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Island Institute

Island Fellow

Fellows · Rockland, Maine
Department Fellows
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation $12/hour; plus free housing and utilites


The Island Institute is seeking qualified candidates to work as Island Fellows for 24 months in various island and coastal communities, beginning on August 31, 2020.

The Island Fellows Program places college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for two years. These 24-month fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain real life, place-based experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges. Island Fellows work directly with a host organization within the community on a high priority project identified by the community, while also contributing their own interests and energy to community they live in.



The Island Fellows Program provides support for these communities by:


  • Strengthening local capacity for the local management and planning of historical, natural, economic, and information resource
  • Providing technical assistance in implementing local research, planning, education, and communication projects



Successful candidates will be community focused, self-motivated, self-aware, and committed to the Institute’s mission and values. Applicants must be able to carefully allocate their time and organizational resources while working across multiple projects.




  • A recent undergraduate or graduate degree (within five-years of graduation)
  • Professional interests that align strongly with the goals of the Island Institute
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills; able to speak about the work in an articulate, professional, and compelling manner (one-on-one and with groups)
  • The ability to understand island and rural communities and how change happens locally
  • The ability to listen in communities and in partnerships to inform, develop, and implement responsive programming
  • Interest in shaping experiences for community members that inspire them to act and solve problems
  • Comfort with technology, including information technology systems, such as Office 365 applications
  • The ability and willingness to travel to off-site locations, including by boat
  • Ability to work without direct supervision
  • Enthusiasm for living and working in small, rural communities

Essential Functions:

  • Work within a community nonprofit, municipal, or educational organization for up to 24-months
  • Connect and integrate into a community and apply this understanding to an identified project
  • Apply project management skills to move projects forward in a way that promotes community engagement and creates sustainability at the end of the fellowship 

Other Program Requirements:

  • Island Fellows cannot hold second job while employed as a fellow
  • Due to the nature of the program some fellowships will require fellows to have a car/license


  • In community housing, utilities, and internet access
  • Hourly wage of $12/hour- 30 hours a week
  • Health Insurance (including dental and vision)
  • Professional Development Programming (retreats and workshops) and Funds
  • 403b and Roth Retirement 
  • Laptop purchase benefit
  • Paid Vacation, Holidays, and Time Off
  • Island Institute Membership

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Physical demands: the employee is required to sit, enter data using computer keyboard and mouse, stand, walk, bend over occasionally and move about the office space as well as between building floors. There is no requirement to lift and/or move weights of more than 15 pounds.  The employee will be expected to travel on occasion by boat and ferry to various island and remote coastal locations.  There will be times when working long hours on evenings and weekends will be required
  • Travel: Must be comfortable traveling for extended periods of time by any mode of transportation in cross-cultural contexts
  • Work environment: The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.



The Island Fellowship position is a two-year placement. After the first year, fellows will participate in work planning to determine the direction of the second year.  Fellows are paid an hourly wage and are provided on-island housing, including utilities for no charge. Fellows are also eligible for health insurance and have access to professional development funds. 


 To apply, please complete the online application.

Please note: For your Cover Letter please write and upload a personal statement of no more than three pages in length. This statement should be a narrative giving a brief profile of yourself, your educational background, specific skills and any experiences that illuminate your interest in being an Island Fellow. You may include special professional interests, how the Fellowship will help your career development, and any additional information you believe would be helpful. Also, include at least one paragraph describing your thoughts about living in a small, rural community and your hopes and fears - this is a critical part of the application. Please do not simply restate the information listed on your resumé́.


Please find further information:


The application window closes March 27th, 2020. Only online applications are accepted.


 Based in Rockland, Maine, the Island Institute is a nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity "at-will" employer committed to providing equal employment opportunities based upon an individual's ability and qualifications. We do not discriminate against people on the basis of race, citizenship, ancestry, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, mental or physical disability.


For more information about the Island Institute and our work along the Maine coast, please visit




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  • Location
    Rockland, Maine
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $12/hour; plus free housing and utilites