Franke Sustainability Fellowships

The Franke Sustainability Fellowship Program supports students who are studying and/or practicing sustainability projects in either domestic or international settings. These fellows are a prestigious cohort of our top students who will participate in off-campus exchange or education programs or complete a field project or research.

In 2016, William A. and Carolyn Franke and their family presented the University of Montana with the largest single gift in its 120-year history. The W.A. Franke Sustainability Fellowship Program (FSFP) in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation (FCFC) was made possible through this gift. The FSFP supports undergraduate students to engage in field-based, experiential education related to sustainability. Priority is given to international, credit-bearing experiences of three months or longer. However, the FSFP will also consider support for relevant experiences in the U.S. related to sustainability. To meet the diverse needs and interests of undergraduate students enrolled in CFC degree programs, two types of fellowships are offered: (1) Off-campus exchange or education programs; and (2) individual or collaborative field projects or researchAwards typically range from $3,000 to $15,000, but larger awards will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is sustainability?

Off-Campus Exchange or Education Program

Students may apply to participate in off-campus education programs offered through the FCFC or by another institution that directly address sustainability (e.g.,The School for Field Studies). Examples of international programs offered through the FCFC include Chile-Patagonia and Vietnam. Examples of programs offered in Montana include the Wilderness and Civilization Program (UM) and
Landscape and Livelihood and Wildlife in the West.

Preference will be given to programs of at least three months; if program is shorter, students must follow up the field experience with an independent study or internship (in consultation with a faculty advisor) to add depth to the experience and to satisfy the three-month requirement. Students may also request support to attend conferences or workshops focused on topics related to the field experience. Applicants must outline and budget for all of their proposed activities (e.g., field course + independent study/internship + workshop) in their proposals and clearly link the proposed experiences to the concept of sustainability.

Field Projects or Research

Students may apply to participate in sustainability related field study conducted under the guidance of faculty who actively participate in FCFC undergraduate degree programs. Projects may be either student- or faculty-initiated, and conducted by individuals or by teams of students and faculty. We encourage applications from a variety of field study methods, including hypothesis testing and standard research techniques to those utilizing participatory and qualitative methods.

Preference will be given to students proposing international field study, and to projects of at least three months, but all field study projects will be considered. Students interested in pursuing this option should plan to meet with a potential faculty research mentor before or during their sophomore or junior year to identify common interests and opportunities, and to begin discussing research ideas and the proposal process. Field projects and research must relate to the concept of sustainability. Applicants must outline and budget for all of their proposed activities in their proposals and clearly link the proposed experiences.

For more information or questions, contact Professor Jill Belsky jill.belsky@umontana.edu; 406-243-4958