The Island Institute’s Island Fellows Program is one of the signature programs of the Island Institute. Since 1999, the Fellows program has placed college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for one to two years. Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges.

The Island Fellows Program provides support for Maine’s island and coastal communities by:

  • Strengthening capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic, and information resources
  • Assisting in local research, planning, education, and technology projects

The Island Institute provides support for the Island Fellows by:

  • Offering enriching professional development opportunities for recent college graduates
  • Building professional experiences and networks for Fellows looking to live and work in Maine

FellowsHow does the Island Fellows Program work?

Island or remote coastal organizations apply to the Island Institute with a community supported project that could benefit from an extra set of hands (see the “Host a Fellow” section below). The Institute then finds highly qualified recent graduates to live for 24 months in residence in the community. Immersion in the community connects fellows directly with islanders to gain an intimate understanding of island life and to understand the needs and opportunities around the identified project.  Fellows are expected to be active participants in their community and bring their own experiences and skills to share.


Have a question about becoming an Island Fellow? Contact Robin Chernow for additional assistance. For answers to some commonly asked questions about being an Island Fellow, you can also check out our Fellowship FAQs.

Become an Island Fellow

Applications for OUR 2022-2023 cohort
will open in February 2022

See below for more information on becoming a fellow, including the qualifications and benefits of fellowship, or check out our informational flyer to learn more:
Be a Fellow

Qualifications to apply include:

  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree within the last five years
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in a relevant field
  • The ability to work in the United States

Qualities of a successful Island Fellows include:

  • A strong desire to live and work in a small island or coastal community
  • Openness to experience new activities and new ways of thinking
  • Flexibility and a strong service ethic
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work with minimal supervision
  • A sense of adventure and purpose, yet able to thrive in the closeness of a rural community

Benefits include:

  • In-community housing, utilities, and internet provided
  • $12.15/hour wage
  • Paid vacation, holidays, and time off
  • Health insurance
  • Laptop purchase program
  • Island Institute membership
  • Professional development through retreats and workshops and Island Institute events
  • Networking with other like-minded professionals and organizations

Host an Island Fellow

2022 host site application coming soon! For more information, reach out to Kate Tagai at

The Island Institute Fellows Program’s goals are to provide support for Maine’s island and coastal communities by:

  • Building capacity by meeting community-stated needs through project-based work
  • Increasing capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic and informational resources
  • Assisting local research, planning, education and technology projects
  • Offering enriching professional-development opportunities for Island Fellows

Click here to learn more about hosting an Island Fellow.

Current Fellows, 2021-2022