The Annual Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt Conservation and Environmental Leadership Fellowship

Graduate and Professional Student Award

Application Deadline: December 15, 2019

The Graduate School at Michigan State University is pleased to announce the competition for the annual Theodore Roosevelt Conservation and Environmental Leadership Fellowship. The purpose of this award is to provide an opportunity for graduate or professional students to achieve a level of professional and personal growth that will prepare them for leadership roles in natural resource and conservation-based organizations and agencies. The intent of the endowment is to enable individuals to participate in experiential leadership workshops and programs related to conservation of our natural and environmental resources at scales ranging from local to global.

Award(s) will be issued each year provided a suitable applicant can be identified. Fellowships will be $2500. Fellowship dollars must be used by the recipient to help further their professional development as a future leader. Example programs include, but are not limited to, the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, the Great Lakes Regional Fellowship and the National Conservation Leadership Institute. Students are encouraged to suggest additional leadership training opportunities to be considered by the selection committee. Travel in support of disciplinary-specific conferences is not appropriate. Students must confirm acceptance of this award to the Chair of the Selection Committee prior to release of funding, including acknowledging donor support of the fellowship through a written letter to the respective donor. Recipients are expected to acknowledge funding support from the Theodore Roosevelt Fellowship when appropriate (e.g., research presentations, publications, dissertations, theses).

Eligible students:

    • Must be nominated by a MSU faculty member to be considered.
    • Must be an active student in pursuit of an advanced degree in any college or program at MSU.
    • Must be interested in acquiring leadership skills relevant to enhancing the sustainability and conservation of fish, water, wildlife, and habitat from local to global scales.
    • Must demonstrate the potential for leadership in a field of study related to conservation and environmental resource management.
    • Preference will be given to individuals who have received fellowships at regional, national and/or international levels (e.g., University Distinguished Fellowship, University Enrichment Fellowship, Environmental Science and Policy Fellowship, National Science Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, Fenske Excellence in Fisheries Management Fellowship). Fellowships from University or allied partners which demonstrate scholastic and civic competencies will also be honored.

History of the Fellowship

Leadership is the key to effective and efficient management, protection and conservation of natural resources. To address complex interdisciplinary problems facing the health and welfare of these resources, it is necessary to foster and nurture the development of practical skill sets that enhance leadership. Management of natural and environmental resources focused on the protection of fish, wildlife and water resources is interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together knowledge and skills from disciplines such as fisheries and wildlife biology, economics, philosophy, and law. While disciplinary specific expertise is essential for the management of our state, regional, national and global natural resources, conservation professionals require a skill set rich in communication, ethics, and philosophy, policy and law, and business philosophy and procedures to lead such activities and innovate in fields requiring both science and advocacy. How natural and environmental resources are governed and managed directly connects to the theories and practices of business, including supply chain management, entrepreneurship and leadership. Increasingly, effective natural resources managers and leaders need grounded and focused opportunities to develop a more holistic experiential understanding of environmental resources management.

With an increased cognizance of scholarly activity in the arena of conservation leadership, and recognizing Michigan State University’s commitment to sustainability, this fellowship was initiated to allow graduate students from a variety of disciplines to build their capacity and acquire tools for leadership by attending experiential leadership training programs outside traditional academic settings. These fellowships are intended to help graduate students to achieve a level of professional and personal growth that prepares them for leadership roles in natural resources and conservation based organizations and agencies.

2019-20 Application Information

Application materials must be submitted electronically by the MSU Faculty Member as a single PDF file in the following order: 

  1. Confidential Letter of Nomination from MSU Faculty Member. This letter should include the faculty member’s assessment of the student’s future leadership potential regarding the conservation of our natural and environmental resources. The letter should also provide an assessment of the candidate’s progress toward degree completion or potential to complete their degree in a timely manner.
  2. Completed DATA FORM (PDF). Data Form will be available by October 15, 2019.
  3. Statement Written by the Student (not to exceed two typed, single-spaced pages). This statement should indicate how the funds from this fellowship will be used to help shape them for leadership opportunities related to conservation of our natural and environmental resources at local and global levels in the future. Students should indicate which leadership experience they intend to participate in and whether they have applied for and been accepted to participate in the program. Students should describe what leadership means to them and how participation in their chosen leadership experience will further their professional development, especially as it relates to conservation and the environment. Students should also discuss their past leadership experience and how it is relevant to this award.
  4. Letter of Acceptance into Leadership Program (if available).
  5. Student’s Current CV. CV should include educational experience, work experience, fellowships and awards, scholarly work (including publications, presentations and grants awarded), and past leadership roles and responsibilities (if not covered in work experience).

Submit materials by Friday, December 15, 2019 to the Application Coordinator for the Theodore Roosevelt Fellowship, Dr. Rose Stewart ( Late materials will not be accepted. Please include “Roosevelt Fellowship” in the subject line of your message. Award recipients will be announced in mid-January 2020.