switzer-logoThe Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program offers one-year Fellowships to highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies and career goals are directed toward environmental improvement and who clearly demonstrate leadership in their field.

The Switzer Fellowship provides:
  • a one-year $15,000 cash award
  • leadership training
  • career support and mentoring
  • access to other Switzer grant programs and career support
  • access to a vibrant network of more than 600 Switzer Fellowship alums, and opportunities for professional development during the Fellowship year and beyond

The application deadline is January 7, 2019, at 11:59 pm EST. More information is available on the Switzer website.


robert c. switzer
Bob Switzer

The Switzer Fellowships were created by a Cal alumnus, Bob Switzer, who came to UC Berkeley on a Scaife Foundation scholarship to study chemistry, aiming at a career in medicine. While working in a rail yard, Switzer suffered a head injury that sent him into a coma for months. His recovery required him to stay in a darkened room. To pass the time, he and his brother Joe, both amateur magicians, experimented with fluorescent minerals to enhance magic tricks. They invented the world’s first fluorescent paint. As they devised a variety of uses — including making money — for what Bob called Day-Glo colors, they founded a company. Over the years, the high-visibility colors have appeared on warplanes, tennis and golf balls, traffic signs and cones, safety clothing, detergent boxes, and more. A lifelong environmentalist who also happened to be an executive in a regulated industry, Bob Switzer became concerned about a growing dearth of scientific expertise, so when the company sold in 1985, he used some of the proceeds to start the Switzer Foundation in order to help graduate students interested in solving environmental problems and to encourage them to become future environmental leaders. Today, the Foundation supports a network of over 500 Switzer Fellows who are leaders in the nonprofit, public policy, business, academic and government sectors.


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