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Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP)

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The Stanford Woods Institute is working to develop the next generation of environmental leaders through its Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP).

This year-round program, initiated in 2011,  helps graduate students and postdoctoral scholars hone their leadership and communications skills to maximize the impact of their research. Participants also are extended professional development and networking opportunities including introductions to global leaders from government, NGOs, think tanks and business to:

  • complement students' formal education with hands-on, experiential learning;
  • provide knowledge on opportunities to maximize research impact;
  • build a network of peers and partners; and
  • provide exposure to career tracks outside academia.

The application period for Cohort 2025 will open on October 1 and close on October 31, 2024. 

RELP 2024: Two Summits | Two Coasts

We're celebrating our 13th program year by convening two summits featuring fellows and other experts in the area of the science-policy nexus. The summits will explore opportunities for improved environmental outcomes through greater science, policy, and community engagement.

D.C. Boot Camp

Turning environmental research into world-changing action requires intimate knowledge of how government works. As part of the Rising Environmental Leaders Program, the Stanford Woods Institute hosts graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for a Washington, D.C. Boot Camp. Participants in the one-week leadership program garner first-hand knowledge about national policy development, partnership-building and public service careers. They gain exposure to the realities of policy design and implementation and learn how to connect research to policy and people. Preference is given to scholars actively working on a Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated projects.

Sacramento Boot Camp

In 2017, the Stanford Woods Institute began offering a two-day Sacramento Boot Camp to program participants. This latest enhancement is designed to build upon the cohort's Washington, D.C. experience by introducing them to California's leading environmental actors as well as provide an insider's view of the policy-making process at the sub-national level.