College of the Environment and Life Sciences Communications Fellowship

CELS communications fellow, David Loiselle, interviews professor Dr. Peter August
CELS communications fellow, David Loiselle, interviews professor Dr. Peter August

This competitive fellowship is designed to help graduate students in the University of Rhode Island’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) strengthen science communication skills through hands-on experience promoting the college to internal and external audiences. Under the guidance of a skilled communications professional, the student will promote CELS faculty, students, alumni, and academic programs to prospective students, parents, and the general public via the CELS website, social media, and other communications tools.

CELS Communications Fellows represent the college’s communications department and work closely with the dean and associate deans, faculty, and staff to raise the college’s public profile. Fellows write stories on CELS students, faculty, and staff as part of the college’s Big Thinker series, provide content for a monthly CELS eNewsletter and the college’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), track social media metrics and help to develop communication strategies.

As part of the Fellowship, the successful candidate will also work with Metcalf Institute, a global leader in providing science training to journalists and communications training to scientists. Fellows write profiles on Metcalf alumni, assist with Metcalf’s annual science immersion workshop for journalists in June, conduct research, and contribute to other projects throughout the academic year.

“As a CELS Communication Fellow, I built my science communication skills through creating a variety of content for CELS and the Metcalf Institute and by receiving professional guidance and mentorship along the way. Through writing Big Thinker articles, I refined my interview skills and learned about interesting projects and people across campus. The connection with the Metcalf Institute allowed me to build upon my interest in inclusive science communication through managing social media series featuring people from diverse backgrounds involved in exciting research projects across the nation. The variety of projects I was able to work on during the fellowship has given me the confidence to approach science communication in my career.”  —Hannah MacDonald, who graduated with a MESM degree in 2022 with a focus in environmental communication and the Science Writing and Rhetoric Certificate. She is currently the Fisheries Technical Assistance Program Manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

What can you expect as the CELS Communications Fellow?

  • Write Big Thinker articles on students, faculty, and alumni
  • Develop content for the CELS monthly eNewsletter
  • Provide content for the CELS social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • Track social media metrics
  • Help develop communications strategies
  • Work with the Metcalf Institute on writing alumni profile stories, assisting with a science communication workshop for journalists, and social media tracking.

What does the CELS Communications Fellowship include?

  • Mentorship from an advisor and the senior fellow
  • Employment for the academic year for up to two years and the summer between the first and second year 
  • Full tuition reimbursement for the academic year
  • 20 hour per week stipend at the graduate rate
  • Travel, registration fee, and expenses related to one relevant professional conference per academic year
  • Two weeks of unpaid vacation
  • Free commuter parking pass


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) Applicant
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Submission Items:

  • Letter describing your interests in the fellowship and how it will enhance your career objectives
  • At least two original writing samples 
  • Resume
  • Letter of Reference

The applications should be sent to Brett Still, MESM Coordinator and CELS lecturer, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, or email:

For any questions, please contact

Application deadline March 15, 2023.

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