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Addressing Environmental Challenges in the Americas: A Call for Applications

The Vidanta Foundation and Wilson Center's Latin American Program launch a call for applications for a six-month residential fellowship in Washington, D.C., to conduct research and propose solutions for addressing climate change in the hemisphere. The residential fellowship will begin in January 2020.

Addressing Environmental Challenges in the Americas:  A Call for Applications

Application Instructions


The impacts of environmental degradation and climate change are increasingly visible across the globe, affecting the resilience of communities and threatening biodiversity. From extreme weather events such as hurricanes and wildfires, to slow onset disasters like droughts and sea-level rise, the impacts of climate change are undermining human health and security. Latin America and the Caribbean face other major environmental challenges. For example, air, water, and noise pollution affect approximately 80 percent of urban populations. Ocean plastics degrade the physical beauty of coastal areas, threatening livelihoods and marine life. 

What is the path to a resilient and sustainable future for the region?  What concrete measures can be taken to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce the consumption of finite resources, promote energy, infrastructure, and transportation efficiency, as well as promote resilience and adaptation to climate change? The Vidanta Foundation and Wilson Center's Latin American Program are pleased to issue a call for applications to conduct research about and propose concrete solutions to the range of environmental threats faced by countries of the hemisphere. The residential fellowship will begin in January 2020.

Citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean who reside in the region are encouraged to focus their applications on innovative projects and public policies that will address one or more of the region’s urgent environmental challenges. The goal of the fellowship is to explore and highlight evidence-based initiatives that have shown promising results and have the potential to be adopted on a wider scale in the region.

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must be citizens of any Latin American or Caribbean country and currently reside in the region.
  • Applicants must hold a valid passport and be eligible to obtain a J-1 visa.
  • We welcome applications from outstanding women and men from a wide variety of backgrounds, including business, civil society, academia, journalism, and other professions.
  • Former government officials are eligible but current officials are not.
  • A command of spoken English is necessary since the center encourages the exchange of ideas among its fellows and with the broader Washington policy community.
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate or graduate degree and a minimum of five years of relevant work experience. The fellowship is not open to current students or to those working on a Master’s-level or doctoral dissertation.

Benefits & Access

  • The residential fellowship will take place at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Each fellow is assigned a furnished office available to him or her every day around the clock.
  • The center is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., and includes conference rooms, a reference library, and a dining room. The building is a smoke-free environment.
  • The Wilson Center Library provides loan privileges with the Library of Congress and access to digital resources, its book and journal collections, and to university and special libraries in the area, and other research facilities.
  • Windows-based personal computers are provided, and each fellow is offered a part-time research assistant.
  • Although fellows are responsible for locating their own housing in the Washington, D.C. area, the Center provides written materials to help facilitate the search process, if desired.
  • Fellows are provided with a monthly stipend and are required to purchase health insurance unless they have a medical plan that covers them while in the United States. The fellowship includes round-trip airfare in economy class.

Length of Appointment

The fellowship is for a minimum of four months and a maximum of six months.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by the Latin American Program and Vidanta Foundation staff as well as outside experts. Specific application criteria are outlined below. The deadline for receipt of applications is September 30, 2019. Appointment decisions will be made by October 31, 2019, for fellowships beginning in January 2020.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance of the proposed research, including the importance and originality of the project;

  • The quality of the proposal in organization, clarity, and scope; and

  • The capabilities and achievements of the applicant and the likelihood that he or she will accomplish the proposed project.

  • Projects should involve fresh research, in terms of both the overall issue and the applicant’s previous work. It is essential that projects have relevance to public and private decision makers, and fellows should want, and be prepared, to interact with policymakers throughout the Washington policy community and with others at the Wilson Center working on similar issues.

How to Apply?

Application materials should be submitted in English in the order listed below within a single PDF file:

1.  A current CV indicating educational and professional background, nationality, date of birth, and contact information (address, email, and telephone number). Only the first three pages of an applicant’s CV will be accepted.

2.  A project proposal not to exceed five double-spaced, typed pages, using a 12-point font.

3.  A short bibliography (optional and not to exceed one page) for the project that includes relevant print or on-line sources.

4.  An indication of why residency at the Center will be beneficial to the project.

5. The names and contact information for two references, with an indication of how they know the applicant.

Please make your project clear to individuals outside your own field and explain its practical significance. Applications that are not in English or submitted in a single PDF file will not be accepted.


Questions or concerns should be submitted via email to: anders.beal[at]

Image Source: Kevin Gill, Flickr.

Related Program

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more