Applications are now being accepted for this interdisciplinary program designed to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars maximize the impact of their research.

The Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP) helps develop leadership, communications and strategic thinking skills and provides guidance on using those skills for results-driven environmental problem-solving.  RELP participants are exposed to professional development opportunities including introductions to decision-makers from government, NGOs, think tanks and the business world. The program is designed to create an interdisciplinary network of participants with a common set of experiences to support and enhance each other’s research and career opportunities. Ideally, this network results in more diverse and practical environmental research projects and learning opportunities during and after participants’ time at Stanford.

The fundamental core of RELP is the D.C. Boot Camp, a five-day program hosted in partnership with the Bing Stanford in Washington Program. Twenty graduate students and postdoctoral scholars gain first-hand knowledge about national policy development, partnership building and public service in Washington, D.C. Participants learn how to fund research, build networks, inform policy and decision-makers and communicate science research to non-scientists. This program takes place during Stanford’s spring break each year.

Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars whose research or thesis area focuses on the environment are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants affiliated with the Stanford Woods Institute.

Program Goals:

·      Complement students’ formal education with hands-on, experiential learning;

·      Provide knowledge of opportunities to maximize research impact;

·      Build a network of peers and partners;

·      Provide exposure to career tracks outside of academia; and

·      Inform students of policy design and implementation realities.


·      Candidates must participate in all program activities, including two pre-planning meetings, the D.C. Boot Camp, a follow-up meeting, two communication modules and homework.

·      Candidates must pay for their travel to Washington, D.C. or find funding through their department.


·      Interested applicants must complete the online application form. We do not accept any application submissions by post, fax or email.

·      All submissions are due online by 5 p.m. PST on Oct. 31, 2012.

·      Applicants will be notified of their status by Nov. 26, 2012.

For more information, contact Jessica Castillo at (650) 736-7188 or