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Students should complete and submit the online application along with three references by the scholarship competition deadline. Submitted applications are first reviewed by EREF staff to verify eligibility and ensure their research topic fits with EREF’s mission. Applications are then sent to the Scholarship Committee who recommend a short list of applicants for funding to the Board of Directors. Once the Board approves the scholars, applicants are notified of their award status in-mid-to-late August.

The 2025 application period will open on December 15, 2024, and close on March 1, 2025.

All applications must be completed by the deadline. Reference letters must also be submitted by the deadline for the application to be considered complete. Any incomplete applications as of the deadline will not be considered.

Scholarship awards will begin in September of the year awarded. As a result, students graduating in December of that same year are ineligible to apply.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your advisor / reference will not receive instructions explaining how to submit a recommendation letter until you either (1) submit your application or (2) save your application and click Send Letter Request to each reference.

Apply in 3 Easy Steps

Verify you are eligible by answering these questions: Does your work fit within our research priorities? Are you or will you be a full-time student?

Review the Strategic Priorities and Application Requirements below.

Verify the application window is open, which means we’re ready to accept applications.

When you can answer “Yes” to these 3 questions, click the “Apply Here” button below!

Application Requirements 

All submissions must be in English and must be made online using the link above. Hard copies and e-mailed materials will NOT be accepted. You will be asked for the following information/materials:

  • Contact Information
  • Career Interests
  • College Information
  • Tuition and Living Expenses, as well as Other Sources of Funding/Income
  • GPA, College Academic Honors, and Extracurricular Activities

In addition to the online application, you will need to upload the following documents: 

College transcripts:  These do  not  have to be official transcripts. 

      Autobiographical statement (500 words or less):  Your statement must describe the following:

      • how you got interested in solid waste or related topics (such as sustainability or environmental awareness);  
      • any experiences you have in solid waste or related topics;  
      • any community service or volunteer activities you have performed;  
      • your career goals;  
      • any additional talents/interests you have that make you stand out as a candidate for the EREF scholarship. 

      Research statement (500 words or less):  Please write a discussion of your research topic that includes:

      • project title – word count not included in 500 words; 
      • project objectives; 
      • and the work’s relevance to the advancement of solid waste management.  
      • References are not necessary, but you may include a couple if you prefer. They will not count towards your 500 words. 

      CV or resume 

      Three Recommendations:  Choose three individuals that can comment on your abilities as a student and scholar. Each recommender will be required to submit a  recommendation form  by the application deadline. Recommendation requests will be sent through the online application once you have submitted your application, or once you have saved your application and selected to send recommendation requests. This email will include additional instructions for that individual and a personal link where they can upload their recommendation form. 

      All qualified applicants will be considered for EREF Scholarships without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, or disability. Applications from students outside the United States or studying abroad will receive equal consideration. Award decisions by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation and its Directors are final and not subject to appeal.

      Questions? Please send an e-mail to scholarships@erefdn.org or call 919.861.6876, Ext. 111