Background to SESYNC project

SESYNC is the US National Science Foundation-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland and is located in Annapolis, USA. SESYNC funds projects, called pursuits, that fit into a theme relevant to socio-environmental synthesis. It is currently finalising the selection of pursuits for the theme "Building Resources for Complex, Action-Oriented Team Science."

The motivator for the SESYNC theme is that progress on socio-environmental and other complex real-world problems requires the integration of a vast range of information types, typically by teams of experts and stakeholders with diverse perspectives and disciplinary knowledge, as well as employing that integrated understanding to underpin effective action. There is a wealth of practices and theories for action-oriented team science, developed by thousands of individuals and teams around the world, but the documentation is widely scattered in the published and grey literatures. That fragmentation means that what is known about research integration and implementation is largely inaccessible.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) (60KB PDF) was issued on 24 December, 2014, with a closing date of 9 March 2015. The RfP elicited well over 100 enquiries and more than 40 proposals with a range of exciting, high-quality ideas for building such resources.

Professor Gabriele Bammer was invited by SESYNC to be the theme leader. This is the first time a theme leader has been appointed to:

  • work with pursuit leaders and teams to maximize interactions and synergies among the pursuits
  • maximize outcomes within and across pursuits
  • galvanise the establishment of a community beyond the pursuits that will continue to be active in developing, employing and assessing best practices for research integration and implementation.

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