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Program Components

Program Components

The Catalyst Leadership Circle (CLC) Fellowship looks for enthusiastic graduate students interested in implementing sustainable, equitable actions in communities across Michigan.

The CLC Fellowship is a 10-week summer applied research experience serving graduate-level scholars, based at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute. By connecting passionate students with local governments taking the lead on sustainability initiatives statewide, the CLC Fellowship helps communities take tangible steps towards their sustainability goals.

This fellowship is supported by the state of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Catalyst Communities program.

Program Overview

Fellows will complete community-requested, advanced sustainability projects and create sharable deliverables that can be utilized by other jurisdictions in the future. Fellows will also gain hands-on experience and professional training, working with local governments and industry experts, and present their work at the program’s completion.

The CLC Fellowship provides:

  • $7,500 award paid in regular disbursements, including funds for housing/travel
  • Project support consisting of local government CLC Mentors and an external Technical Advisor
  • Travel to CLC Mentor communities
  • Weekly professional development workshops
  • Workstation and equipment at the Graham Sustainability Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan*

* If in-person work is not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions or other at-home requirements, virtual options will be made available.


  • Currently pursuing a graduate degree with at least 1 term of study completed at an accredited institution within the state of Michigan by the program’s start and at least 1 more to go after the program. 
    • All relevant majors are welcome to apply including but not limited to public policy, urban and regional planning, sustainability, climate science, environmental justice, communication, and social science.
  • Able to work 40 hours per week for the duration of the 10-week program, including attending all-day meetings during the program's kickoff and closing convenings.
  • Have U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or the ability to provide proof of work authorization
  • Individuals from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups, as well as students who experience economic disadvantages, and/or who have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their academic and professional progress are encouraged to apply.