Forging strong

Improving social and environmental sustainability in mountain communities

Mountain Sentinels Fellowship logo
Mountain Sentinels Fellowship logo

The Fellowship Program offers leadership, mentorship, research and educational opportunities to students, postdocs, youth, practitioners, and community members who are living, working, or from the mountains. 

Ready to make your idea a reality?

The Fellows Program provides impactful opportunities for project support, mentorship, network exchanges, participation in international policy fora, involvement in the Moving Mountains Summit, developing meaningful connections with mountain communities worldwide and lifelong bonds with other Fellows around the world.  

  • Initial award is $1000 with an opportunity to apply for for additional funding.
  • Projects should improves social and environmental well-being and sustainability in mountains.
  • Fellows are individuals living, working, or raised in a mountain community.
  • We encourage applications from those who are under-served and/or under-represented in science.
  • The Fellowship will run for two years, beginning September 1, 2024.

Deadline to apply is July 28, 2024 11:59 PM (MDT).

  • $1,000 to support an on-going or new project that improves social and environmental well-being & sustainability in mountains.
  • One-on-one mentorship with a member of Mountain Sentinels Alliance
  • Monthly virtual gatherings amongst the Fellows cohort
  • Participation in the 2024 Moving Mountains Summit (virtual or in person), scheduled for Dec 2024 in Peru
  • Training and leadership opportunities
  • Opportunity to apply for additional experiences suited to the Fellows’ interests (see below)

Fellows can apply for additional funding to participate in activities such as:

  • A network exchange program with partner organizations and communities
  • Engagement in policy fora, such as the UNFCCC COP
  • In-person participation in the Moving Mountains Summit
  • Other experiences that benefit the Fellow’s career or community

Fellows may use initial funds to support an on-going or new project focused on improving social and environmental well-being & sustainability in mountains. We particularly encourage projects that elevate community voices and address community needs in mountains, and build/enhance long-term relationships with mountain communities.  

Examples of past projects include:

  • Documenting knowledge of medicinal plants by community members through interviews to create a plant guidebook and short documentary film for the preservation of local/Indigenous ecological knowledges
  • Interviewing community members about how the mountains provide safety during COVID-19 and creating a book of poetry and art from the interviews
  • Working with a local school to expand access to online learning materials related to mountain sustainability
  • Increasing food security for communities through facilitating community workshops on local agriculture products and establishing community gardens
  • Working with other community groups to improve facilities or programming in community centers
  • Ethnographic research exploring Indigenous women’s perspectives of climate change and ice loss in the Andes
  • Establishing a small-scale network of solar energy for community use
  • Developing a local radio talk show to cover community-related topics
  • At the end of their fellowship, we will ask fellows to share a final product, such as a report, blog, video, photographs, art, or other materials to communicate the outcomes of their project.  This will be shared publicly on our website, with permissions from all involved.  We will also ask the fellows to complete a reflective evaluation of their experiences as a fellow.

We are open to applicants  from a wide range of educational, professional, and practical backgrounds. We anticipate the final cohort will be a mix of students across multiple educational levels (undergraduate through postdoctoral fellows), practitioners from diverse sectors, including local and Indigenous mountain community members.

  • Applicants are expected to live or work in, or have a strong connection to, a mountain community and be passionate about social-environmental sustainability.
  • Applicant projects should elevate community voices and address community needs in mountains.

If applicable (not required),

  • Applicants will be asked to articulate how they represent an under-represented group in science or an under-served community.  Depending on context, under-represented groups in science (groups whose representation in science is smaller than their representation in the general population where they reside) or under-served groups (those who do not receive sufficient access to services such as health care, education, etc) may include but are not limited to: Black, Latinx, Indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, women, people from the Global South or economically developing nations.
  • Applicants may explain how they are early in their occupation or career , which is roughly within 10 years of starting their current occupation. We understand that people do change occupations, so you might be older in years and still earlier in your current career. 

To apply, fill out the application form to describe your project and the community you wish to work with. You will be asked to provide the following additional documentation as part of the application:

  • A brief description of how you will spend the funding, and completion of the budget proposal form template (uploaded in the application). If help is desired, the Mountain Sentinels team is excited to offer one-on-one conversations to help develop a budget. Please email the Mountain Sentinels team with the subject line “Fellows Budget”.
  • A resume/CV, no longer than 2 pages.
  • A letter of support from a member of the community or group involved in your project. This letter does not need to be long or formal; it can be a few sentences from any member of good standing in the community. If a letter is not possible, alternate options for demonstration of a community connection are provided.

Join us for an informational webinar on June 28 at 9:00 am MT.


Building Community,
See how Fellows and their projects are making mountains, and the world, more sustainable.
Reach out with eligibility questions, to learn more about project suitability criteria or with your idea on how to use funds.
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