Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Workshop in Sustainable Development 2011

Hosted by: Columbia University’s Sustainable Development Doctoral Society.

Dates/Location: May 6th – 7th, 2011; Columbia University; New York  City.

Contact Email: [email protected]

Deadline for presenters to apply: 31st January, 2011.

VIEW OUR CALL-FOR-PAPERS [in .pdf] & REGISTRATION FORM [in .doc or .pdf].


  1. Additional details are available via our IPWSD site directory [here].
  2. NYC Travel/Transit information for conference participants has been posted [here].
  3. Information on NYC Accommodation near Columbia University has been posted [here].
  4. Information on U.S. Visa requirements for foreign participants is posted [here].
  5. A List of Confirmed and Tentative IPWSD Speakers is now available [here].  The complete program will be posted shortly.


The sustainability of development presents some of the most important policy challenges concerning the future of our planet. None of these central issues can be understood from the sole perspective of a traditional discipline, whether in the social, natural, engineering or health sciences.  With this in mind, Columbia University’s Sustainable Development Doctoral Society is convening the first annual Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Workshop in Sustainable Development (IPWSD); scheduled for May 6th-7th, 2011, at Columbia University in New York City.

The IPWSD is a workshop open to students working on or interested in issues relating to sustainable development.  It is intended to provide a forum to present and discuss research in an informal setting, as well as to meet and interact with similar researchers from other institutions.  In particular, we hope to facilitate a network among students pursuing in-depth research in one or several disciplines, whether quantitative or qualitative in focus, to generate a larger interdisciplinary discussion concerning sustainable development.

We encourage contributions on a wide range of subjects, but particularly in the areas of:

  • poverty and development;
  • climate and the environment;
  • agriculture;
  • energy systems;
  • public health;
  • and water resources.

The intention is to assemble a group of researchers across a range of disciplines in the social and natural sciences, whose research contributes to a deeper understanding of the interactions between natural and social systems within their particular field(s), but who are capable of discussing this work with a broader audience of peers.

It is anticipated that disciplines represented at the workshop will include: economics, earth and environmental sciences, political science, applied engineering, ecology, epidemiology, geography, law, and others. If your research pertains to the field of sustainable development and the linkages between natural and social systems, we encourage you to apply regardless of disciplinary background.  The workshop will also feature a keynote address by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University.

If you are interested in participating, please download and complete our Registration Form [available in .doc or .pdf formats], which should be submitted to [email protected].  Participants may present a paper, serve as a discussant, or both.  If you would like to apply to present your work, please include with your registration a long abstract, ideally reporting preliminary results (full draft papers are also welcome).  Applications to present are due by the 31st of January, 2011.  All applicants will be notified of the final decision regarding their submission by the end of February, 2011.

Students in the dissertation stage of their Ph.D. will be given priority for presentation slots, though non-Ph.D. students (e.g. post-docs) are also welcome to apply.  We will try to provide an opportunity to present for as many applicants as possible.  Workshop participants are expected to cover their travel and lodging expenses, but there is no fee for participating in the event and light breakfast & lunches will be provided.

Additional details, including instructions for presenters/discussants, related events, a social program, options for accommodation, NYC transit directions, and other information can be found via our IPWSD site directory.  These links will be updated frequently, so please check back often!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the planning committee at [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you in New York this spring!

The First IPWSD Planning Committee.

The Sustainable Development Doctoral Society is the official organization of the students in the Ph.D. Program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

We would like to sincerely thank our sponsors for this event: the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) at Columbia University; and the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia University.

IPWSD Home —  Site Directory —  Program —  Important Dates —  Submission of Papers —  Potential Session Themes —  Instructions to Presenters/Discussants —  Keynote Speaker —  Related Events & Social Program —  Accommodation Options —  NYC Transit Details —  U.S. Visa Info —  Contact us