CEDAR: Data-Driven Engineering

CEDAR (Circular Economy and Data Analytics Engineering Research for Sustainability) will pioneer a new NSF traineeship model whereby NRT trainees join a community of scholars with expertise and interests that span chemical sciences (chemistry, biology, physics, engineering), data sciences (computing, statistics, mathematics), social sciences, and communication, with convergent focus on advancement of the circular economy.

Students will participate in research that touches on the many aspects of the role of chemical sciences in the circular economy, guided by experts in both chemical and data sciences. Integrating data science and chemical science is required to harness the decades of available chemical data to solve the many long-standing fundamental problems required for development of atom and energy efficient processes, understanding upcycling, and minimizing harm from the irreducible waste streams that cannot be avoided. The outcome will be graduates capable of using the latest data science tools for the solution of the thorny problems that must be solved to usher in the circular economy.


Graduate students (MS and PhD) in disciplines ranging from chemical sciences (chemistry, biology, physics, engineering) to data sciences (computing, business analytics, statistics, mathematics) interested in convergence research related to the advancement of circular economies are invited to apply to become CEDAR trainees to participate in this interdisciplinary CEDAR traineeship program at WPI.

Fellowship Funding Details:

WPI offers 30 PhD-level CEDAR fellowships. PhD students who are U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents also may apply to be funded as prestigious CEDAR fellows by this NSF project grant. CEDAR fellows will be funded with a highly competitive 12-month stipend, tuition, health insurance, and full access to additional opportunities. We aim to recruit and retain a diverse group of trainees.   

Beyond joining a community of scholars and partake in the forward-looking curriculum, research and professional development opportunities, all CEDAR trainees are eligible to apply for project funding—including travel funding, patent fees, and other project costs annually.


WPI provides one integrated traineeship model with innovative components including training technical skills, convergence CEDAR research seminars, and experiential learning. We also offer professional development opportunities from impact-driven internships to the CEDAR workshop series and industrial projects. The program aims to train the next generation of data scientists who are passionate about a sustainable future that will lead to improved outcomes for all, especially vulnerable populations.

To drive change, our trainees understand the implications of their work from scientific, social justice, economic, and environmental perspectives. We will foster effective communication and collaboration between scientific experts, business leaders, policymakers, technical managers, and the lay public. This way our trainees are ready to advocate the importance of their work using modern advocacy tools including social media, YouTube videos, and other means to reach the general public and policymakers. Let us all work together to make the world a sustainable place we all call home—now and into the future.

How to Apply:

To become a CEDAR trainee and/or CEDAR fellow, you must apply and be admitted into one of the participating departments or programs in chemical sciences (chemistry, biology, physics), in engineering (chemical, civil, material), or data sciences (data science, computer science, business analytics, statistics, mathematical sciences). In addition, you will also need to submit an application expressing your interest via the APPLY button on the CEDAR webpage. Details of the application for this fellowship can also be found on the CEDAR website.