Sustainability Fellowships

Sustainability Fellowships
Fellows cohort with hosts

LEARN

Hands-on experience & professional development


CONNECT

A growing network of sustainability leaders


ADAPT

Building resilience throughout New England


What are Sustainability Fellowships?

Sustainability Fellowships pair exceptional undergraduate and graduate students from UNH and universities across the country with municipal, educational, corporate, and non-profit partners in New England to work on transformative sustainability initiatives. Each summer, Fellows undertake challenging sustainability projects that are designed to create an immediate impact, offer an extraordinary learning experience, and foster meaningful collaboration.  While working with their mentors and partner organizations, Fellows are supported by their Fellowship peers as well as an active network of partners, alumni, and the UNH team, as they emerge as the next generation of sustainability leaders.

We've launched a newly designed Sustainability Fellowship program, which will also include our partners from the summer Social Innovation Internship. It will integrate the strengths of these two great programs into one, offering students and partners alike a wider range of options with which to engage. We are enthusiastically combining the powerful networks of both programs to enrich our shared learning community for the summer of 2021. 

The program far exceeded my expectations—there was such thought and care put into each Fellowship and the personal touch points throughout the summer. It is clear that this experience is really about grooming the next generation of sustainability professionals. Loved, loved, loved my experience this summer. Eternally grateful!
 - Ariella Sela, 2020 Sustainability Fellow - Root Capital

Interested in becoming a Fellow?

Watch the applicant info-session.

DOWNLOAD THE Q & A

Important Dates & Information

Watch the Feb. 5 Info-Session 
for Student Applicants
Watch


Download the Q & A 
for Student Applicants


Feb. 15 Student Applications DUE

March Student Interviews
April Fellows Announced
June 1 - Aug. 20 Fellowship Term
June 1 - 3 Orientation
July 15 Midterm Fellow Presentations
Aug. 12 Final Fellow Presentations

Each Fellowship focuses on one discrete project, created and hosted by one of our partner organizations, and developed in collaboration with our staffProjects are designed to offer Fellows autonomy with mentorship, to lead to tangible results, and to create opportunity for collaboration. The portfolio of Fellowships covers a broad range of sustainability topics such as renewable energy, carbon emissions, climate resilience, social justice, food systems, and responsible investing. Projects involve various types of work, from community engagement to data analysis, from science to policy, and from research to implementation. Host organizations, located throughout New England, include companies, non-profits, government agencies, and academic institutions.

The Sustainability Fellowship program includes two cohorts – students in each will have parallel experiences as part of the same program, with expectations appropriate to their level of education. General requirements for each cohort are included below, and each Fellowship position includes specific requirements in terms of academic background, skills, and experience – refer to individual position descriptions for details. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: On January 15, 2021, in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to plan for a fully-remote program during summer 2021. Fellows will complete their projects, engage with their host organizations, and participate in UNHSI programming online.

Undergraduate UNH Cohort Eligibility & Position Descriptions

  • Open to UNH undergraduate students who will graduate after May 2021 (at time of application: first, second and third-year students)
  • Applicants should have some knowledge or experience related to project topic
  • And be eager to explore careers in sustainability and participate in impactful work

City of Keene, NHCity of Keene Benchmarking Program
Create a program to track and reduce energy/water use to help make Keene net zero.
City of Keene, NH position description and requirements.

Five Rivers Conservation Trust: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Conservation Programs 
Address systemic racism in land conservation.
Five Rivers Conservation Trust position description and requirements.

Goodwill Northern New England: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Expansion at Goodwill NNE 
Elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion at a major non-profit.
Goodwill NNE position description and requirements.

Lonza Biologics: Corporate Citizenship Program
Create a new corporate citizenship program.
Lonza position description and requirements.

Prime Buchholz LLC: ESG and DEI Data Collection
Analyze environmental, social and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices in support of impact investing.
Prime Buchholz position description and requirements.

ReVision EnergyClimate Change Education and Lesson Planning
Plan a tiny house road trip with Sunsquatch to engage kids and families in climate change and renewable energy.
ReVision Energy position description and requirements.

Seacoast Eat LocalExpanding Local Food Access Using SNAP Subscription Program
Pilot a program to make fresh local food available to families in need.
Seacoast Eat Local position description and requirements.

The Nature ConservancyConservation Lands GIS Fellow
Map conservation lands throughout New Hampshire with one of the world’s leading conservation organizations.
The Nature Conservancy position description and requirements.

Timberland: Values Messaging - Expanding our Community
Tell the story of Timberland’s commitment to its remarkable purpose.
Timberland position description and requirements.

