How to Apply
Please read all information below before contacting us. We do not provide grants, sholarships, or study abroad funding for persons wanting to study outside the US or anywhere other than WFI.
For consideration, Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree. Alternatively, candidates with at least four years of forest-related work experience may apply.
- Proficiency in English, both written and spoken.
- At least 21 years of age.
- Initial research proposal on a topic relevant to forestry in the home country. The project should take advantage of forestry in the Pacific Northwest.
- Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
- WFI accepts applications from US and foreign nationals. Anyone meeting our minimum qulaifications can apply.
- Obtain funding for the Fellowship. Download a cost description here.
Step-by-Step Application Procedure
1. Develop a project proposal that fits within the guidelines of the Fellowship program. Projects are a key element of the Fellowship Program. Download the project proposal guidelines here. Please note that proposals must be original in scope.
Projects submitted to WFI must meet the following requirements:
• The project should take advantage of being located in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Elements of the project must involve collaboration with PNW forest industry, local organizations, researchers, or communities.
• The project should include elements from both the Fellow's home country and the US. For example, the project could make a comparison/contrast case study from examples in both countries.
• The project must be able to be completed within the time frame that the Fellow will be here. WFI does not fund work that occurs in locations other than at our center.
• WFI does not fund field trials as we do not have laboratory facilities available at our location. Most Fellows conduct projects that involve collecting qualitative data and involve surveys, interviews, literature review, shadowing, conferences, and networking.
• The project must have a tangible outcome, such as a report, manual, poster session, or an event (such as a conference).
2. Complete the WFI application in full. All sections must be completed including the financial section. Please note that any incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Download an application here.
Only applicants with full sponsorship or those that can pay the 50% Fellowship fee will be considered. The WFI Fellowship Program provides only the matching grant from the Harry A. Merlo Foundation. We do not provide any other funding or offer other funding sources for the program. Furthermore, this program cannot entertain applicants that wish to be based outside of WFI in Portland, Oregon.
3. Email your complete application, proposal included, along with your CV to WFI Director Sara Wu, email@example.com. Please do not send CV or letter of interest without a completed application form. It is free to apply.
4. Once your application has been reviewed you will receive notice of whether or not you have been selected for an interview. Once the interview is complete a reference check will be done and you will receive notice of whether or not you have been accepted into the program. If you are accepted, you will begin the process of applying for the J-1 visa if you are a foreign citizen. This application process is lengthy and requires a different application form and additional documentation. There is a fee associated with applying for the visa. Please see the description of costs above.
Applications are taken year round. Download the application form here. If you are planning for a full year Fellowship, the start date is unimportant. If planning for a shorter Fellowship, we recommend that your stay encompass the summer months (June through October). During the summer months more site visits are scheduled due to drier weather. Applications are due at least two months prior to the start date.
Frequently asked questions
What is expected from me when I apply?
Your project proposal should clearly outline your learning objectives (see above). We understand that in the course of your time here, you may have to adapt your proposal. You will also need to secure at least half of the funding for your Fellowship. Additionally, we recommend securing supplemental funding for items not covered by the program (such as travel). Aside from that, bring an open attitude, initiative and rain gear!
When can I apply?
Applications are due a minimum of two months before the anticipated start date. If you are unsure whether a project you have in mind would meet our criteria, please email us with a short description of your intended project before submitting an application.
What type of visa do Fellows come to the US on?
Fellows arrive on a J-1 Trainee visa. The visa application is handled by a third-party organization, Experience International. The J-1 Trainee program is designed to allow participants to come to the United States to gain exposure to US culture and receive training in US business practices in their chosen field. Upon completion of the program, participants are expected to return to their home countries where they will be able to utilize their newly learned skills and knowledge to advance their careers, and to share their experience with their peers and others.
Can WFI provide full scholarships or funding for the Fellowship program?
No. WFI cannot provide full funding for the Fellowship due to high demand and limited resources. Applicants must find their own source of funding for at least 50% of the Fellowship program fee and visa fee, and they are responsible for their own travel costs.