Program Components

Program Components

All application materials, including letters, must be submitted online. See the Nomination Process

Program Timeline: The appointment of Dow Fellows is for 12 months (January-December). 

All Student Nominees - Please Add These Dates to Your Calendar

  • January 8, 2022 - Welcome Retreat: A required session to network, learn about program expectations, and discuss year-long projects; critical for project team formation.
  • Monday Evenings, 5:15 - 7:30 PM: Hold this time each week for cohort networking, project team meetings, and connecting with your client, and others.
  • December 3, 2022 - Full-day Symposium (first Saturday in December): A capstone event, teams present their work and are expected to fully participate in discussions.

The full schedule of Dow Fellows events, and resources and key documents, are posted on Canvas (access is granted, once accepted to the program). 

Dow Fellows Program Purpose & Commitment 

The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M), made possible by Dow and U-M, supports graduate students committed to finding interdisciplinary, actionable, and meaningful sustainability solutions on local-to-global scales. The program prepares future sustainability leaders to make a positive difference in organizations worldwide. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are key to empowerment, and the advancement of sustainability knowledge, learning, and leadership.

Requirements and Responsibilities

All Dow Fellows and Fellows Teams Must:

  • Be enrolled and in good standing in a U-M, Ann Arbor, terminal master's or professional degree program throughout their participation in the Dow Fellows Program.
  • Dow Fellows may NOT be employed as a GSI (Graduate Student Instructor) during their participation as a Dow Fellow, due to conflicts with scheduling and other issues. Students with GSRAs (Graduate Student Research Assistant positions) must contact the Program Director and Manager before submitting a full application to ensure that they are able to participate fully in the Dow Fellows Program.
  • In-person events are expected but we will follow U-M Provost guidelines. Fellows are expected to reside in the Ann Arbor area. Fellows may also travel if approved by the U-M Provost, following all U-M Travel Guidelines. Reasonable absences may be allowed but must be disclosed to and approved by the Dow Fellows Program Leaders (Director or Manager) in advance. Awards may be revoked if the fellow fails to fully disclose and seek approval for absences.
  • Actively participate in the program activities, including program seminars, team and other meetings. Please reach out to the Dow Fellows Program Leaders (Director or Manager) with any questions.
  • Manage a project with an interdisciplinary team, submit project updates and produce final deliverables.
  • Engage their colleagues, advisor, and client throughout the year. Engagement with the full project team is essential to project success.
  • Abide by All Applicable U-M Policies (e.g., Academic Integrity) including any non-academic codes and policies and the academic integrity policy of the Program for the entirety of their engagement as a Fellow. Failure to adhere to these policies may result in the revocation of funding.
  • Ensure the materials produced are available to the public, including reports, recommendations, toolkits, applications, presentations, and other work. Project reports are published on the Dow Fellows Program website.

High Participation & High Value

Past Fellows consistently reflect on the interaction with an interdisciplinary cohort as being among the highest value program experiences. Full student attendance at required events is critical to program success. Toward this end, we set and communicate dates for key program activities in advance specifically so that students have adequate time to schedule other activities and to reduce conflicts with program engagement. Please be advised that students who choose not to participate in program events run the risk of losing Fellows funding.

Building Leaders

All Fellows manage an interdisciplinary team project, working with a project partner, stakeholders, and others. Fellows form teams (4-5 fellows each) to develop and execute a project. Each Fellow spends approximately 150 hours on a project.

  • Fellows teams work with a variety of local-global organizations and communities
  • All teams develop and implement a project plan with customized deliverables
  • Project outputs include a written report available to the public, and a presentation 
    (Other outputs include videos, infographics, photo essays, online applications, software, and other products/services.)


Awards are intended to offset tuition. Use of these funds for other purposes is highly discouraged. School/college financial aid officers may contact the Dow Fellows Program with questions.

  • Each Dow Masters Fellow receives up to $20,000, contingent upon satisfactory participation in the program
  • A $10,000 payment is disbursed to academic units prior to the start of the academic terms (December and August) for posting to student accounts
  • Fellows: Please notify the financial aid office in your home unit as soon as you are selected if you wish to use your Fellows award at the start of the winter term

Additional Support for Project Teams: Each project team may receive up to $2,500 - $5,000 in additional support for client/community engagement, contingent upon the approval of a project plan (scope of work) and budget. Students are encouraged to supplement these funds with travel funding from schools/colleges.

Academic Credit: Fellows are encouraged to work with their home schools/colleges and explore opportunities aligning their project work with degree requirements.

All unexpended funds remain the property of the Dow Fellows Program.

Acknowledgment of Support

Please use the following acknowledgment in reports, presentations, papers, and with the news media: This work was supported by the Dow Company Foundation and the University of Michigan (U-M), through the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at U-M.