FAQ – US Climate Corps Fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

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Which organizations will be participating?

Companies, cities, universities and nonprofits of any size, located anywhere throughout the United States, can hire an Climate Corps fellow. A list of current year host organizations will be available to candidates during the interview process and fellows are matched with host organizations based on their location, industry and project type preferences. See a full list of past organizations here.

How many hosts and fellows participate each summer?

In 2023, we placed 212 fellows within 160+ organizations in the US, China, and India. The number of fellows changes each year and depends on the number of organizations participating in the program.

Can students apply to a specific organization?

Applicants cannot apply to a specific organization, but a list of 2024 host organizations and projects will be available to candidates after the interview process. Applicants will be able to indicate their preferences for organization, project, location and sector. Fellows are matched on relevant experience, host organization needs and applicant preferences.

Can international students apply?

We welcome applications from anyone who fits the program criteria. 

For US fellowships, candidates must be eligible to work in the United States during the summer. If you are an international student, please make it clear on your application that you are eligible to work in the United States. See our Work Authorization Policy for more information.

For China fellowships, candidates must be Chinese citizens or nationals from other countries who are currently registered in a Chinese university. 

For India fellowships, candidates must be Indian citizens or nationals from other countries who are currently registered in an Indian university.

Do students have to have a certain graduate degree to apply?

We welcome applications from all graduate degree and graduate certificate program students who meet the Climate Corps qualifications.

How long is the fellowship?

Climate Corps fellowships are 10-12 weeks between June and September, plus 1 week for Climate Corps Fellow Training. Fellow Training will take place from May 20-24 and will be hosted virtually. The exact weeks for the fellowship will depend on the host’s and fellow’s schedules.

What are my work hours over the summer?

We expect fellows to work full-time (40 hours a week) with start/end times dependent on the norm of the organization at which they are placed.

Can I attend the training if I am not a fellow?

While we would love to be able to train everyone on the ins and outs of sustainability, as of now, we are only able to provide a live training program for Climate Corps fellows. EDF’s Net Zero Action Accelerator Learning Hub is open to all and offers an ever expanding set of live and recorded educational sessions and other resources on topics including developing a Net Zero pathway, reducing operational and value chain emissions, reporting and disclosing climate action, and much more.

What is the host organization’s commitment?

Climate Corps host organizations agree that they will:

  • Provide a salary of $1,400 per week for 10-12 weeks, plus $1,400 for participation in the Fellow Training.
  • Provide a supportive high-level project sponsor and an accessible day-to-day manager with the capacity to meet with the fellow on a weekly basis at minimum for the duration of the fellowship. EDF highly recommends that direct supervisors complete harassment training at their organization.
  • Provide fellow will suitable equipment, facilitate support from relevant stakeholders and, if onsite, provide office space and access.
  • Make accessible relevant records and information such as energy audits or utility bill information.
  • Implement fellow recommendations at the discretion of the organization.
  • Provide EDF with updates on implementation after fellowship completion.

Typically, host organizations onboard their fellows as “interns” or “term employees.” Ultimately, it is up to the host organization to work with their HR department to determine the most appropriate way to classify and work with their fellows. There is no expectation by Climate Corps to provide benefits in addition to the fellow salary.

What is EDF’s commitment?

EDF agrees to:

  • Train fellows on sustainability and climate strategies, best practices, resources and skills applicable to Climate Corps’ established project categories.
  • Support fellows throughout the summer through our cohort model led by EDF and partner experts.
  • Provide an EDF Engagement Manager who will be available throughout the fellowship for support and guidance for both the fellow and the host organization.
  • Upon successful completion of the fellowship, consider fellows for Climate Corps Fellowship Awards, share fellows’ approved public summary and include each fellow in the Climate Corps alumni network.

What is the fellow’s commitment?

Climate Corps fellows agree that they will:

  • US fellows will be in compliance with federal law that states all Climate Corps fellows extended an offer by one of our host organizations must be able to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete the required employment eligibility verification document forms by the first day of employment.
  • Attend the Climate Corps Fellow Training, hosted virtually from May 20-24. If not able to attend live, fellows agree that they will watch the required recordings in accordance with guidance from EDF. Live attendance is strongly preferred, as the connections built during Fellow Training are an invaluable resource for fellows’ summer projects and careers. 
  • Work for the host organization full-time for 10-12 weeks on the assigned workplan and adhere to all hiring processes, HR policies, and standards of the organization.
  • Provide final deliverables to both the host organization and EDF based on their workplan, including a set of recommendations to drive next steps.

Does EDF or the host organization provide summer housing or transportation?

EDF does not provide fellows with summer housing, local transportation or relocation assistance to cities of summer employment (if relocation is required). If a host provides relocation support, that will be indicated to candidates on the list of available projects.

Are there full-time opportunities available with the host organization or EDF after the fellowship is completed?

Climate Corps does not have automatic conversion to a full-time position. However, each host organization is different and depending on availability and budget, fellows may be asked to consult or be brought on full-time by their host organization. This, however, is not something that EDF asks of the participating organizations. Opportunities within EDF are limited; however, interested fellows are encouraged to view the EDF website regularly for job openings.

Who do fellows work for officially, EDF or the host organization?

Most fellows are formally hired by the organization at which they are placed, or hired through a third-party professional services agency. For select public sector and non-profit organizations, EDF may sponsor and hire fellows directly; however, they will be expected to serve the host organization and work on-site as any other fellow in the program.

When should I apply?

We have two deadlines, November 30, 2023 and January 9, 2024. Applicants who apply by November 30th will be eligible to be matched with host organizations in February. Applicants who apply by January 9th will be eligible to be matched in March. We encourage applicants to submit by the earlier deadline for the best chance of being matched with their preferred host organization.

What is the Climate Corps Work Authorization Policy?

Please see our Work Authorization Policy here.

Does Climate Corps conduct reference checks?

Yes, we do. We will notify applicants who are moving forward in the selection process of our intent to check their listed references. We will provide references with a survey and ask that they respond within two weeks. This allows us to quickly move forward with interviews and facilitate host-fellow matches. Candidates that need to change or update reference information after submitting an application should contact the Climate Corps Matching Team at edfclimatecorps.apply@edf.org.


With considerations around COVID-19, will fellowships be remote or in-person?

In 2023, fellowships were a mix of remote, hybrid and on-site arrangements. During the matching process, candidates will be made aware of each project’s location (remote vs. on-site) and can indicate their preferences accordingly. 

If I make it to the matching process, does that mean I’m accepted as a fellow?

Candidates are entered into the matching process after their interviews if it is determined that they have the skills and qualities necessary to be a successful fellow. However, not every candidate will be matched with a project since matching takes into account specific projects and how candidate skills, interests and preferences align with host needs.