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The HMEI-STEP Graduate Fellowship Program enables Ph.D. candidates in science, engineering and other academic disciplines to explore the environmental policy dimension of their doctoral research. Admission to the program is by competitive application taken annually in the spring semester.

Awarded students receive half support (tuition and stipend) from the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) for two years and participate in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) program at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPI). HMEI-STEP Fellows also receive upto a $3,500 award to support their graduate research. HMEI-STEP students may apply for teaching assistantships with the Program in Environmental Studies.

Fellows will complete the requirements of the HMEI-STEP Fellowship program to receive a doctoral certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from SPIA in addition to receiving a degree from the department in which the student is enrolled. Since 2000, the program has supported more than 50 HMEI-STEP Fellows, many of whom have gone to pursue positions of environmental leadership in academic, government, non-profit and industry sectors following their time at Princeton.

Click here for a directory of current and past HMEI-STEP recipients.

HMEI-STEP Graduate Certificate Requirements

HMEI-STEP students are required to complete 3 SPI graduate-level courses, including one STEP-approved science policy course, one non-science/tech policy course (e.g., economics, politics, psychology, sociology, and history), and one SPI graduate level elective. They are expected to attend weekly STEP PhD seminars where STEP students and fellows present their research to one another and faculty advisors and are encouraged to engage with the research community at SPIA.

HMEI-STEP students wishing to obtain the STEP Doctoral Certificate must meet the advanced policy paper requirement. This paper must be deemed of publishable quality and is often developed as a chapter of the student’s dissertation. Candidates must also fulfill the requirements of their home department.

HMEI-STEP students must identify a HMEI-STEP adviser in addition to a thesis adviser from their home department. The HMEI-STEP adviser is expected to be included on the student’s dissertation committee.


Program Admission

Princeton graduate students in their first, second or third year of study may apply for the HMEI-STEP Fellowship Program. See our Program Admissions’ page for detailed application instructions once applications for 2025 are open.

Oppenheimer at lectuer

The David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar Series hosts environmental policy experts from Princeton University, government and institutions worldwide who present the latest policy developments and challenges related to environmental issues, including land use, climate change, urban resilience, and conservation. The lunch-time seminars are co-sponsored by HMEI and the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

For more event information, see the David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar Series page.