The World Forest Institute (WFI) International Fellowship Program hosts natural resource professionals from around the world at our campus in Portland, Oregon for 6 months. Applicants propose a research topic to focus on during their Fellowship, and WFI uses its extensive network of public and private forestry and natural resource professionals to assist Fellows in gaining the knowledge and exposure they seek.
Oregon is an ideal learning ground for the program because of its rich natural resources, innovative history in forest management, important timber sector, and academic centers of excellence in both forestry and urban forestry, as well as green building and sustainability. Fellows leave the program with a solid understanding of how the US forestry sector operates and who the key players are. Additionally, Fellows gain valuable cultural experience. Over 148 Fellows from more than 47 countries have participated in the program over the past two decades.
One basic program component to keep in mind is that this is NOT a post-doc or other university-related type program. The research you'll do here is more about networking, making connections with other professionals, and expanding upon the knowledge you already have and work you have already done. This is a true professional development opportunity.
There are three main components to the program:
-30% of your time is spent on your own research project.
-35% of your time will be spent on group and individual study tours and meetings.
-35% of your time is spent on research presentations, in-house events, and public outreach (synthesis and results interpretation).
Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:
-Bachelor’s degree in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree (e.g. architects working with wood products) and 3 to 5 years of relevant work experience.
-Proficiency in English, both written and spoken. Must be able to comprehend, communicate, and present on a professional level in English using natural resources technical vocabulary.
-At least 21 years of age.
-Submit an initial project/research proposal with the following components:
-A clear research topic (e.g. urban forest inventory, biomass supply-chain, carbon policy, forestry regulation, conservation finance…)
-Identified essential questions that the project/research will address (e.g. how to collect data in an urban forest, how to quantity biomass production, how to work with key stakeholders, how to map decision-making processes, how to identify successful projects and funding…)
-Organizations and people proposed to meet and/or collaborate with in the Pacific Northwest to answer the project/research questions
-A plan to implement lessons learned (e.g. host a seminar, write and/or publish a paper, start a new organization or method…)
-Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds