Planetary Health Graduate Scholarship


The global environment is changing rapidly—as evidenced by warming temperatures, pollinator collapse, extreme weather events, and accelerating food insecurity to name a few. Humans sit at the apex of these issues, driving shifts across planetary systems with our extensive consumption, pollution, production, and destruction. Everything is connected. Changes to the planet impact our health and well-being, from the food we eat and the air we breathe to our exposure to disease and the places we can safely live. There is an urgent need for action; interdisciplinary research, innovation, and outside-of-the-box thinking are crucial to solving planetary health challenges.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies have created a Planetary Health Graduate Scholarship program to galvanize awareness of and attention to planetary health at UW-Madison. The program will support graduate students conducting relevant research and bring together a diverse community from across campus to share ideas, form collaborations, and generate new scholarship. Planetary health scholarships in the amount of $5,000 per student for the 2020/2021 academic year will be awarded to six outstanding graduate students from a variety of disciplines. Their faculty advisors will also receive $1,000 each in discretionary funds to support planetary health work.

To learn more about the emerging field of planetary health please visit:


Award Period: 2020-2021 academic year

Amount: $5,000 for students plus $1,000 in flexible funds for each students’ faculty advisor

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020

Apply Here:


Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a full-time, degree-seeking graduate student (from any department) in good standing with
    a minimum 3.0 GPA and remain actively enrolled in an M.S./M.A./MPH/Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Be engaged in (or planning to begin) research on a topic relevant to planetary health
  • Be available on-campus during the 2020/2021 academic year for scholarship events
  • Have the support and commitment of your faculty advisor to participate in the program
  • Complete and submit the scholarship application by March 1, 2020, on the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH)


Application Requirements

Students are required to submit:

  • A current CV
  • A letter of recommendation from your faculty advisor
  • UW transcript (unofficial is OK)
  • 2-3 page application answering the supplemental questions listed below (format requirements listed

*Preference will be given to Ph.D. students in their pre-dissertator years.


Conditions of Award and Scholarship Requirements

There are six basic requirements for this scholarship:

  1. Students must present a flash talk highlighting their planetary health-related research in April 2021 as part of the spring Global Health Seminar series (time and location TBD). Flash talk should be no more than 5 minutes and include 3-5 slides
  2. Students and their faculty advisors are required to attend two scholarship dinner events:
    1. Welcome dinner and research kick-off: September 2020 [time and location TBD]
    2. Reporting back / final research dinner: April 2021 [time and location after the flash talks TBD]
  3. Students must also attend at least one planetary health-themed Weston Lecture during the Fall 2020 semester. Weston Lectures are typically Thursdays from 4:00-5:15 p.m. in 1153 Mechanical Engineering (to be confirmed). If you are absolutely unable to attend, the lecture can be viewed online:
  4. Students must complete a short mid-year report due January 15, 2021, using a template we will provide. Student reports will explain current progress on planetary health research and summarize key takeaways from the attended Weston lecture.
  5. Students must compile a short end-of-academic-year report using a provided template by the end of the 2021 semester. The report will cover research progress, including new collaborations, and a commentary on planetary health work at UW-Madison.
  6. Students will write a thank you letter to David and Sarah Epstein, whose gift funds the scholarship program.


Supplemental Application Questions

Planetary Health is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research and action rooted in understanding the interdependencies of human and natural systems. Write a 2-3 page application outlining your research and how it aligns with planetary health. Be sure to include the following:

  • Introduction and summary of research objectives
  • Background and significance of research
  • Brief overview of research design and methods
  • Description of preliminary data or findings (if available) and next steps
  • Explanation of how this scholarship would benefit your research

Format: 2-3 pages, double spaced, 12 point font. You should cite references where appropriate. Note that
your bibliography/works cited does not count toward your page limit. You may use any citation style, but
please be consistent.


How to Apply

The application period is open February 1 to March 1, 2020. The deadline is March 1, 2020. Incomplete
scholarship applications or applications submitted to the office will not be considered.

To apply, please log into Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) through your student center or by logging in directly at Note: You will include your faculty advisor’s name in the application system, which will generate an automatic request for a letter of recommendation.

Questions? Email Please designate Planetary Health Scholarship in the email
subject line.