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.

All three of these Ecolab Experiential Education Scholarships are designed to develop students’ understanding of sustainability while also developing the skills needed to address environmental challenges. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; see below for details on the different opportunities, along with application instructions and deadlines.

The Institute on the Environment will award up to 40 scholarships (for a total of $60,000) each year for the next five years. We are currently accepting applications for summer 2019 experiences. If you would like to be notified when we will be accepting applications for the 2019-2020 academic year, please submit your information.

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 Spring 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
  • Have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at the University of Minnesota. (You can check with One Stop to confirm your FAFSA Status.) You can learn more about financial aid eligibility criteria here.

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: April 26, 2019

These scholarships support students who are enrolled in approved Learning Abroad courses that have a focus on sustainability problems. Please note that additional courses for 2019-2020 will be posted in July 2019. (Faculty who are interested in submitting their course for approval can contact us. Courses must be taught by a UMN instructor to be considered).

Courses for Spring 2019 are:

Application Process:

  • After applying for and being accepted into one of the courses listed above, students can then apply for the Ecolab Experiential Learning Abroad Scholarship (online form) and should also submit an unofficial transcript and the required essay, described in the application, to ionescholarship@umn.edu.
  • Please note: Scholarship applications for the May 2019 Design for Sustainable Development course will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis, so please apply as soon as possible. Scholarship applications will not be accepted after April 26.
  • Scholarship recipients will have the scholarship applied to their course fee.

Ecolab Sustainability Internship Scholarships

Award: Up to $2,000 (depending on financial need)
Deadline: May 1, 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:

  • Students need to have identified a sustainability-related internship for a minimum of 120 hours that will start in the summer of 2019 and will end by May 2020 (at the latest).
  • 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.
  • Both domestic and international internships qualify for this scholarship.

Please note that if you are an intern during either the fall or spring semester, you are encouraged to take SUST 4096 (Sustainability Internships) to deepen your experience.

Application Process:

  • Complete the online application form by May 1, 2019, and submit an unofficial transcript and the required essay (described in the application).
  • 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: Up to $2,000 (depending on financial need and scope of project)
Deadline:May 1, 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 as 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 Spring 2019 should be able to start their project in the summer of 2019 and be able to complete it by May 2020 (at the latest).

Application Process:

  • Complete the online application form by May 1, 2019, and also submit an unofficial transcript and the required essay and proposed work plan, described in the application.
  • 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.

See responses to common questions on the FAQ page.