Recruiting the 2024 Cohort of Graduate Student Research Fellows

National Wildlife Federation’s Education and Engagement Department regularly supports a cohort of Graduate Student Research Fellows who contribute to the advancement of programs across the department through dedicated research projects. Past fellows have completed research projects on a variety of topics including community partnerships, NWF’s EcoLeaders Community, environmental justice, Tribal Colleges and Universities to name a few.

The new cohort will join a national network of alumni, many of whom have gone on to lead new businesses, agencies, and programs for sustainability all across the U.S. 

Read their stories and connect with them directly in the NWF EcoLeaders Community

Market Research Will be the Focus of this Year’s Cohort

In the spring of 2014, the National Wildlife Federation launched the EcoLeaders Program and online community to serve as a project-based leadership and career development program for high school and college students and early career professionals designed to help emerging environmental leaders turn their passion into a profession. EcoLeaders provides participants with opportunities to learn about a variety of environmental topics, pursue project-based leadership certifications and connect with members across the country. The EcoLeaders Career Center facilitates the development of personalized sustainability career plans, learning about trends and opportunities in green careers, connecting with employers, and sharpening job skills.

As EcoLeaders enters its 10th year we are developing a more expansive business model. This business model will provide a framework that will better align opportunities and resources across NWF education and engagement programs to support young people in developing the knowledge, skills, and desire to make a greater collective impact today and throughout the course of their lives.

In an effort to better serve our constituents, the Market Research Fellows will support the research and development of the new EcoLeader Framework by conducting market research and analyzing collected data to help determine best practices to meet the needs of today’s emerging leaders. The specific goals and deliverables of the Fellowship will be determined based on the interest and strengths of the Fellows, as expressed in their Fellowship applications. Fellowship applicants will be asked to address one or more of the following goals in their applications:

  • Constituent Segmentation Research: Conduct research through surveys, interviews and focus group as a means to better understand the mindset and needs of EcoLeader market segments (teenagers 13-17 and young adults 18-26 years of age)
  • Market/Competitor/Peer Analysis: Research other national-scale environmental education and engagement initiatives/programs and suggest best practices in business model/program design to meet the needs of our constituency while ensuring fair and equitable impacts and benefits for communities of color and low-income communities.
  • Product Research: Research technologies and strategies for building, growing, and enhancing vibrant and diverse virtual communities that connect members to on-the-ground actions.

Timeline and Requirements

We are accepting applications for our 2024 Graduate Student Market Research Fellowships until April 30, 2024.. The approximate start date for fellows will be May 15, 2024.

Fellows will be asked to create a 4-6 month work plan to complete their research goal. During the Fellowship term, Fellows will check in regularly with NWF staff and work closely with the other Fellows in the cohort, submitting regular updates on their research and assisting the team with additional duties as assigned. At the end of their term, Fellows will develop and submit a report of their findings and recommendations to the NWF team.

Benefits and Compensation

NWF Graduate Student Research Fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend for their work. Throughout the course of their term they will be provided with professional development resources, assistance, and networking. Fellows will also have the option to earn academic credit for successful completion of their project, as an independent study or integration of fellowship project into course curricula, dependent upon university requirements.

To Apply

Graduate students from any college or university within the U.S. are eligible to apply. Applicants should carefully review the full Request for Applications document prior to completing the application. All applicants must identify and work with an Advisor for the duration of the grant period and procure a letter of recommendation from their identified advisor. Applications are invited from students in all disciplines, with a preference given for students with market research background, and will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Demonstrated interest in and experience working within or with diverse constituencies
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and/or skillset in market research
  • Engagement with students, faculty, community organizations, and businesses
  • Interest in conservation of wildlife and habitat
  • Strong communication skills of applicant to build diverse constituency
  • Initiative to overcome barriers and seek alternative avenues when necessary
  • Proactive research and outreach to ensure project will successfully achieve stated goals
  • Commitment to advancing environmental initiatives on academic, personal, and professional levels
  • Desire to remain an active member in NWF after the conclusion of the Fellowship