HEI is always proud to spotlight the work of our clients. This month, we highlight Syracuse University EMPOWER: Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research, for which we served as evaluation partner.
EMPOWER, The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Traineeship Program at Syracuse University, piloted an interdisciplinary approach to graduate education that focused on research at the interface of water and energy cycles. This program prepared students with the technical knowledge and professional skills needed to compete for careers in energy, environmental consulting, government, nonprofits, academia, and beyond. EMPOWER’s six core training model elements include:
Water-Energy Nexus Seminar: This 1-credit-hour seminar emphasizes the integration of research with policy, science communications, and outreach, law, and business.
Professional Development Specialization Area: Students complete elective courses tailored to their professional interests in communication, policy or law, business and project management, and/or entrepreneurship.
Science Communication Course: Students take a 3-credit class in science communications, in which the principles, practices, and processes of journalism, documentary, and new media are taught in the context of public understanding of science and technology.
Seed Grant Program: Students can apply for small grants to support specific lines of emerging research and professional development activities not supported by traditional research grants and assistantships.
Career Pathway Experience: Students participate in experiences that integrate research activities with professional development in support of their career goals. Experiences could entail internships; studying at a field site abroad; research engagements at national research labs, nonprofit agencies, or other universities; or related professional research endeavors.
Summer Field Experiences: EMPOWER includes a two-course field program in the Northern United States and Rwanda that weaves together all of the EMPOWER research themes. During this capstone experience, students execute small, tractable group research projects that build on existing instrumentation and research activities.
To learn more about EMPOWER, visit the program at https://empower.syr.edu/.