Graduate Fellowships for International Development and Sustainability

Villanova University, Sustainable Engineering Graduate Program

About the organization

The Graduate Fellowships for International Development and Sustainability are a joint effort of Villanova’s MS in Sustainable Engineering (MSSE) and Villanova Engineering Service Learning (VESL) programs. The MSSE program ( is cross-disciplinary and ideal for those who are interested in addressing the interconnected environmental, social and economic dimensions of challenges in engineering for sustainable development. Through the Sustainable International Development track option, the program’s whole-systems approach is applied to the delivery of services contributing to development objectives in low and middle income countries. VESL, integrated across the College of Engineering, offers opportunities for engineering faculty and students to engage with the community development efforts of program partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America through technical assistance, innovation, capacity building, and research & evaluation focused initiatives.


The Graduate Fellowship is a full-time position, including time allocated for coursework, research, and other responsibilities to the MSSE and VESL programs. The position is primarily based on the VU campus in Philadelphia’s suburbs, but will require travel, sometimes for extended periods, to remote and rugged locations with limited amenities.

Successful fellows will assist the VESL director in efforts including but not limited to coordination with international project partners, leading groups of undergraduate students on overseas trips, and the facilitation of seminar courses to help prepare students for international field experiences.
As contribution to the MSSE program, successful fellows will also lead graduate student teams in executing sustainability related projects with the program’s corporate consortium, the RISE Forum. RISE companies represent sector leaders in various industries and project topics may focus on areas including supply chain management, carbon reporting, and life-cycle analysis of products or services.

Finally, successful fellows will engage in research that both contributes to project partners’ efforts in the field and to broader research initiatives established by College of Engineering faculty. A key research focus is Sustainable WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), with other emerging areas including off-grid renewable energy and ICT applications for development.


* Successful fellows must first be accepted to the MSSE degree program. The program is open to degree holders in engineering and related science or other technical fields. In the case of the latter, some pre-requisite courses may be required, but may be taken concurrently with starting the program. Please consult for admissions requirements. Candidates holding engineering degrees or otherwise having engineering or related technical professional experience preferred for fellowships.

* Minimum 1-year international field experience working in a developing community context required, with 2 or more years preferred. RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS ARE GIVEN SPECIAL CONSIDERATION AND STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. International field experience with a strong engineering or technological component, such as work in the WASH or ICT sectors preferred.

* Strong leadership capabilities key and demonstrated ability to work in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary teams essential.

* Prior experience in research projects, monitoring & evaluation, working on grant projects with regular reporting requirements, and designing & implementing social surveys preferred.

* Proficiency in both English and a second language required, with background in Spanish or French preferred.

* Strong written and verbal communication skills required. Excellent technical writing skills a must.


Tuition remission and/or graduate assistant stipend

Application instructions

Contact email: [email protected]

To apply for graduate fellowships, please send your resume and a letter of interest to Sustainable Engineering for International Development Manager Iain Hunt ([email protected]). To ensure expedience in the review process, please apply simultaneously to the MSSE program and to the fellowship. No GRE required for applicants with degrees from US-based institutions.

MSSE admissions requirements:

Applicants who meet minimum requirements will be contacted to request a phone/ Skype interview. For candidates accepted to the MSSE program, but not selected for fellowships, other opportunities for financial aid may be available.

Applications considered on a rolling basis, but preference given to those received prior to February 28th, 2020. Graduate fellowships will begin in August 2020, coinciding with the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Before responding to this announcement, please review the Terms of Use [PDF]. The Peace Corps is not able to confirm the legitimacy of all positions posted to this jobs board. If you believe an announcement has violated the Peace Corps Terms of Use, please contact [email protected].

Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

Does this sound like the position for you?

Email to apply