We seek applicants who:

  • Strive to be innovators and leaders in addressing complex forest resource problems
  • Demonstrate drive and commitment to work across multiple disciplines
  • Contribute to a diverse educational community, including academic, racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds


  • Pre-applications due October 20, 2017
  • Initial screening October 20, 2017-November 17, 2017
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit a full MSU graduate application by November 17, 2017
  • Full MSU graduate applications due December 8, 2017
  • Full application review and campus visits in January and February 2018
  • Final decisions and offers extended in March 2018
  • Program begins August 15, 2018


An undergraduate degree in Forestry is NOT required for this program. We welcome students from all disciplinary backgrounds who are motivated to expand their training to incorporate multidisciplinary approaches to environmental issues.


To apply to the National Needs Fellowship program, please submit the following to NNF Program Administrator Katie James no later than October 20, 2017 (include “NNF Pre-Application” in the subject line):

  1. Statement of interest (3 pages maximum) describing:
    • Why you want to pursue a career in interdisciplinary research that addresses major societal challenges related to environment and natural resources
    • Your background, with an emphasis on experiences with research, leadership, collaboration, and overcoming obstacles
    • Your ideas for the kind of research you would like to pursue in your PhD program. In this section please indicate which disciplinary areas are of primary interest for you. (See “Interdisciplinary Dissertation Research” section for a list of disciplinary areas.
  2. Copy of your C.V. (resume)
  3. Names and contact information of three personal references

Full Application

If you are invited to complete a full application, these will be due December 8, 2017 and require official GRE scores, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. 


Only U.S. Citizens are eligible to receive National Needs Fellowships.

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