IARU sustainability exchange

Applications for the 2017 IARU Sustainability Fellowship Program now open!

IARU is the International Alliance of Research Universities and consists of ten of the world's leading research-intensive universities who share similar visions for higher education and sustainability, amongst which is also The Australian National University (ANU).

This year, ANU will be exchanging students with Yale University in the 2017 IARU Sustainability Fellowship Program. The ANU Sustainability Office of Environment and Heritage is looking for a committed and enthusiastic student who is eager to gain experience in sustainability and come back to ANU and report on their learning.

The internship program is open to all students. First year students are not excluded from consideration, but later year students are generally given preference due to a greater capacity for demonstrated experience with sustainability. Postgraduate students may also apply. Students in research intensive programs (i.e. honours and postgraduate research students) must have permission from their supervisor to undertake this opportunity.

Program at a glance

  • 4 weeks of standard [35+ hours] work week during 19 June-14 July. Successful candidates are generally encouraged to leave as early in June as possible, though if exam schedules are not conducive to this, departure may be in the third week of June with a return in week one if class commitments allow.
  • All expenses during the Program period will be covered by ANU and Yale, including return flights, accommodation and living expenses, insurance, etc. The student will require their own coverage outside agreed Program time-frames.
  • The student will work on a project determined and supervised by the Yale Office of Sustainability. Potential projects include:
    1. Research on sustainable landscape guidelines
    2. Assistance with developing green standard for clinical spaces
    3. Green lab work - rolling out certification program to additional buildings
    4. Developing recommendations for green travel
  • The student will be required to develop a report on their work, and present to both ANU and Yale.

Selection criteria

  • Currently enrolled at ANU, have completed at least one semester of study at ANU and enrolled for at least one semester on return from the exchange program. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply but experience with sustainability is viewed favourably.
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainability as part of your career or academic program with significant involvement with community sustainability projects.
  • Does not require close supervision, and have strong skills in writing, communication, project management and time management.
  • Good academic standing.
  • Technical knowledge and interest in potential projects offered by Yale are recommended.
  • Demonstrated experience in sustainability projects (broadly defined as engagement with student environment and sustainability initiatives or related coursework subjects)
  • Knowledge of ANU and ability to act as an exemplar ANU ambassador
  • Capacity for engagement with sustainability initiatives at ANU upon return from the internship experience. Only in exceptional circumstances will a student in their final semester of study be able to fulfil this requirement

How to apply

Your application should consist of:

  • An application form (please refer to the IARU Fellowship Application Form under Reference documents).
  • A 350 word essay describing how this opportunity fits into your studies and how your experience can contribe towards improving campus sustainability.
  • A current CV/resume. 
  • Academic transcript of results. You do not need to supply an academic transcript - a statement of results or copy of your ISIS record will suffice. 

You may also suggest a preference for a particular IARU university but you must be willing to go to the institution where your individual skills will be best put to use, and where academic calendars and scheduling allow for a suitable distribution of interns.

If you have applied previously and were not selected, you can apply again.


Project topics could range from energy conservation, carbon emissions, transport and waste reduction to student outreach and community engagement. Projects vary based on the current focus of the host institution and the skill set of the intern.

The work you do will be of value to the Sustainability Office, with the focus of the projects being on questions on the greatest corporate impact. The projects are all designed to be a practical and hands-on experience with a campus sustainability initiative rather than just an academic exercise. You will be involved in the day to day operations of the campus Sustainability Office.

It may be possible to get academic credit for the work you do as an intern. It is your responsibility to enquire with your lecturer to determine if your project can be used as part of your course assessment.

What is the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU)?

The IARU is an alliance of ten of the world's leading research universities - ANU, ETH Zurich, National University of Singapore, Peking University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, University of Copenhagen, University of Oxford, the University of Tokyo and Yale University. It is a strategic alliance of universities that share a similar vision and have a commitment to educating future leaders. The IARU is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its campus activities, through the implementation of wide ranging sustainability strategies. The IARU Sustainability Exchange promotes the implementation of agreed campus sustainability principles.