Rural Environmental Fellowship Program


About the Zorig Foundation

About the Program

The Rural Environmental Fellowship Program (REFP) was inspired by alumni from an existing program, the Environmental Fellowship Program (EFP). EFP is an 8-month program designed to increase the understanding and knowledge of young professionals on environmental topics. This program has been implemented successfully for six years. REFP will have a similar structure to that of EFP, but will involve only rural Mongolian participants in a shorter span of time.

REFP seeks to increase the capacity of rural citizens to enable grassroots communities to get involved in pressing environmental issues. Rural citizens have a personal connection to the environmental problems in their region, and a network in which they can influence other citizens. This is something that no level of training and education can fully compensate for. Thus, our solution is to support young environmental leaders across the nation through an intensified 2-week program in Ulaanbaatar. REFP will convene twenty-on prospective leaders from each province.

During the two weeks, participants will share accommodation, and follow a full schedule comprised of lectures, workshops, field trips, and teambuilding activities. All these activities will be centered on increasing the participants’ leadership skills, and their understanding of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. The participants are divided up into teams, and provided seed funding to design and initiate their own community projects that affect their local areas.

Program eligibility

The program caters for twenty-one young professionals (age 22-29), one from each aimags of Mongolia.

  • Interested applicants shall fill out a online application form and submit it along with an essay explaining why the program is important for them. The Zorig Foundation’s staff will review all applications and prepare a short-list for the next selection stage.
  • Short-listed applicants will be each individually phone interviewed by a Selection Board* and up to 21 young people will be selected. The duties and obligations of each selected participant will be carefully outlined and contracts will be signed acknowledging the responsibilities of all involved.

Financial support and accommodation

Zorig Foundation cover all selected participants travel, accommodation and meals during the course of the program.  Travel expenses including flight and transport buses will be reimbursed within a week. Kindly note that Zorig Foundation does not provide any kind of medical or travel insurance. 

Program outcomes

  • Expanded vision and an ability to connect participants’ specialized field of work to larger environmental and societal concerns
  • Heightened sense of social responsibility over environmental issues
  • Improved leadership and decision-making skills
  • Broader and deeper knowledge of pressing environmental issues of Mongolia
  • Expanded and diversified personal and professional networks
  • A long-lasting EFP alumni network of over 120 professionals who have participated in our program over the past 6 years

REFP activities in Ulaanbaatar

Seminars: The training seminars will equip the participants with the necessary skills of leadership and team building.

Field trip: Alumni will interact with local leaders, experiencing first-hand their drive and determination and creative ways they respond to environmental challenges.

Lectures: The lectures will cover comprehensive environmental topics including urban and rural issues, sustainable development and ecology.

Community project: Participants will implement mini scale community development projects in their perspective aimags. 

Networking event: The networking event gives an opportunity for the participants to develop links with young leaders and EFP alumni.

Closing ceremony: A final workshop and graduation ceremony will bring alumni together to reflect on their experiences and share lessons learned.

REFP activities in provinces

During the course of the program, participants will be requested to formulate action plans that they would execute once they return to their respective provinces. The program expects participants to leverage on local non-government and governmental institutions as well as their own workplaces in realizing their plans. In the two months following graduation, the program team will monitor on the progress of each participant towards completion of his or her action plan.

Application Deadline: March 17, 2019

The application deadline for 2016–2017 has passed. Application instructions for 2017–2018 fellowships will be posted in March 2018.