Fellowship – Bringing Together Foresters from Around the World, USA

Deadline: 2 Months before the starting dates February 1,  May 1 and October 1
Open to: Forestry and forest products professionals from around the world
Starting date: Three times each year: February 1, May 1, and October 1
International Fellowship – Bringing Together Foresters from Around the World

The WFI Fellowship Program brings forestry and forest products professionals from around the world to work at the World Forest Institute for 6 to 12 months. Over 80 Fellows from 25 countries have participated in the program.

The Fellowship Program offers participants many opportunities, such as:

  • Conducting studies in the Pacific Northwest related to forestry
  • Meeting with many different forestry organizations and corporations
  • Building a network of forestry contacts, and
  • Promoting the dissemination and exchange of information regarding global forest resources and their utilization.
  • Fellows leave the program with a solid understanding of how the US forestry sector operates and who the key players are. Additionally, Fellows gain invaluable cultural experience and English language skills.

How to Apply

For consideration, Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree. Alternatively, candidates with at least four years of forest-related work experience may apply.
  • Proficiency in English, both written and spoken.
  • At least 21 years of age.
  • Initial research proposal on a topic relevant to forestry in the home country. The project should take advantage of forestry in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Obtain funding for the Fellowship. Download a cost description here

Please do not send CV or letter of interest without a completed application form (see below)

Application Process

Applications are taken year round. Download the application form here. Applicants will be contacted by the WFI Director, Sara Wu, to discuss project ideas and Fellowship possibilities.
Projects are a key element of the Fellowship Program. Download the project proposal guidelines here.

Projects submitted to WFI must meet the following requirements:

  • The project should take advantage of being located in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Elements of the project must involve collaboration with PNW forest industry, local organizations, researchers, or communities.
  • The project should include elements from both the Fellow’s home country and the US. For example, the project could make a comparison/contrast case study from examples in both countries.
  • The project must be able to be completed within the time frame that the Fellow will be here. WFI does not fund work that occurs in locations other than at our center.
  • WFI does not fund field trials as we do not have laboratory facilities available at our location. Most Fellows conduct projects that involve collecting qualitative data and involve surveys, interviews, literature review, shadowing, conferences, and networking.
  • The project must have a tangible outcome, such as a report, manual, poster session, or an event (such as a conference).

Application Timeline
WFI brings Fellows in three times each year: February 1, May 1, and October 1. These are our preferential dates, but we are flexible and willing to work with any other schedule you may have. If you are planning for a full year Fellowship, the start date is unimportant. If planning for a shorter Fellowship, we recommend that your stay encompass the summer months (June through October). During the summer months more site visits are scheduled due to drier weather. Applications are due two months prior to the start date.

Costs and Sponsorship

Cost of the Fellowship
Twelve-month Fellowships cost US $20,000. Shorter terms are prorated. Hence, a six-month Fellowship would cost US $10,000. Approximately 80% of the funds go directly to the Fellow’s salary and program activities. Visa and travel fees are additional.

A Matching Grant Program is available
In 1998, WFI received a matching grant from the Harry A. Merlo Foundation to support the Fellowship Program. The grant will pay 50% of the Fellowship cost if a matching 50% can be obtained through sponsorship from another organization. WFI only accepts Fellows who are fully funded. A detailed list of costs can be downloaded here.

Salary and Benefits
Fellows receive a monthly salary of $1,000 USD after taxes, health insurance, and a public transportation pass. The salary is generally sufficient to cover apartment rent (shared), utilities, phone, and food on an average budget. Please note that individual lifestyle differences will result in higher or lower costs.

Sponsoring Organizations
The WFI Fellowship Program has enjoyed sponsorships from a variety of organizations, including corporations, government agencies, research institutions, industry associations, and universities. Sponsoring organizations do not need to be forestry-related. You can find additional information regarding the sponsorships here

Official website