 

Graduate NATIONAL Cohort Eligibility & Position Descriptions

  • Open to students and recent graduates who will have earned an undergraduate degree from ANY college or university by May 2021 (at time of application: seniors, recent graduates and graduate students)
  • And be eager to apply specialized skills to advance the field in a particular area and to accomplish tangible outcomes for host organization

Burlington Electric Department: Advancing Multifamily Electric Vehicle Charging 
Make EV infrastructure accessible to all in the first city to source all of its electricity renewably. 
Burlington Electric position description and requirements.

Community Power Coalition of NHCommunity Power Video/Digital Content Creator
Tell the story of how cities and towns can take control of their energy futures, decarbonize the power sector, and generate local wealth from sustainable energy.
Community Power Coalition of NH position description and requirements.

Environmental Protection Agency: EPA Stakeholder Engagement in Toxic Chemicals 
Engage environmental justice organizations, tribal governments, and NGOs in addressing pollution and toxics. 
Environmental Protection Agency position description and requirements.

NH Commission on Offshore Wind & Port Development: Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Communications Development 
Help NH realize the environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind development. 
NH Commission on Offshore Wind position description and requirements.

Northern Forest Center: Sustainable Rural Destination Development 
Promote sustainable tourism in the Northern Forest. 
Northern Forest Center position description and requirements.

Oyster River Cooperative School District: Building a sustainability management plan; a tool for the future 
Create a school district-wide sustainability plan. 
ORCSD position description and requirements.

Root Capital: Natural Climate Solutions for Agricultural Businesses 
Support investment in smallholder farms using land management practices that store carbon, protect biodiversity, and preserve ecosystems.  
Root Capital position description and requirements.

Southern ME Planning & Development Commission: Regional Coastal Resilience Planning and Innovative Engagement 
Engage stakeholders in building resilient coastal communities. 
So. ME Planning & Dev. Commission position description and requirements.

Town of Concord, MA: Financing Energy Efficiency and Electrification 
Unlock financing to save energy in homes. 
Town of Concord position description and requirements.

Town of Durham, NH: Exploring Land Use as an Aspect of Community Climate Action 
Analyze the impact of carbon sequestration by conservation lands. 
Town of Durham position description and requirements.

Unitil: Sustainability Reporting and Education 
Measure sustainability for a small utility.
Unitil position description and requirements.

Fellowships are opportunities for highly skilled and motivated students to contribute to impactful projects, resulting in:

  • New skills and knowledge
  • Access to extensive professional networks
  • Outstanding portfolio and resume material
  • Competitive compensation
  • Potential for academic credit (through student’s home institution)
  • Potential for integration of Fellowship project into thesis/dissertation work
  • Fulfillment associated with “owning” a project, accomplishing meaningful work, and connecting with a community of like-minded individuals

Fellows are expected to dedicate most of their time to their assigned projects, and also to participate in a variety of networking activities, professional development opportunities and presentations arranged by our staff. Fellows are required to:

  • Attend a mandatory orientation (online), June 1-3, prior to the start of the fellowship term. 
  • Work with partner organization (online), June 7 - August 20.
  • Commit 400 hours to the Fellowship between June 1 and August 20, which allows for some time off during the Fellowship term.
  • Complete a Fellowship project according to the work plan. 
  • Participate in weekly webinars and group meetings. 
  • Present work at mandatory mid-term and final presentation events (online) on July 15 and August 12, respectively. 
  • Engage in additional professional development and networking activities. 
  • Provide and receive feedback at the end of the Fellowship. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: On January 15, 2021, in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to plan for a fully-remote program during summer 2021.  Fellows will complete their projects, engage with their host organizations, and participate in UNHSI programming online.

Fellows are UNH employees and receive an hourly wage, which is taxable, and paid in bi-weekly installments over the course of the Fellowship term. Compensation is scaled according to job expectations and position requirements as follows:

Undergraduate UNH Cohort:  $5,220 ($13.05/hour for 400 hours)

Graduate NATIONAL Cohort:  $6,500 ($16.25/hour for 400 hours)

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 eligible for limited benefits from UNH.

2021 Application Instructions

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15, 2021

1. Review the program information in the dropdowns above, including eligibility requirements, important dates, expectations, and benefits. 

2. Review the list of 2021 Sustainability Fellowship Position Descriptions; determine which projects are of interest to you, and aligned with your background and skills. You may apply for up to 3 Fellowships. Applicants who apply for more than 3 Fellowships  will not be considered.  

3. Gather your application materials prior to beginning the online application. (Consider referring to resources on the UNH Career and Professional Success webpages.) 

