STAR Funding

The Sustainability Training and Research (STAR) Funding Program offers students resources to conduct research, fund unpaid internships, and attend sustainability conferences and workshops—experiences that prepare students to enter careers in sustainability and become leaders in their fields.

The program offers two forms of support: 1) STAR Grants and 2) STAR Access. All Student Fellows of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions are welcome to apply.

1) STAR Grants

STAR Grants offers Student Fellows a $1,000 stipend for participating in an unpaid or low-paying sustainability-related internship or research opportunity that the student has secured on their own.

“Thanks to the stipend, I was able to focus fully on a position related to my studies with an organization that truly needed my support, rather than just finding an existing job outside my studies. 
— Melia Tichenor, STAR Grant recipient

How it Works

  1. Secure a sustainability internship or research experience that is unpaid or low-paying (it may be one that you are currently in).
  2. Meet with your internship/research supervisor and verify the scope of the internship/research experience (internship responsibilities, work schedule, supervisory and evaluation processes, learning outcomes).
  3. Fill out the STAR Grant Application Form.
  4. Email your resume to Mary Vance to accompany your application.
  5. Ask your internship/research supervisor to fill out the STAR Supervisor Statement Form
  6. Questions? Email Mary Vance, career counselor, sustainability focus:


  • November 20, 2017: For internship/research experiences in fall or winter term (September 25, 2017-March 23, 2018)
  • April 6, 2017: For internships/research experiences in spring or summer term (April 2-September 21, 2018)

2) STAR Access

STAR Access provides Student Fellows the opportunity to attend key sustainability conferences and workshops to develop skills for sustainability-related careers and connect with professionals and scholars in the field.

Students may apply to attend the following events during 2017-18. Applications must be received at least one month before the event date.

  • Decon + Reuse 2017: September 25-27, 2017

  • A one of a kind meeting of deconstruction and reuse practitioners from around the world.

  • Build Small, Live Large: November 3-5, 2017
    Join policymakers and industry leaders to learn what’s new and what’s next in small housing.

  • Preparing People for Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest: November 15-16, 2017
    Conference for Social Service, Climate, Social Justice, Faith & Other Community Leaders on Building Individual and Collective Human Resilience for Climate Shocks & Stressors

  • Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC): February 6-8, 2018
    A platform for empowering and inspiring change making, facilitating action, and for sharing, networking, and collaboration related to sustainability within the region's higher education institutions.

  • Elevating Impact Summit: February 9, 2018
    Speakers, performers, and interactive experiences to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation for positive social, environmental, and economic impact.