The Island Fellows Program is one of the signature programs of the Island Institute. Since 1999, the Island Fellows Program has placed college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for one to two years. Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges.
The Island Fellows Program provides support for Maine’s island and coastal communities by:
- Strengthening capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic, and information resources
- Assisting in local research, planning, education, and technology projects
The Island Fellows Program provides support for the Island Fellows by:
- Offering enriching professional development opportunities for recent college graduates
- Building professional experiences and networks for Fellows looking to live and work in Maine
Awards and Recognition
- The Island Fellows Program was recognized with the “Outstanding Program” award by the Community Development Society.
- The Island Fellows Program is an official winner of the 2014 SHIFT Sustainability Award.
How does the Island Fellows Program work?
Island or remote coastal organizations apply to the Island Institute with a community supported project that could benefit from an extra set of hands (See Hosting a Fellow, below). The Institute then finds highly qualified recent graduates to live for 24 months in residence in the community. Immersion in the community connects fellows directly with islanders to gain an intimate understanding of island life and to understand the needs and opportunities around the identified project. Fellows are expected to be active participants in their community and bring their own experiences and skills to share.
The Fellowship application period is open from January until mid-March for a September program start. Top candidates are then interviewed in the island or coastal host communities by key contacts who will be working with the Fellow. On-island/coastal interviews are required. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
Application link for the 2018 Island Fellows program (Deadline: March 23)
- Recent completion of a baccalaureate or graduate degree (within five years)
- Demonstrated interest and experience in a field such as community service, community planning, natural-resource planning, GIS mapping, educational outreach, etc.
- A strong service ethic
- A strong desire to live and work within a small, remote community
- Strong self-motivation and the ability to work with minimal supervision
Island Fellow Benefits
Each Fellow receives a stipend of $15,000, plus rent and utilities, health insurance, paid vacation days and other benefits. The Institute also provides reimbursement for approved work-related expenses, access to a professional development fund, and offers to offset part of the cost of a new laptop for first year Fellows.
In addition to the application form, which will be accessible via a link on this page during the open application period, the following are required:
- An unofficial copy of your transcripts of complete undergraduate and graduate records
- One letter of recommendation
- A concise personal statement
- A resume