Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fellowships in Sustainability Science at Harvard University, 2012-2013

Fellowships in Sustainability Science at Harvard University, 2012-2013

What is the Sustainability Science Fellowship?
The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University offers doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career fellowships in Sustainability Science. The fellowships are tenable during Harvard's academic year beginning in September 2012. Fellowships are available for 10 months (September 2012-May 2013), 12 months (September 2012-August 2013), the fall 2012 semester or spring 2013 semester (mid-career fellows only), or for two academic years (post-doctoral fellows only) (September 2012-August 2014).

What is the focus of this year's competition?
Earlier work supported by the Sustainability Science Program focused on how science and technology could help promote sustainability in the individual sectors of energy, food, water, and health. That work showed that some of the most serious constraints to sustainable development lie in the interconnections among these individual sectors: energy's growing need for water; the impacts of water use on human health; the competition for land among food, energy and conservation initiatives; and the cumulative impact of all sectoral initiatives on climate and other key environmental services. A central challenge moving forward is to develop an integrated understanding of how sectoral initiatives for sustainability can compete with and complement one another in particular regional contexts. The 2012-13 fellowship competition will therefore focus on regional initiatives pursing an integrated perspective on sustainable development in India, China and Brazil. It will also include a cross-cutting research initiative to integrate work focused on the theme of Innovation for Sustainable Development. Preference in this year's competition will be given to applicants whose proposals complement one or more of these four initiatives. The Program is also open, however, to strong proposals in any area of sustainability science.

India: Building public-private partnerships to promote sustainable development in India

Faculty leader: Rohini Pande, Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy
Sustainable development, by its nature, requires government and private actors to work together. Externalities from rapid growth, such as the depletion of subsidized resources, widespread air and water pollution or unsustainable energy use, arise from a joint failure of government and industry to create an economy where the most profitable action is also best socially. The India Initiative will address sustainability problems in India of both national and global import. The motivation for this research program is to work with governments to channel the enterprising potential of the private sector to correct such externalities. The research will address questions in sustainable environmental regulation and provide evidence on how public-private partnerships can contribute to solving existing challenges. We focus on three research areas. First, existing environmental regulations are weakly enforced by possibly under-resourced regulators, leading to poor environmental quality. Second, traditional regulations, even if strengthened, are not the right tools to address many of India's pollution problems. Third, from the perspective of sustainability of resource use, India's inefficient and rapidly growing energy consumption threatens to undermine its own development by contributing to global climate change. The research team will partner with government and private institutions in order to conduct field trials of innovative environmental policies to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of these policies for sustainable development. Doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career candidates are encouraged to apply.

China: Energy in China: Environmental implications and management for sustainable development
Faculty leader: Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program
The China Initiative will address the environmental implications of electrification and other energy policies in China and explore how China can manage these implications.  Fellows will work to identify and promote policies that will contribute to thoughtful use of China's natural resources (e.g., water, land) and/or the adoption of cleaner and less carbon-intensive industrial and energy technologies. Research areas include, but are not limited to: analyzing the impact of energy and industrial policies on water scarcity; assessing barriers to the development or deployment of cleaner energy technologies; and studying the impact of industrialization on health and fragile ecosystems. Post-doctoral and mid-career candidates, especially those who speak Chinese, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the fellowship are due January 15, 2012.

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