  • COVER LETTER
    Prepare a unique cover letter for each Fellowship for which you would like to apply (up to 3). In your cover letter, indicate exactly which project you are applying for, using the complete name of the project and host organization. The best cover letters not only express enthusiasm for the project or general passion for the topic, but they also draw a clear connection between the skills and attributes you bring to the position and the needs for 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. Letters of Recommendation are not required. For each reference, include:
    • title
    • organization
    • preferred contact information (phone and/or email)
  • 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 - it is not necessary to demonstrate knowledge of relevant content. Select a piece of writing that demonstrates your ability to communicate in a style that is most relevant to the project(s) of interest to you (e.g. academic research, public outreach, etc.) If you want to represent more than one style, you may include two one-page samples. Excerpts from longer pieces are fine and can include an explanatory note.

4. Assemble your application package:
Combine your materials into a single PDF in the following order (and name your PDF as follows:  FirstName_MiddleName_LastName_2021.pdf ):

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

5. Complete the online application, upload your application package and submit by February 15.

What happens next?

We look forward to reviewing your applications. Most applicants who are invited to interview for Fellowships will be contacted by early March. Interviews are conducted throughout the month of March, and most offers are extended by early April. The Fellowship program begins with orientation, June 1-3, which will be conducted online.   

QUESTIONS? Contact Megan Carney. 

  • students on a facility tour

     

    Thank you for orchestrating the fellowship process - recruiting excellent candidates and streamlining the hiring and project development process.  BED was confident that we’d land with an exceptional young and emerging professional, and that the effort on our part would be well worth the time...  It is encouraging to know that Annika –  and her fellowship peers – are now all the more prepared to grow into leadership and professional roles that will better address the challenges ahead and contribute to the wider social good.  

    – Jennifer Green, Sustainability Officer, City of Burlington

Interested in hiring a Fellow? Learn more:

Sustainability Fellowships pair exceptional students from UNH and across the country with companies, non-profits, government agencies, and academic institutions throughout New England to work on transformative sustainability initiatives each summer. Our aim is to cultivate projects that catalyze long-term, substantial change for our Partners, provide a rich experiential learning opportunity for our Fellows, and spark interdisciplinary collaboration throughout our growing network. Fellowship projects may involve various types of work, from community engagement to data analysis, from science to policy, and from research to implementation, driven by the goals of the host organization.  Projects may cover a broad range of sustainability topics, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy, transportation, sustainable business, finance and investing, community development and resilience.

See Examples of Past Fellowship Projects

Check out some of our past and present host organizations

The UNH Sustainability Fellows program provides two offerings for partner organizations:

Undergraduate UNH Fellows are available for organizations who:

  • Need to add capacity to contribute to important sustainability initiatives.
  • Want to support the development of a sustainability talent pipeline within the state of New Hampshire.
  • Are eager to help train the next generation of sustainability leaders.
  • Are able to make a modest investment to compensate an undergraduate Fellow for their time and dedication.

Graduate NATIONAL Fellows are available for organizations who:

  • Need to add specialized expertise to take on important sustainability initiatives.
  • Want to select a Fellow from a broader pool with more advanced qualifications.
  • Are eager to help train the next generation of sustainability leaders.
  • Are able to make a slightly greater investment to compensate a Fellow who has completed an undergraduate degree or more, and has specialized skills that will make a unique contribution to the project.

You design the project. We recruit a highly qualified Fellow with qualifications specifically tailored to the needs of your project and organization. We work together to train and mentor your Fellow throughout the summer, jointly invested in the project’s success and the Fellow’s education. Here’s what partner organizations get out of hosting a Fellow:

  • World-class talent working on-site with you to support your sustainability initiatives
  • A pool of applicants with skills aligned to the needs of your project
  • Collaboration and support in developing your project plan
  • An outstanding Fellow who is supported by an active network of sustainability professionals
  • Recruiting, hiring, payroll, HR, and professional development coordinated by UNH
  • Opportunities to network with other organizations engaged in similar work

Host partners are primarily responsible for the design of the Fellowship projects and for the day-to-day oversight of their Fellows. Partners are asked to participate in the selection of their Fellow, co-develop a project plan with our staff, engage with the network, and most importantly, prioritize the meaningful mentorship of their Fellow. Specifically, partner organizations commit to:

  • Develop a project that will be impactful for the partner organization and intellectually stimulating for the Fellow. Create a position description and a detailed project work plan in collaboration with our staff.
  • Engage in the interview and selection process.
  • Designate a primary Fellowship mentor who will provide project guidance, be accessible on a day-to-day basis as needed and reserve at least two hours per week for regularly scheduled meetings with the Fellow during the Fellowship term, June 1 – August 20.
  • Encourage the Fellow’s participation in training and networking opportunities provided by our staff, Fellowship presentations and additional activities relevant to the fellow’s project and/or career.
  • Ensure that the mentor can participate in orientation (June 2) and either the midterm (July 15) or the final presentation event (Aug 12). 
  • Be available for 2-3 planning calls with us and provide two brief written updates on the Fellow’s progress over the course of the summer. 
  • Actively connect with other Fellows and partners throughout the network.
  • Provide the Fellow with a computer and other necessary resources and contacts required for the successful completion of the project. If the Fellow has a disability, the partner organization will make reasonable accommodations.
  • Provide and receive feedback at the end of the Fellowship term.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: On January 15, 2021, in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to plan for a fully-remote program during summer 2021.  Fellows will complete their projects, engage with their host organizations, and participate in UNHSI programming online.

