Who can apply to the program?

Undergraduates currently enrolled in any accredited college or university. To apply, you must be a US citizen, US national, permanent resident, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA/DREAMers). International students are ineligible.

Candidates of any identity and background are welcome to apply. Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups, including first-generation college students, veterans, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or economically disadvantaged individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply.

 Do I need to be from a specific background or life experience to apply?

No. Our program focuses on diversity, which means we look to create a diverse cohort from many backgrounds with many life experiences. Therefore, we encourage candidates of any identity and background to apply. During the program, we cultivate safe and engaging conversations surrounding different perspectives within environmental institutions. 

Can Seniors graduating in December 2023 or May 2024 apply?

Yes, graduating seniors can apply to the program.

If I did not have the opportunity to finish or attend high school and instead have a GED, am I eligible to apply?

Yes, individuals with a GED can absolutely apply.

For the name of the high school, put the state’s Department of Education, and enter the location where you earned the GED. Follow this link to convert your test score to GPA: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/wp-content/uploads/GED_Conversion_GP…

Is there a grade point average (GPA) requirement?

Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

Is the program in-person or remote?

The program is in-person. Most scholars work hybrid or entirely in-person schedules at internship sites throughout Southern New England and New York. Scholars are typically required to relocate for the summer. Fully remote internships are not expected.

Can I choose my internship placement?

Accepted scholars rank their top choices. Once accepted, they receive a catalog of all internship projects available for the summer. The catalog will include details on the work schedule (in-person or hybrid), location, and a description of the work to be completed. Scholars will create a ranked list, and YCS-ELI staff will match the scholar with a host site from their list.

I have not taken many science courses, but I am interested in the environment/conservation and am considering this as a career or for graduate school. Should I still apply?

Yes! We do hope that students have a basic understanding of ecological principles. This could come from the classroom, volunteer, or personal learning experiences. We are looking for motivated students to dive into research and investigate issues in conservation. At YCS-ELI, we explore connections between conservation and social justice, so any coursework that will allow you to contribute to such discussions positively is beneficial.

Do I need to have field (outdoor) experience to be accepted?

No, you do not need to have had extensive or direct time in the field. We expect applicants to be comfortable outdoors in varying weather conditions and are excited about exploring the outdoors.

Can I get academic credit for participating in YCS-ELI?

No, program participants cannot get academic credit for YCS-ELI activities.

Are scholars allowed to take classes over the summer?

No, YCS-ELI is an intensive nine-week program with occasional mandatory evening and occasional weekend activities. We expect scholars’ full-time commitment to the program.

Are scholars allowed to participate remotely from another country?

No. All scholars must complete any remote components of the summer programming from the United States of America (including territories). International participation during the 9-week summer internship is not possible at this time, but can be flexible for pre and post-program events.

How long is the program?

YCS-ELI is a nine-week summer internship commitment. Each year, scholars participate remotely in the program during the spring for orientation. Scholars will live at their internship location during the summer. Scholars participate in program activities remotely through webinars or at conferences. 

What do I need to bring with me? I don’t have any camping or hiking gear.

Upon acceptance, you will receive a discretionary fund to purchase items you do not own. There is no need for specialized camping equipment.

I understand that the program pays a stipend, but what are the costs that the students are directly responsible for?

YCS-ELI pays a stipend and discretionary funds of approximately $5,800 each year. In addition, the program provides up to a $1,500 supplement to cover the cost of travel, housing, and food. A discretionary fund of about $300 will be provided. Stipends are paid throughout the summer in biweekly installments. Scholars are responsible for determining their tax responsibility.

Does the program provide housing?

We provide a housing, food, and travel supplement of up to $1,500. Housing arrangements will be made independently. However, program staff are able to help you find housing and roommates.

What are the important program dates?

2024 Program Dates

Two virtual orientation days in April dates to be determined

Tuesday, May 28–  Friday, July 26, 2024

2024 Application Dates

Application Opens November 2023

Application Closes January 15, 2024, 11:59 pm Eastern Time*

When will applicants hear back regarding acceptance?

We anticipate beginning interviews in mid to late February and finalizing the cohort in mid to late March. This timeline is an estimate and is subject to change.

My semester ends after the start of the program. Can I still apply?

Program start dates are not flexible. Accepted students are expected to attend all program dates. 

Who can I talk to for more information?

You may contact us at ycs-eli@yale.edu.

Do you know of any research opportunities for graduate students or recent grads?

If you are a graduate student interested in the environmental field, please look into the Environmental Fellows Program.

Can I have a job while I am in the YCS-ELI Program?

The Yale Conservation Scholars is a full-time engagement. Participants are strongly discouraged from having other jobs during the program.

Is this the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP)?

Not anymore. We have rebranded with a new name and different support. Dr. Dorceta Taylor was the program director for DDCSP at the University of Michigan. The program was with Yale School of the Environment for one year while the last cohort finished their internships. In 2021, Dr. Taylor launched the Yale Conservation Scholars - Early Leadership Initiative, which is not tied to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program or the Doris Duke Foundation. In 2023, the Doris Duke Foundation ended DDCSP.

I am an organization interested in hosting a scholar or donating to the program. How can I move forward?

Please email us at ycs-eli@yale.edu, and our program managers will assist you. You can also donate by navigating to the JEDSI website and selecting “support JEDSI” to link to our donation page. You can specify funds for YCS-ELI in the comments secti