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Welcome to IPWSD 2020! We are excited to bring you the 11th annual Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Workshop in Sustainable Development. You can find the schedule for the workshop here.

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

Dates/Location:  April 3-4, 2020. Latest schedule here.

Application Deadline for Presentations: [applications for IPWSD 2020 are now closed].

Contact Email:




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. After the great success of the inaugural workshop in 2011, Columbia University’s Sustainable Development Doctoral Society is convening the eleventh annual Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Workshop in Sustainable Development (IPWSD); scheduled for April 3–4, 2020, 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, to generate a larger interdisciplinary discussion concerning sustainable development. Workshop attendees can present current research they are working on, serve as discussants, or attend the workshop without presenting or serving as a discussant.

We encourage contributions on a wide range of subjects including environmental economics, science and policy, climate impacts, resources management, energy systems, urban planning and public health, among others. In the past, participants have included students from top university departments in economics, earth and environmental sciences, ecology, political science, engineering, epidemiology, and geography. 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 is targeted at PhD candidates who seek feedback on their research. Participants should expect to present for 15-20 minutes with plenty of room for discussion. Students in the dissertation stage of their PhD will be given priority for presentation slots, though advanced masters students and post-docs are also encouraged to apply. Some slots will also be available for participants who do not wish to present but who can make significant contributions, such as serving as discussants. Please note that while attendees are expected to cover their travel and lodging expenses, there is no participation fee and lunches will be provided.

Applications for IPWSD 2020 are now closed. We look forward to seeing you in IPWSD 2021.

Additional details, including instructions for presenters, related events, a social program, options for accommodation, NYC transit directions, and other information can be found via the links at the top of this page. 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


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

The Eleventh 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 former and current sponsors for this event: Alliance, the Center for Sustainable Development, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and the SIPA Student Association.