We mutually invest with host partners, in the learning experience of each Fellow and the impactful outcome of each project. Fellows receive compensation for their work according to their level of education. Host partners are asked to contribute at the following rates*:

Undergraduate Fellow: $6,500

Graduate Fellow: $8,000

* UNH raises funds to enable partners to host Fellows, even if they are not able to contribute at this level. In their proposals, host partners have an opportunity to state the level at which they can contribute. Through the generous support of Jane’s Trust Foundation, Josephine A. Lamprey, alumni of the program, and others, UNH is able to offer grants to offset a portion of the partner’s contribution for many organizations, especially municipalities and non-profits. 

Each November, partner organizations interested in hosting a Fellow for the summer are invited to propose Fellowship projects. The deadline to apply to host a 2021 Fellow has passed. Organizations interested in hosting Fellows in the future are encouraged to contact program staff to learn more and receive a notification when the next Request for Proposals is released.

Project Themes
As one of the aims of the program is to facilitate collaboration between Fellows, proposals for projects that align with the following themes are particularly encouraged:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions, energy and transportation
  • Sustainable business, finance and investing
  • Community development and resilience

If you have questions about the themes or an idea for a Fellowship project that may fall outside of these themes, please contact us to discuss; innovative ideas are encouraged.

Ideal Fellowship projects include the following characteristics:

  • The project is likely to catalyze long-term, substantial change, and/or to establish a replicable model.
  • The project goals and approach are considered through a social justice lens.     
  • The work is challenging, in-depth, and the selected Fellow can assume significant ownership.
  • The outcomes are tangible and can be completed in 400 hours during the summer. 
  • The Fellow’s time and expertise are critical to completing the work.
  • Mentors are invested in the outcome of the project as well as the Fellow’s experience.
  • Partner organizations have a demonstrated structure in place to support and supervise a Fellow.
  • Partner organizations can demonstrate that diversity, equity and inclusion are important aspects of the organization’s mission, operations and/or mentorship team. 
  • Partner organizations are in geographic proximity to one another - consider suggesting that other organizations in your local area might host a Fellow.

Sustainability Fellow Spotlights

  • Alexandra Duprey
    2020 Sustainability Fellow - Building Coastal Flood Resilience in a Small Municipality | Town of Kittery, ME
    Alexandra Duprey completed her Fellowship while pursuing a dual degree M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Alexandra worked with the Town of Kittery to compile best practices for coastal flood resilience and map vulnerable neighborhoods. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida…
    Learn More
  • Ariella Sela
    2020 Sustainability Fellow - Climate and Impact Risk Analysis for Agricultural Businesses | Root Capital
    Ariella Sela is currently pursuing her MS/MPH in Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy at Tufts University. Before Friedman, she held various roles within corporate sustainability, most recently consulting for Fortune 500 companies across the food value chain, from animal processors and consumer packaged goods companies to big box retailers and…
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  • Mary Potts
    2020 Sustainability Fellow - Municipal Carbon and Nitrogen Footprint Analyses | Town of Durham, NH
    Mary Potts worked with the Town of Durham, NH to conduct an inventory of the Town’s municipal carbon and nitrogen emissions. Using the Sustainability Indicator Management Analysis Platform, she quantified Durham’s carbon and nitrogen footprints, recommended strategies to reduce municipal emissions, and developed a plan for a future community-wide inventory. Mary holds a BA in Environmental…
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  • Carly Peruccio
    2020 Sustainability Fellow - Keene Sustainable Energy Plan: Outreach and Education | City of Keene, NH
    Carly Peruccio is an audio producer with an interest in state and municipal policy. As a Sustainability Fellow, she worked with the City of Keene to engage community members in Keene’s sustainable energy planning process, using audio storytelling to encourage local support for Keene’s energy goals and to highlight progress. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in French from…
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  • Hetal Patel
    2020 Sustainability Fellow - Municipal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Benchmarking | Town of Groton, CT
    Hetal Patel worked with the Town of Groton, Connecticut to build upon the Town's benchmarking and greenhouse gas inventory, and analyze the effectiveness of previously implemented conservation and energy efficiency actions. The analysis informed recommendations on how to improve and expand the town’s energy efficiency practices. At the time of her Fellowship, Hetal was a rising Junior at the…
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