The Stanback Fellowship Program is a partnership between the Nicholas School of the Environment and non-profit environmental organizations. The purpose of the program is to provide students with significant project-based learning experiences in energy, conservation, advocacy, policy, research and applied resource management.

The program is made possible by the generous support of Fred and Alice Stanback.

Organization Partners

The Nicholas School of the Environment partners with non-profit environmental organizations to offer the Stanback experience.

List of Stanback Organization Partners

Organization Focus Area
CleanAIRE NC Research & Air
Conservation Trust for North Carolina Conservation & Land Conservation
Defenders of Wildlife Species & Land Conservation
Dogwood Alliance Water, Forestry
Duke Environmental Law & Policy Center Law & Policy
Earthjustice Advocacy, Environmental Health, Law & Policy
Environmental Defense Fund Land Conservation, Coastal & Ocean, Forestry
Environmental Working Group Research, Advocacy & Law
Family Health International (FHI 360) Human Population & Advocacy
Friends of the Earth Conservation
Greenpeace Research
League of Conservation Voters (DC) Policy, Conservation, Advocacy, Policy & Advocacy
League of Conservation Voters (NC) Policy, Conservation, Advocacy, Policy & Advocacy
National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) Land Conservation, Advocacy, Policy, & Conservation
Natural Resources Defense Council Watery, Policy, Coastal & Ocean, Conservation, Energy & Sustainability
North Carolina Coastal Federation Policy & Sustainability
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust Coastal & Oceans, Land Conservation
North Carolina Conservation Network Advocacy & Conservation
North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association Research, Sustainability, Energy & Policy
Population Connection Policy, Human Population & Advocacy
Population Institute Human Population & Policy
Rachel Carson Council Inc. Environmental Health, Research & Species Conservation
Rocky Mountain Institute Energy, Research, Transportation & Sustainability
Sierra Club - North Carolina Policy, Coastal & Oceans
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Environmental Health
Southern Environmental Law Center Law, Policy, Sustainability& Energy
The American Chestnut Foundation Species & Land Conservation, Forestry
The Nature Conservancy - North Carolina Land Conservation, Water, Coastal & Oceans
The Wilderness Society Environmental Health, Land & Species Conservation
Three Rivers Land Trust Land, Conservation, Forestry



All current Duke undergraduate and graduate students who will be continuing as enrolled students the following Fall semester are welcome to apply for a Stanback Fellowship. Opportunities are located throughout the U.S., and fellows receive $7,000 in funding to support their experience. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a current Duke student in good standing.
  • Be eligible to work in the United States. Foreign Nationals should check with Duke Visa Services regarding eligibility.
  • Have one full semester remaining at Duke following the summer experience.

Expectations of Students

Projects are designed to fully engage students in learning opportunities for 11 weeks during the summer. The start and end date for the fellowship are determined between the student and the organization.

  • All students must enroll in the required Stanback Fellowship summer course (more information on this will be provided at a later date).

  • All Stanback fellows must read pre-departure orientation information which outlines expectations of the program.
  • All student participants must complete employment paperwork prior to beginning the fellowship to be awarded their payment. 
  • Stanback fellows are also required to meet with their supervisor for an end-of-summer evaluation and feedback meeting.
  • Finally, all Stanback fellows must submit a synopsis of their overall learning experience and a thank you to the Stanback family at the conclusion of the fellowship. The synopsis and thank you are shared with the Stanback family.


Gross payment amount is based on fellowship location and duration. Most students receive a gross payment of $7,000 (less tax withholding) in funding distributed in two (2) monthly allotments (May and July, assuming all paperwork completed by May 1)*. 

*Note that Nicholas School staff members may not provide tax assistance, so please consult your income tax adviser for income tax and withholding advice, or visit Duke Finance for assistance. In order to receive payment for your fellowship, all payroll information must be completed by the student in person (Durham, NC) prior to the end of the Spring semester.  

Nicholas School students that accept a Stanback Fellowship are not eligible to receive additional Nicholas School internship funds.

How to Apply

Positions and application instructions will be posted on Handshake

All students should request to be added to the Stanback mailing list.

Please consult the Stanback Resources Folder (NetID required) for details regarding the application timeline (including deadline to apply and notification dates), a schedule of information sessions, course information, and additional program resources.

Go to Resources Folder


If you have any questions, please contact the Stanback Fellowship Admin Team at or 919-660-8702.