2019 Sustainability Fellowship Application

About the Program:

UNH Sustainability Fellowships pair exceptional students from across the U.S. with municipal, educational, corporate, and non-profit partners in New England to work on transformative sustainability initiatives each summer.  Sustainability Fellows undertake challenging projects that are designed to create an immediate impact, offer a quality learning experience, and foster meaningful collaboration.  Fellows work on-site with their mentors at partner organizations for 10 weeks, supported by a network of Fellows, partners, alumni, and the UNH Team.  Graduate students, exceptional undergraduate students, and recent graduates from any accredited college or university are eligible to apply. 


About the Fellowships:

15 Sustainability Fellowships are available for summer 2019.  Each Fellowship focuses on a discrete project and is hosted by a different organization.  Projects are designed to offer the Fellows autonomy with mentorship, to lead to tangible results, and to connect to one another.  Applicants may apply to be considered for up to three Fellowships, and should select the best match for their interests and background based on the topic area (e.g. food, energy, climate, etc.), the type of work (e.g. research, planning, outreach, etc.), the type of organization (e.g. municipal, non-profit, educational, etc.), the skillset required, and the project location. 


Fellowship Expectations:

Fellows are expected to be primarily dedicated to their assigned projects throughout the summer, and also participate in a variety of networking activities, professional development opportunities, and presentations coordinated by UNHSI.  Specifically, Fellows are expected to:

  • May 28-30, 2019: attend a mandatory orientation at UNH prior to the start of the fellowship term.
  • June 3 - August 16, 2019: work full-time on-site at the partner organization for 10 weeks / 400 hours.  (The Fellowship term is 11 weeks, allowing for one week off, to be arranged between Fellow and supervisor.) Partner organizations are located throughout New England – see each position description for specific work location.
  • Complete a fellowship project according to the work plan.
  • Participate in weekly webinars or advisory group meetings.
  • July 12 and August 9: present work at mandatory mid-term and final poster sessions at UNH.
  • Engage in additional professional development, networking, and advisory activities as offered.
  • Provide and receive feedback at the end of the fellowship.


What Fellows Gain:

Fellowships are opportunities for highly skilled and motivated students to contribute to unique and exciting new projects and initiatives. As a result, fellows will gain:

  • New skills and knowledge;
  • Access to extensive new professional contacts and networks
  • Material to add to their professional portfolios
  • Compensation for their work
  • Potential for academic credit awarded through student’s home institution
  • Potential for integration of Fellowship project into thesis / dissertation work
  • The fulfilment associated with “owning” a project, accomplishing meaningful work, and connecting with a community of like-minded individuals



Fellows are UNH employees and receive a $6500 summer stipend, which is taxable, and paid in bi-weekly installments over the course of the Fellowship term. 

Fellows are expected to use their stipends to cover their own living expenses.  Summer housing is not provided.  Because of the short-term nature of these positions, Fellows are not benefits-eligible. 

Travel scholarships may be available to individuals traveling from outside of New England to participate in a Fellowship.  Travel support is also available during the summer for travel between project sites and Durham for required program events.      



Students currently enrolled in or recently graduated from any accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program are welcome to apply.  Each Fellowship includes specific requirements in terms of academic background, skills, and experience – these vary widely – refer to individual position descriptions for details.  Because this is a competitive program, and the projects are designed to be led by the Fellows, most successful applicants are advanced undergraduates, or graduate students.  First and second year undergraduates are welcome to apply, with the understanding that most Fellowships are awarded to more advanced students.  Two of the 15 Fellowships are reserved for UNH graduate students (not tied to specific Fellowships).


Application deadline: 

Extended to February 10, 2019.

Note: While position descriptions still include the original Feb. 7 deadline, applications for all positions will be accepted through Feb. 10.


More Information:

An Informational Webinar was held on February 1 and can be viewed here.


What to Expect After Applying:

  • Review of applications will take place in February.  
  • Interviews will be conducted virtually (via Zoom) during March.  If you are selected for an interview, UNHSI will contact you to schedule a time to talk with representatives from UNH and the partner organization hosting a specific project.
  • Fellowship offers will be extended in late March.
  • Additional information regarding planning for the summer will be provided thereafter.


Application Instructions:

  • Review the program information above to understand the eligibility requirements, selection timeline and process, obligations, and benefits.
  • Review the list of 2019 Fellowship Projects and determine which ones are of interest to you, and a good match for your background and skills.  You may apply for 1-3 Fellowships.  Applicants who apply for more than 3 Fellowships will not be considered. 
  • Assemble your application materials:

COVER LETTER: Prepare a unique cover letter for each Fellowship for which you apply (up to 3).  In your cover letter, indicate exactly which Fellowship project you are applying for, using the complete name of the project as it is listed on the Projects webpage.  Use your cover letter to indicate exactly why you think your experiences, skills and background relate to the project as you understand it (based on the project description.)  The best cover letters not only express enthusiasm for the project or general passion for the topic; they draw a clear line between the skills and attributes you bring to the project and the needs of that project.

RESUME:  Prepare one resume that highlights your background relative to the Fellowship(s) for which you plan to apply.

REFERENCES:  List three academic, professional, or volunteer references who can speak to your specific skills and experiences, as well as your ability to work independently, synthesize ideas, communicate well, collaborate among diverse groups, and adapt to new situations.  For each reference, include their title, organization, and preferred contact information.

WRITING SAMPLE:  Select a 1-2 page writing sample from your academic or professional work.  In asking for a writing sample, we are simply trying to gauge your skill in written communication.  When you select your writing sample, it is not necessary to demonstrate knowledge of relevant content, but more important to show off your ability to communicate.  Since different projects might require writing for different audiences, be strategic in choosing something that demonstrates your ability to communicate in a style that is most relevant to the project.  For example, for a research project, you may want to share an academic sample, but for an outreach project, you may want to choose something more geared for the general public.  If you want to include more than one writing sample, you may include two one-page samples.  Excerpts from longer pieces are fine, and can include an explanatory note to that affect.

APPLICATION PACKAGE:  Combine your materials into a single PDF:

  1. Cover letter/s  (If submitting more than one, order letters according to preference.)
  2. Resume
  3. References
  4. Writing sample

Name your PDF as follows:   Last Name_First Name_Project Keyword (see list below). 
Ex.1 Jane Doe, applying for the Composting fellowship, would name her file “Doe_Jane_Composting.pdf.” 
Ex.2  If Jane were applying to both the Composting and the Efficiency fellowships, she would name her file “Doe_Jane_Composting_Efficiency.”

  • Complete the application below, upload your materials, and submit.
  • Applications must be submitted by midnight (EST) on February 7.


2019 UNH Sustainability Fellowship Application

* Please select no more than 3 projects for which you would like to be considered.
(e.g., senior undergrad, 2nd year doctoral, etc.)
Cover letter, resume, list of 3 references and SHORT writing sample (2 pages max) uploaded as single PDF.
Files must be less than 12 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf.
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