Ecolab Experiential Education Scholarships

How will you change the world?
How will the world change you?

Thanks to a generous grant from Ecolab, University of Minnesota undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus interested in transformational sustainability experiences are invited to apply for one of three Ecolab-supported opportunities: study abroad experiences; sustainability-related internships; and student-initiated sustainability leadership projects.

Each of the scholarships are designed to develop students’ understanding of sustainability while also developing the skills needed to address environmental challenges.  

We are currently accepting applications for the fall 2019 cycle. See below for details, including application instructions and deadlines.

See responses to common questions on the FAQ page.

Eligibility & Preference

Undergraduate students are eligible to apply for any of the following Ecolab Experiential opportunities if they:

  • Have completed a minimum of 30 credits by the end of Summer Semester 2019 
  • Have academic good standing
  • Are registered full-time each semester in a degree program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • A demonstrated interest in and/or passion for learning the skills and knowledge needed to put sustainability into practice, solve pressing environmental challenges in Minnesota and globally, or finding solutions for our world’s grand environmental challenges
  • Domestic students must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Minnesota Dream Act application on file at the University of Minnesota. (You can check with One Stop to confirm your status.) You can learn more about financial aid eligibility criteria here.  
  • International students who have financial need are also eligible to apply but will be asked to submit supplemental essay questions. 

Preference will be given to students who:

  • Have significant financial need as determined by the University’s Office of Student Finance
  • Are pursuing internships or proposing projects that have a focus on environmental justice and/or equity issues 
  • Have not already received other UMN Ecolab scholarships
  • Are able to participate in programs and events offered through the Ecolab Scholar Program

Ecolab Learning Abroad Scholarships

Award: Up to $2,000 (depending on financial need)
Deadline: September 20 (approved courses)

These scholarships support students who want to participate in an approved learning-abroad course while learning about and having an impact on sustainability problems.

Courses approved for the current application cycle are:

Application Process: 

  • The application will be available here on Friday, August 16.
  • After applying for and being accepted into one of the courses listed above, students can then apply for the Ecolab Experiential Learning Abroad Scholarship. Note that the application requires an unofficial transcript and required essay as described in the application. 
  • Scholarship recipients will have the scholarship applied to their course fee.

Ecolab Learning Abroad Scholarships-Planning Grants

Award: Up to $4,000 (depending on financial need)
Deadline: September 18, 2019

Planning grants support students by providing assurance of funding earlier in their planning process–recipients have up to one year to use their award to support their participation in any course approved by the Ecolab Learning Abroad Scholarship.

This scholarship is intended to:

  • Ease the financial barrier of study abroad for students with significant financial need.
  • Provide assurance of funding earlier in the process and encourage early financial planning. Recipients have up to one year to use their award.
  • Increase representation of economically disadvantaged students on study abroad programs.

Application Process:

  • The application will be available here on Friday, August 16.
  • Apply through the Learning Abroad Center.
  • Students notified of decision by October 30, 2019.

Ecolab Sustainability Internship Scholarships

Award: Up to $1,500 (depending on credits enrolled in for internship)
Deadline: August 23, 2019

Ecolab Sustainability Internship Scholarships provide support for students who are interested in an unpaid internship focused on sustainability studies and/or environmental grand challenges. The internship must meet the following criteria: 

  • For Fall 2019, all interns are required to take SUST 4096 (Sustainability Internships) to deepen your experience. 
  • Students need to have enrolled for the class and started the process to identify a sustainability-related internship for the fall semester before applying for the scholarship. 
  • Students will need to follow up with potential internship sites to finalize the internship by the second week of the semester, preferably by the start of the semester.
  • Scholarships amount varies with size of internship: 4 credits (140 hours) $1500, 3 credits (98 hours) $1000, 2 credits (56 hours) $600.
  • A supervisor has been identified at your internship site who will verify your work hours and will help ensure that you have a good internship experience.
  • You are not receiving a salary for your internship work. Small benefits such as occasional lunches, free tickets, and parking privileges, do not count as salary. Modest stipends (less than $100 total) also do not count as salary.

Application Process: 

  • Complete the online application by August 23, 2019, and submit an unofficial transcript to ionescholarship@umn.edu.
  • Candidates may be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process. 
  • Scholarship recipients will receive half the scholarship at the beginning of the internship, and half after completing the internship.

Ecolab Student-Initiated Sustainability Leadership Projects

Award: $1,500
Deadline: September 15, 2019

These scholarships support students in designing and leading projects to address environmental grand challenges. Projects can be led on or off campus, but student applicants must identify a University or Community professional who is able to serve a project advisor. The project advisor will be asked to provide guidance to the student during the project and complete a brief evaluation of the student’s project. 

Students applying for these scholarships in summer 2019 should be able to start their project in the fall of 2019 and be able to complete it by May 2020 (at the latest).

Application Process: 

  • The application will be available here on August 16, 2019.
  • Complete the online application form by September 15, 2019, and also submit an unofficial transcript to ionescholarship@umn.edu.
  • Candidates may be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process.
  • Scholarship recipients will receive half the scholarship funding when starting the project and half after successful completion of the project.

Questions about any of these scholarships can be sent to IonEscholarship@umn.edu.

See responses to common questions on the FAQ page.