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Living Lab Fellowship Program for Sustainability

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The Living Laboratory Fellowship Program for Sustainability provides Stanford students real-world sustainability leadership and project management opportunities that meaningfully advance Stanford’s operational sustainability goals. Offered in partnership with the LBRE Office of Sustainability and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, the program collaborates widely with schools, departments, and operational units across Stanford, including the Doerr School of Sustainability, O'Donohue Family Educational Farm, Residential & Dining Enterprises, and Business Affairs.

Areas of project work can include, but are not limited to: Zero Waste, Climate Action, Behavior Change, Scope 3 Emissions, Building Systems/Operations, Education & Outreach, Environmental/Social Equity and Justice, Food Systems, Data Management & Analytics, Transportation, and Land Use.

Program Support Structures:

Students in the program will be supported by Stanford staff, faculty, and fellow students and will develop project-specific advisory boards comprised of subject-matter experts and industry professionals. Students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  

While the Stanford community is encouraged to submit project ideas throughout the academic year here, the program accepts applications from students only during Winter and Spring Quarter for the following academic year. Applications are now being accepted for the 23-24 academic year, due by April 18, 2023. Please scroll down to the bottom to apply today. 

Program Overview

Living Lab Fellows will:

  • Be paid a wage rate ranging between $20-25/hour to support their participation in the program
  • Gain professional, real-word experience as a sustainability leader & project manager
  • Meaningfully & measurably contribute to the advancement of operational sustainability goals at Stanford
  • Receive mentorship & advice from dedicated experts in your project field
  • Expand your professional network
  • Join a high-caliber cohort of applied student scholars helping to define and demonstrate sustainability leadership at Stanford

Program requirements:

  • Fellows are expected to work 10 hours per week during the entire academic year - September - June. Some fellows may continue during the Summer as agreed upon by their mentor
  • Fellows are required to enroll in a complementary course in both Fall and Winter Quarter on organizational change and project management representing 3-6 hours of work per week, or 1-2 credits

Sample Projects for the 23-24 Academic Year:

Topic Area


Office / Departments

Buildings & Energy

Building Level Electric Demand Response

LBRE - Facilities Energy Management

Investment & Finance

Study of Internal Carbon Pricing for Stanford

Office of Sustainability

Environmental Equity & Justice

Study of opportunities to integrate EJ frameworks into Stanford's climate action planning

Office of Sustainability

Scope 3 Emissions

Embodied carbon - feasibility study of wood-framed laboratory buildings

Business Affairs

Climate & Resilience

24/7 Renewable Electricity Feasibility Study

Office of Sustainability


Establishment of a waste education center at Stanford

Residential & Dining Enterprises, Office of Sustainability


Going zero waste with campus-based k-12 schools

Office of Sustainability

Sustainable Agriculture

Electrification strategy for O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm

O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm

Transportation / Fleet Electrification

Study for expansion of fleet EV charging infrastructure 

LBRE - Facilities / Transportation

Scope 3 emissions, Waste

Coordination and operationalization of sustainability initiatives at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

SDSS, LBRE, Business Affairs

Meet a Living Lab Fellow in Campus Sustainability

Photo of Sam Bunke, PhD

Sam Bunke (she/her) is a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering working in the Tarpeh Lab. Her research focuses on electrochemical-assisted recycling of common plastics, such as PET, back to their original feedstock to circularize the plastics industry. Sam is passionate about sustainable waste management and applying a multidisciplinary approach to generate circular economies from waste streams. For her Living Lab Fellowship project, Sam will be continuing her work as a Zero Waste Intern for Stanford's Residential and Dining Enterprises department to develop a zero-waste innovation and education hub on campus. This facility will combine campus operations, academic research, and education in order to scale up resource recovery technologies and approaches to reach zero waste on Stanford campus and beyond. 


How does this program differ from the Sustainable Stanford Internship Program?

As a fellow, you will be part of a prestigious program that entails additional responsibilities and benefits over the course of an academic year, including undertaking coursework, joining a close-knit cohort of other fellows, consulting with a project advisory board, and serving as a project manager.

Additionally, a project under the internship program is intended to support and benefit a specific department or division need, whereas the Fellowship program is intended for more complex projects that benefit and demand collaboration across Stanford’s schools, departments, offices, and initiatives.

Living Lab Fellowship Application