The ENVS Sustainability Scholars program provides opportunities for Environmental Studies majors interested in research or scholarship related to climate change, sustainability, or other environmental issues. Selected scholars will work in close collaboration with a faculty mentor on a project proposed by that mentor. The program especially seeks to support research involving Kenyon’s campus and green centers.

Over 8-10 weeks, a Sustainability Scholar will gain experience conducting and communicating scholarship or research. As part of the Kenyon summer scholars community, they will join faculty and students from across campus for discussions, social events, and peer mentorship. One or two Sustainability Scholar will be funded per summer. Selections for these competitive awards are made by a committee of faculty members as part of the Summer Scholars and Summer Science programs, with input from the Office of Green Initiatives.

Dates & Deadlines

The next proposal due date is February 12, 2024, at midnight. 


The student member of a student/faculty research team is responsible for writing and submitting the proposal (see below) in consultation with the faculty member. The team conducts their research over an 8 to 10 week period in the summer, at the end of which the student member of the team submits a concise and accessible abstract of approximately 200 words describing the project and results. 

Students present their results at the research poster session during Family Weekend in October.

The Kenyon Sustainability Scholars Program supports student-faculty research teams involving students who are Environmental Studies majors. Students are eligible to apply for the summer after their sophomore, or junior year, and must have declared the Environmental Studies major. Prior involvement in Kenyon’s green centers is not required. Students may only be supported for one summer. Faculty may be appointed in any discipline, and both tenure track and continuing non-tenure track faculty may serve as mentors in the SS program.

A complete proposal consists of:

The Summer Research Application

Project Description and Budget: clear, concise description of the goals and methodology of the proposed project, understandable to individuals outside the discipline (limit 2000 words), as well as a budget detailing expenses limited to materials, equipment, and travel directly related to the research project — uploaded pdf as part of the application.

Faculty Mentor Form: This form allows the faculty mentor to describe how the proposed projects supports/advances their scholarly interests, to provide a clear plan for mentorship and collaboration, and describes the readiness of the student to take on the proposed research. The mentor also indicates whether grant funds may be available to support the student stipend and expenses beyond the $500 research budget.

The student member of the research team is responsible for completing the Summer Research Application. The student and faculty mentor should collaborate in composing the project description and budget. The faculty mentor completes the Mentor Form and submits it directly.

Awards will be announced in late February. Notification will be by email, copying the faculty mentor. Students may not accept this award if they are participating in another summer research program or if they have on-campus summer employment, and if they accept the award, they are expected to commit to the KSS program and remove themselves from consideration in other programs.

ENVS Sustainability Scholars proposals will be selected based on the following criteria:

The potential for the project to engage the student in authentic scholarly or creative work, with a clear plan for faculty mentorship and collaboration, and linked to the students interests in environmental studies.

The potential for the project to support or advance the scholarly or creative interests of the faculty mentor as well as the operations or engagement of the Office of Green Initiatives and the green centers.

Considerations of disciplinary, mentor and student diversity, equity and inclusion.

The current fellowship award is $4,000 per student plus provision of on-campus housing. Students not requiring on-campus housing are not eligible for additional remuneration.

A budget of $500 is provided to purchase materials, equipment, or travel that directly supports the research project. Any durable materials, supplies, and equipment will become the property of the College and remain with the faculty mentor’s department or at the Kenyon Farm after the summer. All expenses must be approved by the faculty mentor and submitted with original invoice or receipt to the administrative assistant for the faculty mentor’s department no later than the last day of October following the summer project. Additional funding for conference travel may be requested through a provost’s Student Research Grant.

Students who complete all requirements as stated above and who are endorsed by their faculty mentors will receive audit credit on their transcripts for this summer research experience. Students who will be abroad at the time of the poster session may prepare a poster in advance for display at the session, or they may present their poster in the summer science poster session the following year to complete the requirements for audit credit. If neither of these options is feasible, other arrangements may be made with the approval of the associate provost and the student’s research mentor.


Students awarded a summer research scholarship whose research involves the use of human subjects, must apply to the Kenyon College Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review of their research protocol. Information about the IRB application may be found on the IRB web page. IRB applications should be submitted well in advance of the start dates of your program and research.