

Selection Process

Martin Fellows are selected by a faculty committee representing all five MIT Schools and the College of Computing. A maximum of ten Fellows will be funded for 2021–2022. Award decisions will be announced in early May.

Questions? Please refer to our FAQ page, or contact Sarah Meyers: smeyers@mit.edu