Applicant Eligibility

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Be less than 2 years out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2020 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time) 
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation 
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship

How to Apply

Applications for the 2020-2022 Fellowship cycle will open in January, 2020, exact date to be announced later this year. To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

1. Complete an Application. When applications open, you will be able to click this link and complete a short online survey:

2. Submit a Curriculum Vitae or Resume (a link to submit your application materials will be emailed to you once you have completed the above application form).

3. Submit responses to the following two Essay* prompts and one Short Answer prompt:

  • Essay 1: Dr. Roger Arliner Young, for whom our Program is named, was the first African American 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. Dr. Young's story is one of grit and perseverance. Please tell us about an experience from your own life that has influenced who you are and shaped your development. (no more than one page single-spaced)
  • Essay 2: Imagine seven generations from now when we have solved our environmental challenges, what does your vision of this world look like? What are some of the ways you have contributed to these solutions, and how did the RAY Fellowship Program help to catalyze your leadership? (no more than one page single-spaced)
  • Short Answer: Which RAY Fellowship positions would you like to be considered for? Please rank your top three choices with #1 being your top choice, and explain your selection in 2-3 sentences for each choice. (no more than half a page, single-spaced)

*What do we hope to learn from these essay questions? Feel free to allow the following to guide your thinking:

  • How will RAY support you in catalyzing your leadership (i.e. what path(s) do you see yourself on and how will this Fellowship help you)?
  • 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 and be in community?
  • How do principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion relate to your study, work, and leadership?

4. Identify a professor, mentor, employer, etc. to write a Letter of Support* for you and have them submit their letter through our online submission form (your recommender will receive a link) or via email to Jordan Williams at [email protected]

*Letters of Support should not exceed one page, single-spaced. Letters should be written on official letterhead and include contact information of the person who is writing the recommendation.

Applications must be completed and submitted, as outlined above, no later than April 15, 2019. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Manager, Jordan Williams, via email at [email protected]. Please include ‘RAY Fellow Application’ in the subject line.

Fellowship Positions

Please review descriptions of the Fellowship positions being offered during the 2020-2022 Fellowship cycle. Positions will be added on a rolling basis between January 18 and March 29.


January, 2020: Applications Open

January - March, 2020: Fellowship Positions Posted on a Rolling Basis

April, 2020: Applications Due

April - May 2020: Application Review & Interviews with Finalists

End of May 2020: Selected Finalists Notified

July 15, 2020: First Day of Fellowship

Informational Webinars

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