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PSRF Application Process

Information for Prospective Students

IMPORTANT NOTICE: JOBX APPLICATION PAGE WILL BE UNAVAILABLE JAN 13th - 22nd. Contact Terrence ( to request a copy of the application information/questions. 

The President’s Office, the Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility invite students to apply for this one-year, high-impact learning program. Applications for the 2021-2022 Academic Year are now OPEN. You can find the listing on Swarthmore's JobX page.  The name of the listing is "Sustainability Research Fellow", and the Job ID is 4816.

The application process consists of a written application (JobX) and interviews with selected candidates. The written application is due February 19th, 2021, after which interviews with selected candidates will be scheduled and conducted. Final decisions will be released on March 22nd., 2021. 

To learn more about JobX, please visit this page.

If you have any questions about the application process, please reach out to Terrence Xiao,

Eligibility and Obligations:

To apply for the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship for the '21-'22 AY, you must be: 

  • A member of the class of '22, '23, or '24
  • In good standing with the College: A student is not in good standing when the student has been found responsible for a student conduct policy violation and as a result is serving a sanction of probation, suspension, or expulsion. In addition, students are not in good standing if they are on academic probation.
  • Be a fully enrolled student at the time of applying, with no plans to take a leave of absence or study abroad during the '21 - '22 AY.

A total time commitment of 10 - 20 hours per week is expected from the Fellows. This work includes :

  • Two semesters and two credits of coursework through ENVS 089A and ENVS 089B, taught by an Environmental Studies Faculty with support from the Director of Sustainability 
  • Weekly meetings with a staff mentor, plus additional meetings as required by the project
  • Meetings every two to three weeks with a faculty mentor in a specific discipline
  • Advising from either an alumni or a consultant in the field of work of the project
Information Sessions

The Office of Sustainability is hosting virtual information sessions for the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship (and our beloved partners, the Green Advisors!). The next information session will be on January 14th, 2021, starting at 5pm EST.  These information sessions are frequently publicized through emails, but you can also find the Zoom details on the 'Sustainability Events' google calendar. 

Research Project Topics

Possible project topics for the '21-22 PSRF cohort have not yet been finalized. The following list captures some of the project topics from previous itirations of the program, and the current list of project topics can be found on the homepage of the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship site. These lists are intended to give potential applicants an idea of the nature/topic areas of PSRF projects:

  • Athletics: Greening the Garnet
  • Campus Community Connections: Building relationships and sustainability in Chester
  • Campus Community Connections: Building relationships and sustainability in the Swarthmore Borough
  • Carbon Charge: Pricing carbon, carbon offset research, and protecting our climate
  • Crum Woods: Restoration and revitalization of the Crum Woods
  • Food & Dining: Increasing health  and sustainability in our food system
  • Building Energy Efficiency: Projects and policies related to conserving energy and reducing demand
  • Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System: Measuring sustainability using AASHE STARS
  • Renewable Energy: Developing renewable energy on- and off-campus
  • Transportation: Developing sustainable transportation systems on campus
  • Zero Waste: Developing a circular economy and transforming our relationship with stuff
  • Curriculum: Infusing sustainability throughout teaching  and learning
  • Environmental Justice: Raising awareness and taking action to fight environmental racism and injustice