SF State Climate Action Fellowship

Are you concerned about climate change and want to make a difference?  Do you have an idea for a project related to climate change or climate justice that you’ve been hoping to work on?  Apply for a Climate Action Fellowship and get paid to do the work you care about!

The Climate Action Fellowship aims to enable a diverse group of SF State students to take action to address climate change from a wide variety of perspectives and to support the development of community and leadership among these and other SF State students focused on climate change. Fellowships will support students engaged in creative activities or research related to climate change and students engaged in projects focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts–including education and outreach.  The fellowship is open to both undergraduate and graduate students in all fields of study and to students engaged in either on-campus or off-campus projects (e.g., community-based groups or other non-profits).  Students with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply.   

Students who would like to hear more about the range of projects and activities that the fellowship will support are encouraged to attend an information session and/or send an email to climate.action.fellowship@sfsu.edu.

Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with other students focused on climate change and climate justice by participating in the 1-unit seminar, Practicum for Certificate in Climate Change (BIOL 681) in Fall 2023 and taking part in events with their fellowship cohort during the 2023/24 academic year.  In the seminar, Climate Action Fellows and other students focused on climate change and climate justice will share their work, reflect on their work together, and engage in student-led and instructor-led learning on themes related to student projects.  This course is intended to offer a safe space for support and reflection on your climate-related work. In Spring 2024, fellows will showcase their projects at a campus Earth Week event.

Applicants are asked to identify a faculty member to serve as a mentor for their project.  Students who would like assistance identifying potential mentors are encouraged to attend an information session (see link above) or send an email to climate.action.fellowship@sfsu.edu. The faculty member should be interested in mentoring the student and supporting their project but need not necessarily be an expert in the particulars of the project.  Mentors will provide a letter of support for the project (see below) and ideally will be identified early enough to provide applicants feedback on draft proposals.  Faculty members serving as mentors will receive a $500 honorarium.  

Deadline for submission:    Friday, March 31, 2023.

Annual award amount:     $10,000.   Up to six fellowships will be awarded annually.

Timeline:   Awardees will be announced before the end of the Spring 2023 semester.  The Fellowship is for one academic year beginning in Fall 2023 and extending through Spring 2024.

Student Eligibility  

  • Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students from all SFSU Colleges are eligible. 
  • Students must be enrolled at SFSU in both the fall and spring semesters of the awarded academic year.
  • Students must identify an SF State faculty member to provide a letter of support and act as a mentor for the duration of the project.

Requirements and Expectations of Climate Action Fellows

  • Enroll in 1-unit seminar, Practicum for Certificate in Climate Change (BIOL 681) in Fall 2023.
  • Participate in an orientation event and approximately monthly meetings among the Climate Action Fellows, program coordinator, and faculty mentors.
  • Meet regularly with the faculty mentor throughout the period of the project.
  • Present their fellowship work, e.g., in poster format, at a campus Earth Week event. 
  • Write a short report on the project at the end of the fellowship period.

Expectations of Faculty Mentors

  • Have an interest in the project but need not be an expert in its particulars; the student is ultimately responsible for the progress of the project.
  • Provide a letter of support for proposed project and (ideally) provide applicant with feedback on a draft proposal.
  • Meet with mentee regularly during the fall and spring semesters to provide advice and serve as a sounding board through the period of the project.
  • Attend occasional meetings with Climate Action Fellows cohort (optional).

Components of the Proposal

The PDF document containing the research proposal should be written in a 12-point font, single-spaced, with one-inch margins. The document should contain the following ten components labeled according to the print in bold:

  1. Project title:  The title of the project should describe the project succinctly.
  2. Project summary:  (100-150 words).
  3. Background:  Describe how climate change has impacted you and/or your community (maximum 300 words).
  4. Project proposal narrative:  Describe the project and explain the methods, knowledge and/or resources you will draw on to carry it out (maximum 1,000 words).
  5. Timeline:  Provide a proposed timeline for the project, including mentor meetings, tasks associated with the project, any non-SFSU organizations involved, and completion dates for the various activities (maximum 1 page).
  6. Applicant information:   Describe an obstacle that you have overcome, and any other personal information that you think may be useful to convey to the review committee.
  7. Bibliography (optional): Provide a list of sources referenced in the proposal in the format and style expected in your discipline.
  8. Other grants or awards:   Please list any support you are receiving or applying for in connection with this project (e.g., awards or scholarships).
  9. Unofficial transcript:   SFSU coursework only.
  10.  Faculty statement:  This section is prepared by the faculty mentor and explains the merits of the project, the likelihood the project can be completed in the timeline provided, describes the mentoring plan (e.g., frequency of meetings), and any other information the faculty member thinks reviewers might find helpful (maximum 500 words).

How to Apply

   1.  Come to an information session to ask any questions you may have about the fellowship.

   2.  Draft your proposal (responses to questions 1-8 above).

   3.  Ask your faculty mentor for feedback on your draft (recommended).

   4.  Convert your revised proposal to PDF format (ready for uploading).

   5.  Fill out this qualtrics survey and upload your proposal and unofficial transcript.

   6.  Ask your faculty mentor to email a letter of support to climate.action.fellowship@sfsu.edu.

Criteria for Proposal Evaluation

   1.  Overall quality and clarity of the proposal.

   2.  Realistic scope of the project and likelihood of completion.

   3.  Evidence of a student-initiated project.

   4.  Student preparation and evidence of the skills necessary to conduct the activity.

   5.  Potential impact on the student, including leadership development.


Please contact us at climate.action.fellowship@sfsu.edu.