Update: Applications are now closed! We will reach out to applicants who have been selected to interview.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants:

  • Identify as a person from a historically marginalized group, with interest in the conservation and/or clean energy field(s).
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity, environmental justice, racial justice, and social change.
  • Be less than one (1) year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2023 (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.

People who identify under the imperfect term “BIPOC”, that is: Black, Indigenous (or of aboriginal descent), and/or as a person of color, any intersection therein and are from historically excluded backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

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:

Our eligibility requirement is that applicants must have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship. RAY Fellowship Applicants are not required to be US citizens and we have had several non-citizens become RAY Fellows. Applicants must be able to work in the US, including completing an I-9 form to verify work eligibility. This could be through a visa (eg: OPT), DACA, permanent residency, or any other agreements allowing work authorization that will allow a RAY applicant to work in the US for a US-based organization. RAY Host Organizations will not, at this time, sponsor visas for international applicants.

Informational Webinars

The RAY Diversity Fellowship will also be hosting two informational webinars on the following dates to introduce the program and answer any questions. Zoom links will be shared after registering for the event.

Mar 7, 10-11am PT / 1-2pm ET. Register here.

Mar 23, 10:30-11:30am PT / 1:30-2:30pm ET. Register here.

How to Apply 

Applications for the 2023-2025 Fellowship cycle will open February 15th!  Please share with any eligible applicants and networks. 

To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

1. Complete an initial application form. After you submit this initial survey you will be sent subsequent links to complete your application.

2. Create a Google drive folder, make sure to share access. In this Google drive folder include responses to each of the following essay, visioning, and short answer prompts. Please include your name in all materials.

  • 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 as someone from a historically excluded group 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 as a person from a historically excluded group in conservation and/or the clean energy field(s)?
  • How are you thinking about the different intersections of social and environmental issues from the lens of someone who is from a historically excluded group in conservation and/or the clean energy field(s?
  • How do you think about community and how might RAY be an opportunity to build, be in, and give back to your historically excluded communities?
  • How do principles of equity, racial justice, and inclusion relate to your study, work, and leadership?

4. Professional references and resumes/CV will be requested in the later stages of the application and screening process.

Applications must be completed and submitted, as outlined above, no later than Monday March 27th, 2023. Proof of enrollment will be required, additional writing samples are not required. Interviews to be held April 11-13, and 18-20. The RAY Program reviews applications on a rolling basis and will notify applicants of interview decisions no later than late June 2023.

If you have questions about the RAY Fellows application process, please see our FAQ page here. Other questions can be submitted to Please include ‘RAY Fellow Application’ in the subject line. 

Fellowship Positions

Please review descriptions of the Fellowship positions being offered during the 2023-2025 Fellowship cycle. In February 2023, we are expecting to post around 10 Fellowship positions with portfolios including public lands and tribal engagement, science and policy research and analysis, finance and philanthropy, grassroots organizing, communications, education, managing wind energy projects and more in the clean energy, conservation, and marine field. 


February 15, 2023: Applications Open

February 1 - February 15, 2023: Fellowship Positions Posted on a Rolling Basis

March 27, 2023: Applications Due, 11:59p PT

April 7, 2023: Applications Due, 11:59p PT

April 2023: Application Review 

April 11, 12, 13, and 18, 19, 20: Interviews with Finalists

Early May 2023: Selected Finalists Notified

(on or after)June 15, 2023: First Day of Fellowship

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.