Weeks spent with a Sustainability Fellow
Fellows add up to 400 hours of added capacity hosts' projects
Years of experience running the Fellows program
What is the Sustainability Fellowship?
The Sustainability Fellowship pairs exceptional UNH undergraduate students and post-baccalaureates (grad students and recent grads) from UNH and universities across the United States* with municipal, educational, corporate, and non-profit partners to work on transformative sustainability projects. Don’t think your potential project connects with sustainability? Rethink that. We define sustainability broadly, using the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework.
From the moment your project is selected to the final day of the Fellowship, the UNH team and its supportive framework are here to guide through the process as well as to be there to provide a network of support to your Fellow throughout their journey.
Learn about the details of the program in the dropdowns below.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for both the students and host organizations alike. It was a pleasure hosting top talent devoted and passionate about sustainability. They were forward looking and excited about the possibilities of the future. They had access to a very strong network of other students and professionals to help them navigate their projects and deliverables.”
– Sandra Klausmeyer Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Strategies, Bangor Savings
Contact Alexis Dwyer with questions or to discuss future project ideas.
Join us virtually for the Host Info-session for summer 2024!
2023 Key Dates
September 19: Info-session for potential hosts, 12 – 1 p.m. (virtual)
October 16: Project proposal review begins
November 3: Deadline for project proposal submission
November 28: Projects Selected and Notified
End of February/March: Student Interviews
Mid/late March: Fellows Receive Offers
April 1: Fellowship Cohort Announced
Fellowship dates: May 28 – August 16
May 28 & 29: Orientation
June 17 & 18: Launch Event
August 8: Showcase
2022 Host Org Info-session
Watch the recording
here.Please review UNH's current policies regarding COVID-19 updates and safety guidelines. As this is a continually evolving situation, you will find the most recent information, updates and protocols
Sustainability Fellowship Details
Thank you for your interest!
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
Watch the 2022 Host Info-session:
Please reach out to Alexis Dwyer (Alexis.Dwyer@unh.edu) anytime to discuss project ideas for 2024 or a future summer.
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, see key dates above.
- 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 and either the Launch or the Showcase event (see dates listed above).
- Be available for 2-3 planning calls with us and provide one 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: $7,500
Post Baccalaureate Fellow: $9,500
*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, 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.
If your company is interested in providing support to a nonprofit or municipality to make a 2024 Fellowship possible, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Alexis Dwyer. In 2023, Fellowship projects were supported by Bangor Savings, Mascoma Bank, Tom’s of Maine, and Unitil.
When completing the application, you’ll be asked to complete and upload a project proposal. Click here to review and complete the proposal in advance.
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.