The RAY Diversity Fellowship in Conservation and Clean Energy 

The conservation and clean energy fields have made a lot of progress in addressing environmental issues but face the persistent problem of lack of racial diversity. The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in these sectors has become increasingly recognized. Diversity is not only important for the individuals who are employed in these sectors but is critical in order to make the work that is done more relevant, accessible, and successful.  

The RAY Diversity Fellowship addresses this lack of racial diversity by creating opportunities for BIPOC to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors. Named after Dr. Roger Arliner Young, the first Black woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology in 1940, the RAY Diversity Fellowship is designed for recent college graduates of color.  

Fellows are placed in one of two cohorts: RAY Conservation Fellows and RAY Clean Energy Fellows. These are two-year paid fellowships for recent college graduates who do not have prior professional experience or a graduate degree. RAY fellows are placed with a member organization and are given resources to help them launch a career in conservation, energy efficiency, or renewable energy. All fellows are paired with mentors and can build lasting relationships with their cohorts.  

Applications for the 2021-2023 Fellowship cycle are currently OPEN. All applicants must submit an initial application form, resume/CV, essay question responses, and letter of recommendation. Applications must be submitted by March 26, 2021. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply but must have eligibility to work in the U.S. and be available to commit to the entirety of the program.  

The RAY Fellowship program also has an informational webinar series where you can hear from current and past RAY fellows. They also have a digital library of conservation conversations where you can learn more about the projects RAY fellows have worked on and learn more about the fellowship. 

RAY Conservation Fellows Member Organizations: 

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts 
  • Environmental Leadership Program  
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare 
  • National Resources Defense Council 
  • NOAA Fisheries 
  • Ocean Conservancy 
  • Oceana 
  • Peninsula Open Space Trust 
  • Point Blue Conservation Science 
  • Sustainable Ocean Alliance 
  • The Nature Conservancy  
  • The Wilderness Society 
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service 

RAY Clean Energy Fellows Member Organizations:  

  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 
  • Electrification Coalition 
  • Energy Trust of Oregon 
  • Institute for Market Transformation 
  • International Living Future Institute 
  • Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance 
  • New Buildings Institute 
  • Rocky Mountain Institute 

To learn more about the RAY Diversity Fellowship and apply, visit 

By Meloddy Gao
Meloddy Gao