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ASTC-Thriving Earth Community Science Fellowship Program 2023

Program Goals

ASTC is excited to continue its relationship with the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Thriving Earth Exchange and to support staff at ASTC member institutions in participating in AGU’s 12-month fellowship and training program. AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange program connects communities with scientists/technical experts and supports them as they work together to tackle local challenges related to natural hazards, natural resources, and climate change. Fellowship learning – for both the fellow and their community partner – encompasses community science principles through skill-building and leadership exercises that help demonstrate how to successfully launch and manage community science projects. In 2023, ASTC will sponsor up to seven science center/museum staff members and their community partners to participate in AGU’s Thriving Earth Fellowship program across two cohorts – the spring cohort will begin in March 2023 and the summer cohort will begin in July 2023. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. Individuals should apply with an existing community partner and an identified topic to address through community science.

Check out profiles of previous ASTC-Thriving Earth Fellows here, and explore the wide range of Thriving Earth projects here.

Program & Funding Structure

Each fellowship cohort will begin with a two-day virtual training and orientation provided by AGU staff, intended to help fellows ground themselves in the fundamentals of community science and to begin scoping their projects. This will also provide an opportunity to meet other Thriving Earth Fellows not sponsored by ASTC and who likely work outside of the museum field. Community partners will also attend a virtual one-hour training provided by AGU staff to familiarize themselves with community science principles and the support AGU and ASTC will provide. After orientation, fellows will have the opportunity to seek monthly support via virtual meetings with AGU and ASTC staff. Fellows will also join ongoing ASTC Community Science Clinics every other month to connect with the growing network of science center/museum professionals engaged in community science.

After scoping clear project objectives with their community partners, ASTC-Thriving Earth Fellows will be invited to apply for up to $5,000 in project support funds from ASTC. These funds may be used for staff time for the fellow and community partner organizations, for external consultants supporting events (e.g., facilitators, translators, childcare providers), for communications needs (e.g., advertising, design, printing), and/or for stipends for community members participating in the project.

Application & Decision Timelines

ASTC and AGU will accept and review application on a rolling basis. To be considered for the summer cohort (beginning late June 2023) applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm Eastern on Friday, May 10 , 2023, and community applications must be submitted by early May 2023.

Eligibility Requirements & Desired Attributes

This opportunity is open to early and mid-career professionals at ASTC member institutions with an interest in developing their capacity for managing community science projects. Individuals who have previously served as ASTC-Thriving Earth Fellows are not eligible to apply. Institutions who have sponsored a previous ASTC-Thriving Earth Fellow are eligible to sponsor a new individual’s participation. Proposed projects should aim to create concrete local impact and advance community capacity to use science to address local challenges. Both prospective fellows and their community partners should complete application forms hosted by AGU, using the following instructions:


Click here to submit your application to the ASTC-Thriving Earth Exchange Fellowship through AGU’s online platform.

When completing the application AGU form, please include the following:

  1. Indicate that you are an ASTC member in the relevant prompt.
  2. Include the name of your community partner in response to the question: “Do you have a pre-existing relationship with a community that you know is applying to launch a Thriving Earth Exchange project?”
  3. In the “Supplementary Information” section, please describe the topic you are interested in working on together (no more than one paragraph).


Click here to submit your application to the ASTC-Thriving Earth Exchange Fellowship through AGU’s online platform.

When completing the application AGU form, please include the following:

  1. Under the options for “Referral Source,” select “ASTC”.
  2. In the “Supplemental Information” section, please include the name of your ASTC member partner (both individual and institution).


Download a PDF overview and application instructions for this award.

Watch our recorded webinar for an overview of the 2023 funding opportunities and Q&A session with our participants.

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