Sustainability Scholars

Become a partner

Sustainability Scholars connects University of Alberta graduate students with Edmonton-area institutions or corporations to work on applied research projects related to sustainability. Each student, or scholar, will work with a designated mentor from your organization, and will complete a 250-hour project between May 1 and August 15.

In return for hosting a scholar, your organization receives the deliverables you outlined in your project, helping your organization make sustainable changes.

Project Requirements

Sustainability Scholars looks for projects that:

  • Can be completed within 250 hours.
  • Relate to advancing the social, environmental or economic sustainability of society as a whole, or to advancing a sustainability mandate within your organization.
  • Have an emphasis on applied and innovative research.

Mentorship Requirements

Project mentors should expect:

  • To serve as the scholar’s guide and project supervisor, and the primary point-of-contact within your organization.
  • To conduct interviews with project applicants and provide the university a list of preferred candidates during the hiring process.
  • For scholars to spend at least half their work hours in their mentor’s office. Where the rest of the scholar’s hours are spent is negotiable between the scholar and the mentor to meet the needs of the project.

Administrative Details

Scholars are considered employees of the university, no matter which project partner they are placed with. As such, the university is responsible for:

  • Advertising open Sustainability Scholar opportunities to eligible applicants.
  • Accepting applications and collecting employment information.
  • Employee onboarding and administration, including human resources requirements, receiving scholars’ time cards and paying wages to scholars.
  • Organizing an orientation session and final presentation event.
  • General program administration.

Project partners must provide a work space with a computer, telephone and any other tools necessary to complete the project.


For the summer 2018 program, the cost to host a scholar was $6,800. Project partners provided $3,350 and the university topped up the remaining $3,450. These funds covered the scholar's wages and any mandatory employment costs.

Costs for future years will be announced later in Fall 2018.

How to Apply

To apply to to become a project partner, you must submit a research project and designate a mentor from your organization. Please download this application form below and follow the instructions for full details.

To become a project partner in summer 2019, the deadline for applications is Nov. 30, 2018.

Download Application