U of A: The Sustainability Scholars Program


The Sustainability Scholars Program is a graduate internship program offered through the University of Alberta. The Program places Masters and PhD students with community partners to work on an applied, innovative sustainability research projects. Each Scholar completes a 250 hour project between May 1st and August 15th, with the guidance of a Mentor from the Community Partner organization. Since our pilot cohort in the summer of 2015, the Program has had 43 Scholars.

The projects our Scholars work on come from our Community Partners. We accept project proposals related to advancing the environmental, social and/or economic sustainability of your organization, or society as a whole. Our Community Partners provide the project outline, a staff person who acts as a Mentor and supervisor, a workspace for the Scholar, and $3350 to cover approximately half of the employment costs of the Scholar, and our program covers the rest. In return, Community Partners receive the deliverables outlined in their project to help their organization to make tangible, sustainable change.

All Scholars are employees of the University of Alberta. All administrative requirements for the program are handled by our team. This includes employee onboarding and payment. Because we manage these HR requirements in-house, our program is accessible to organizations that otherwise could not bring someone on in this capacity.

Our program was born out of a partnership with the City of Edmonton, who remains our primary Community Partner. We also work with mentors within the University of Alberta. In 2017 we expanded to include partnerships with the City of Spruce Grove, and our first corporate partner, Stantec. Going forwards we are interested in building new corporate, non-profit, and NGO partners within the city, and municipalities near Edmonton.

If you are interested in submitting a project, or viewing the completed work of past Scholars, you can visit our website at:


If you have any questions please contact Justis Allard, Sustainability Assistant, at justis@ualberta.ca

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