Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)

Application Deadline:  January 10, 2020


Eligible students are encouraged to apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 2020 Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) announcement that is currently open thru January 10, 2020.  FWS is collaborating with the American Conservation Experience, Greening Youth Foundation, Hispanic Access Foundation and the Student Conservation Association conservation partner organizations this year to assist with recruitment, application, and administration of over 100 Fellowship project opportunities nationwide!


What is the Directorate Fellows Program?


The DFP provides eligible students interested in conservation related careers with full-time paid 11-week rigorous Fellowship opportunities working on projects that support FWS priorities.  The 11-week fellowships begin in mid-May/mid-June 2020 and end in August/September 2020. Eligible students who are pursuing degrees in biological science and/or natural resources management will possess the desired qualifications for the 2020 DFP.  These Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for the student to gain special direct hire authority (upon successful completion of the program requirements).  This authority enables FWS (and other land management agencies) to be able to hire former Fellows into permanent, full-time positions within two years of their graduation.



  • Living allowance – paid bi-weekly.
  • Travel allowance.
  • Hands-on experience.
  • Housing provided in select locations.
  • One-week Orientation at the FWS National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV.
  • Fellows may be eligible for a permanent position in the FWS after successfully completing their fellowship and degree.


DFP Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a rising senior or senior in undergraduate program or a graduate degree program, and will not complete their degree requirements prior to the completion of the 2020 DFP 11-week fellowship ending in August/September 2020.
  • Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or higher.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Demonstrated interest, education, and/or experience in conservation.
  • Must be available for 12 weeks (1-week orientation plus 11-week fellowship).
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • Must be 17 years of age or older.
  • Males born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, must register with the Selective Service System, unless they meet certain exemptions.


How to Apply:


Review the list of states that you are interested in working and apply at the partner organization(s) that is accepting applications for the state(s) you select.  Follow the application procedures on the partner websites.  Each partner may use a slightly different process.


There is no limit on the number of DFP projects for which you may apply.  If you are interested in project locations nationwide, we recommend that you apply to all of the partner sites so that you can be considered for the maximum project location opportunities.  For example, if you are interested in projects located in Alaska, Florida, and Virginia, you will need to apply through all three organizations, since each location of interest is administered by a different partner


Student Conservation Association: DFP projects located in any of the following states:  Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC, and Wisconsin. Note: SCA has a 2-Step application process you must follow.  For questions on SCA application process, contact Felicia James at or Chris Burley at


American Conservation Experience: DFP projects located in any of the following states:  Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Guam. For questions on ACE application process, contact


Greening Youth Foundation: DFP projects located in any of the following states:  Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. For questions on GYF application process, contact Eboni Preston at


For other general questions on the DFP, contact


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