Applicant Eligibility

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color and demonstrate interest in the conservation and/or clean energy field(s).
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity, environmental justice, and social change.
  • Be less than one (1) year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.

The RAY Fellowship stands with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. We work to support and advocate for RAY applicants and Fellows, regardless of their country of origin, and we support permanent solutions and pathways to citizenship like the Dream Act. Learn more about DACA, the Dream Act, and what we stand for by reading this press release from the incredible folks over at Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS):

Whether applying for a position through us or elsewhere, we encourage you to know your rights if you are a recipient of DACA. Please visit the National Immigration Law Center website for information on what you are and are not required to share with employers:

How to Apply

Applications for the 2021-2023 Fellowship cycle are now closed. Stay tuned for future details on applying for the 2022-2024 cohort next January/February.

To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

1. Complete an initial application form.

2. Submit a Resume or Curriculum Vitae, using the format you feel best captures the range of your experience and interests. Please title your submissions “Lastname_Firstname_Resume/CV” ex: Murphy_Guilu_Resume.

3. Submit responses to each of the following essay, visioning, and short answer prompts. Please include your name in all materials and title your submissions “Lastname_Firstname_Essay/Visioning/Short Answer” ex: Murphy_Guilu_Essay.docx, or Espedido_Charlie_Visioning.pdf

  • Essay: Dr. Roger Arliner Young, for whom our Program is named, was the first Black woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology. Her accomplishments came after years of juggling research and teaching while navigating social obstacles as a Black woman and overcoming personal struggles. Please tell us about an experience from your own life that has influenced who you are and shaped your development. (500 word limit)
  • Visioning: Imagine the world seven generations from now, when humanity has solved our current environmental crises. What does your vision of this world look like? How is it different from our world today and what might be the same? What are some of the ways you contributed to these solutions, and how did the RAY Fellowship Program help to catalyze your leadership? You may answer this prompt through any medium in which you express yourself best. Examples of submissions could be a painting, a photo diary, a poem or short story, an Instagram post, a Twitter thread, a video essay, a 2 minute podcast, a visual portfolio, etc. There are no right or wrong answers, so be creative in how you show/tell your answer, and have fun!
    • Please submit your answer to this prompt via URL (shareable as a video, audio, or PDF file through Google Drive, Youtube, Vimeo, etc.).
      • For video or audio submissions, please limit to 2 minutes.
      • For non-video/audio or visual submissions, please limit any contextualizing description to 300 words.
      • For text-only submissions, please limit to 400 words.
  • Short Answer: Which RAY Fellowship position(s) are you most interested in and why does your experience and background align well with this work? Provide a short answer of no more than 250 words for each position you are interested in (up to three positions). (250 word limit per each position of interest, up to 3 positions)

What does the RAY Program hope to learn from these prompts? Feel free to allow the following to guide your thinking:

  • Where are you in your journey of learning and leadership? How will the RAY Fellowship support your growth?
  • How are you thinking about the different intersections of social and environmental issues?
  • How do you think about community and how might RAY be an opportunity to build, be in, and give back to your communities?
  • How do principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion relate to your study, work, and leadership?

4. Identify a professor, mentor, employer, community member, elder, etc. to write a Letter of Support for you and provide contact information for the person who is writing the recommendation. Your recommender will receive a link to submit their letter through our online submission form. (If they don't see it in their email inbox, please ask them to check their spam folder.) Letters of Support should not exceed one page, single-spaced. Please refrain from using relatives or personal friends. 

Applications must be completed and submitted, as outlined above, no later than April 3rd, 2022. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. The RAY Program reviews applications on a rolling basis and will notify applicants of interview decisions no later than late April, 2021.

You can download an easy application checklist here.

Questions about the RAY Fellows application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Coordinator, Maria Johnson at Please include ‘RAY Fellow Application’ in the subject line.

Fellowship Positions

Please review descriptions of the Fellowship positions being offered during the 2022-2024 Fellowship cycle. RAY Fellowship positions will be posted on our website on a rolling basis until March 31st


February 1, 2022: Applications Open

January - March 31, 2022: Fellowship Positions Posted on a Rolling Basis

April 3, 2022: Applications Due, 11:59p PT

April - May 2022: Application Review & Interviews with Finalists

End of May 2022: Selected Finalists Notified

July 15, 2022: First Day of Fellowship

Informational Webinars

Learn more about the RAY Fellowship Program interview and selection process by attending our annual Informational Webinar Series.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

All RAY Fellows, staff, and facilitators are required to adhere to ELP's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy as we return to our in-person retreats with the Fellows. All retreat participants (RAY Fellows, staff, and facilitators) are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status (FDA or WHO emergency approved). Those who are unable to receive the vaccine must obtain an approved medical or religious exception from the requirement. Anyone with an approved exception must wear an approved face-covering throughout the in-person event and must provide proof of a negative PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to any in-person event or setting in lieu of being vaccinated. Please see the full policy here.