Climate Justice Fellowship

New York State is committed to promoting environmental and climate justice and ensuring an equitable clean energy transition for all communities, especially those disproportionately burdened by environmental health hazards. A key element of climate justice is ensuring the green jobs needed to get us there are available to all New Yorkers.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking applications to fund and provide professional development training/mentoring for year-long, full-time fellowships, for individuals currently residing in disadvantaged communities or from a priority populations, to work within organizations and businesses that advance climate justice and clean energy priorities for disadvantaged communities. It is anticipated that fellows will work with community-based organizations, universities, municipalities, climate tech innovators/start-ups and clean energy businesses. Host employers must apply to the program with a fellow candidate identified.

Is My Business Eligible?

Eligible host employers must:

  • Be a community-based organization, university, municipality, climate tech innovator/start-up, venture development organization (e.g., incubators, accelerators, or other similar programs), clean energy business or a firm dedicated to advancing climate justice and clean energy priorities in disadvantaged communities.
  • Commit to hiring and providing professional development training/mentoring for a year-long, full-time fellowship. Full-time is defined as 35 - 40 hours per week for 12 consecutive months.
  • Have at least one physical business address in NYS where the fellowship will be located and the legal authority to hire employees and conduct business in NYS.
  • Have at least two or more employees or the equivalent of two full-time employees. Principals of corporations and owners of businesses such as sole proprietors or partners are not considered to be employees for this eligibility requirement.
  • Note: This specific eligibility criteria does not apply to employers who are New York State registered, or New York City certified as a WBE/MBE/SDVOB, or to start-ups participating in NYSERDA’s Tech to Market program at time of application.
  • Provide the Fellow with comprehensive, reasonable or no-cost, employee health benefits for the 12-month employment period (i.e., medical, dental and vision) 

Who is Eligible to be a Fellow?

Eligible fellow candidates must:

  • Currently reside in NYS and be able work in NYS full-time for 12-months
  • Commit to the entire 12-month fellowship and the goal of assisting the employer in advancing climate justice and clean energy priorities for disadvantaged communities.
  • Currently reside in a Disadvantaged Community or be from a Priority Population as defined on NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Workforce Development Definition page.
  • Be a new hire - not a previous or furloughed employee, contractor, or intern.

How Much Funding is Available?

NYSERDA will fund approximately 50 fellowships in 2021 and up to 100 fellowships over the next two years. Total award amounts are capped at $40,000 per Fellow, this includes $37,000 toward an annual salary for the Fellow and $3,000 for training/professional development and/or wrap-around services for the Fellow during the 12-month period.

What are the Basic Requirements?

To be eligible for funding, the proposed fellowship plan must:

  • Be a full-time fellowship (35 to 40 hours a week for 12 consecutive months) with comprehensive employee health benefits at reasonable to no cost to the Fellow.
  • Advance climate justice and clean energy priorities for disadvantaged communities and fall within the eligible project range.
  • Include a general outline of climate justice activities the Fellow will undertake over the 12-month period, including estimates on the frequency of in-person meetings, peer check-ins, individual coaching, etc.
  • Have an initial high-level idea of the theme and shape of the final deliverable or capstone project the Fellow will produce upon completion of the program.
  • Match Fellows with senior internal and external mentors.
  • Assist the Fellow in securing the proper training/professional development and wrap-around services (e.g., public transportation), enabling their ability to fully engage in the program.

How to Apply

Learn more about the program and apply onlineLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

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