The Island Institute Fellows program is one of the signature programs of Island Institute. 2024 marks 25 years since the Island Institute Fellows program began placing college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for two-year fellowships. 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 Institute 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

Island Institute provides support for the Island Institute 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


How does the Island Institute Fellows Program work?

Island or remote coastal organizations apply to Island Institute with a community supported project that could benefit from an extra set of hands (see the “Host an Island Institute 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.  Island Institute 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 Institute Fellow? Check out our Fellowship FAQs, contact Lisa Millette for assistance, or visit @islandinstitutefellows on Instagram.


Become an Island Institute Fellow

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

To learn more about this year’s application process, and to hear from former fellows about their fellowship projects, watch our 2024 recruitment video.

Qualifications to apply include:

  • An associate, 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 Institute 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
  • $14.15/hour wage for a 35-hour work week
  • Paid vacation, holidays, and time off
  • Health insurance
  • Island Institute membership
  • Professional development through retreats and workshops and Island Institute events
  • Networking with other professionals and organizations


Island Institute Fellow Applicant Timeline: 

  • February 1: Application available online. Please see below for more information.
  • February 16 (12-1pm EST): Zoom information session for prospective applicants. Sign up here.
  • February 29 (7-8pm EST): Zoom information session for prospective applicants. Sign up here.
  • March 17: Applications due
  • April: Initial interviews
  • Late April to May: Finalist interviews, matched with host sites.
  • May: New Fellows accept positions
  • August 31: Fellowship year begins

Apply Here



Host an Island Institute Fellow

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 Institute Fellows

See our informational flyer to learn more: Host a Fellow

Host Site Application Timeline 

  • January: Express your interest in hosting an Island Institute Fellow in your community. Reach out to Fellows Team Project Lead Lisa Millette for a conversation and to receive the Host Site Application. Email Lisa at
  • January 31: Host Site Applications due; interview with Island Institute staff.
  • Early April: Confirm selected host sites.
  • Late April/May: Host sites convene a panel for Island Institute Fellow Finalist Interviews.
  • June/July: Host sites share contact info for prospective landlords with Island Institute staff.
  • August: Host site advisor orientation.
  • August 31: Fellowship year begins.


Current Island Institute Fellows, 2023-2024

Click here to meet and learn more about our current Island Institute Fellows or follow them on Instagram!