Program Overview: 

The Environmental Fellows Program places accepted students in one of our current supporting foundations for a paid 12-week fellowship program. Our current partner foundations include environmental grant making organizations in Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Oakland and others TBA. We also may place Fellows in one of our partner’s grantee organizations. 

Fellows are placed at their fellowship sites for 12-weeks, for approximately 32 hours per week. Host sites will provide Fellows with a project that addresses a need of the organization; utilizes Fellow's current knowledge and helps them develop new skills. Fellows will attend a 3-4 day career development and diversity training workshop on the University of Michigan Campus prior to the start of the program. 

During the fellowship, site mentors will meet regularly with Fellows to discuss work progress. Over the course of the Program, some expectations for the Fellows include: bi-weekly on-line journals; blog posts, informational interviews, and program evaluation forms.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, Fellows may be invited to attend the Environmental GrantMakers Association Annual Retreat, where Fellows may engage with each other and network with leading environmental funders from across the U.S.

Accepted students will receive a $10,000 stipend and a small travel award. Travel and lodging costs to the EGA Retreat will be covered by the Environmental Fellows Program.

Program Goals and Eligibility

The Environmental Fellows Program at UM is looking for the future leaders and decision makers in the changing field of environmental conservation and philanthropy. We want to support graduate students who have leadership and academic potential; who are interested in diversifying the field of conservation through involvement in philanthropy; who think broadly beyond traditional definitions of conservation and have the ability to work across differences.  

Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups, including: first generation college students, veterans, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or economically disadvantaged individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must: 

Be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA/DREAMers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). International students are ineligible. 

Have completed at least one year of graduate study by the start of the fellowship program. Students graduating from graduate and doctoral programs in 2017 are welcome to apply.

Have a record of superior academic achievement.

Strong applicants should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • come from an educational, cultural or geographic background that is underrepresented in graduate study in your discipline in the United States or at the University of Michigan;
  • have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the academic, professional or civic sector through work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student or community organizations. By diversity we mean efforts to reduce social, educational or economic disparities based on race, ethnicity or gender or to improve race relations in the U.S.;
  • have experienced financial hardship as a result of family economic structures; 
  • are first generation U.S. citizens or first generation in their families to graduate from a  four-year college.