Hands-on experience & professional development
A growing network of sustainability leaders
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.
In 2021 we launched a newly designed Sustainability Fellowship program, which also includes our partners from the summer Social Innovation Internship. It integrates the strengths of these two great programs into one, offering students and partners alike a wider range of options with which to engage. We combined the powerful networks of both programs to enrich our shared learning community.
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? Get application updates in your inbox!
Learn more about the Fellowship!
Get summer 2022 application info sent right to your inbox!
Download the Request for Project Proposal Form
December 3 Project Proposals Due
January 18 Applications Open for Students
February 14 Student Applications Due
March Student Interviews
March 25 Fellows Receive Offers
April 1 Fellowship Cohort Announced
May 31 - August 19 Fellowship Term
May 31 - June 2 Orientation
July 14 Midterm Fellow Presentations
August 11 Final Fellow Presentations
Interested in becoming a Fellow? Learn more:
Each Fellowship focuses on one discrete project, created and hosted by one of our partner organizations, and developed in collaboration with our staff. Projects 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 will be posted and include specific requirements in terms of academic background, skills, and experience. When applying, please refer to individual position descriptions for details.
Undergraduate UNH Cohort Eligibility & Position Descriptions (coming soon!)
- Open to UNH undergraduate students who will graduate after May 2022 (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
Graduate NATIONAL Cohort Eligibility & Position Descriptions (coming soon!)
- Open to post-baccalaureates, current graduate students and recent graduate students who will have earned an undergraduate degree from ANY college or university by June 2022 (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
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), May 31 - June 2, prior to the start of the fellowship term.
- Work with partner organization (online), June 6 - August 19.
- Commit 400 hours to the Fellowship between May 31 and August 19, 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 14 and August 11, respectively.
- Engage in additional professional development and networking activities.
- Provide and receive feedback at the end of the Fellowship.
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.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 14, 2022
1. Review the program information in the dropdowns above, including eligibility requirements, important dates, expectations, and benefits.
2. Review the list of 2022 Sustainability Fellowship Position Descriptions (coming soon); 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 these 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.
Prepare one resume that highlights your background relative to the Fellowship(s) for which you plan to apply.
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:
- 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_2022.pdf ):
- Cover letter(s): If submitting more than one, order letters according to preference.
- Writing sample
5. Complete the online application, upload your application package and submit by February 14.
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, May 31 - June 2, which will be conducted online.
QUESTIONS? Contact Faina Bukher
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.
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, May 31 – August 19.
- 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 1) and either the midterm (July 14) or the final presentation event (August 11).
- 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.
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. 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.
Download the summer 2022 Request for Project Proposal form
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.