RAY Fellowship Program

                                        Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Fellowship

Inspired by efforts to increase diversity in environmentally-related sectors, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Fellowship Program supports two cohorts of Fellows per year: RAY Conservation Fellows and RAY Clean Energy Fellows. The RAY Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy-related career pathways for emerging leaders from under-represented backgrounds. RAY is a two-year paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


RAY Photo


Managed by the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), the RAY Fellowship provides first-time career access opportunities for recent college graduates who do not have previous professional experience or a graduate degree. RAY Conservation Fellows are placed within one of our Conservation Member Organizations for a two-year paid fellowship position, with the resources and support to develop experiences that will launch them onto a path of career growth in conservation. Likewise, RAY Clean Energy Fellows are placed within one of our Clean Energy Member Organizations for a similar two-year paid fellowship position, with similar resources and support to develop experiences that will launch them onto a path of career growth in energy-efficiency or renewable energy. Key staff from partner organizations also participate in Communities of Practice for to increase host organizations’ ability to create welcoming and meaningfully inclusive environments for emerging leaders of color.

All Fellows work with mentors, grow their networks, and forge lasting relationships within and between the Conservation and Clean Energy cohorts of Fellows. RAY Fellowship positions are full-time paid positions with competitive entry-level salaries plus benefits. All Fellows will also receive a stipend of $1,000 to go towards professional development opportunities, in addition to coordinated professional development through RAY Member Organizations and ELP.

Know of a great RAY Fellow candidate? Nominate them here! Please visit our website for more details including application process, timeline, and eligibility requirements for more.


The Person

Dr. Roger Arliner Young Dr. Roger Arliner Young (1889 – November 9, 1964) was an American scientist of zoology, biology, and marine biology. She was the first Black woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology.

By recognizing Dr. Young through the RAY Fellowship Program, we aim to honor a pioneering figure that overcame a myriad of social and personal barriers in her journey to make a pivotal change in the science community. The Fellowship stands by the fact that creating an equitable, engaged, inclusive world is difficult work that requires us all to be engaged authentically, respectfully, and thoughtfully.

Learn more about Dr. Young in "The Little-known Life of the First African American Female Zoologist" by Emi Okikawa (RAY '17).



RAY Fellow Testimonials

“The RAY Fellowship not only prepares you for careers in the environmental sector, the community also builds you up, empowers you and supports you throughout your journey.” 

“The RAY Fellowship has empowered me to be my authentic self and supported me in entering environmental spaces that historically have not represented me or my community.”

“I really appreciated having a cohort of black and brown identities that look like me, that have similar experiences, and that were able to understand what I went through.”

“They didn’t just throw us out into NGOs. They were there with us."


RAY Fellow Eligibility

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic or other underrepresented background in conservation or clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Be less than three (3) year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time) 
  • Not yet have had a full-time job in the conservation or clean energy fields
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship


To learn more about the RAY Fellowship, visit www.rayfellowship.org. If you have questions about the Fellowship experience, contact the program team at ray@elpnet.org. If you would like to learn more about hosting a Fellow as a RAY Member Organization, please reach out Ima Otudor at ima@elpnet.org.

The RAY Fellowship stands with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. We work to support and advocate for RAY applicants and Fellows, regardless of their country of origin, and we support permanent solutions and pathways to citizenship like the Dream Act. Learn more about DACA, the Dream Act, and what we stand for by reading this press release from the incredible folks over at Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native (Americans in Science (SACNAS): https://www.sacnas.org/2018/02/26/sacnas-stands-with-our-dreamers_daca/)