Selected Fellows receive a $25,000 financial award to advance a proposed project over the course of a year. They participate as a cohort in three 2.5-day residencies.
Each year, 3-4 Fellows and 2-3 emerging professionals from LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program are selected for the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. These 6-7 individuals are brought together as a cohort team and participate in the fellowship together under the guidance and support of two fellowship facilitators.
Three residencies form the core of the year-long fellowship program. At the residencies, Fellows present their projects and progress, explore the concepts of transformational leadership, and participate in facilitated discussions. The time between residencies provides an open structure for Fellows to work in-depth on their projects with monthly check-in calls. At the final residency, Fellows share their findings and results with targeted stakeholders in a symposium format.
The final residency for one cohort overlaps with the first residency for the following year’s cohort, allowing for more knowledge-sharing and exchange.
LAF awards 3-4 mid-career and senior-level fellowships annually, based on the merit of the applicant pool and available funding.
- Each selected Fellow receives one $25,000 award.* The award is distributed in three payments of $8,333.33 upon successful completion of each Residency. Attendance at residencies is mandatory for payment of funds.
- LAF also provides travel and lodging stipends for each Fellow to attend the three residencies.*
*Only individuals, not teams, can apply for the LAF Fellowship and participate in the residencies and monthly calls. However, the proposed project may be a team or group project, provided that the applicant is the team lead. If selected, the LAF Fellow may choose to share the $25,000 award among team members.
- The fellowship project should equate to approximately three months (12 weeks) of work to be completed within the fellowship year. Therefore, time devoted to the project will require a 12-week break from employment, to be taken and distributed at the discretion of the Fellow, over the course of the year.
- Fellows must attend and complete each of the three 2.5-day Residencies that take place during the fellowship year.
- Fellows must participate in regular (1-2 per month) video calls with the fellowship cohort and facilitator(s). This includes monthly check-ins, a half-day virtual "mini-residency" in the winter, and six leadership conversations throughout the fellowship year.
- Fellows are expected to support, guide, and mentor other members of the cohort throughout the year-long fellowship.
Each Fellow applies with a proposed project that they will advance during the fellowship year. The project should involve approximately three months of work, and participation in the fellowship should play an integral role in the realization of this pursuit. The fellowship is not an opportunity to seek funding to support the close-out an existing project. It is an opportunity for Fellows to use their extensive experience and knowledge to drive transformational change that has a life and value beyond the fellowship year.
The project may be a team project, provided that the applicant to the fellowship is the team lead and meets the eligibility requirements. There are no restrictions on the size of the team, but if selected, only the team lead will be recognized as the LAF Fellow and participate in the fellowship. The selected LAF Fellow may choose to share the $25,000 award among team members.
Projects proposed for the LAF Fellowship in Innovation and Leadership:
- Must demonstrate the potential to bring about impactful change to the environment and humanity. They should drive positive change in the world beyond the traditional scope of landscape architecture practice.
- Should contribute to knowledge and innovation in landscape architecture.
- Do not need to be physical in nature; they may be abstract or concrete.
- May be grounded in theoretical or historical investigations; product, program, or business plan development*; new practice or service models; built work; new technology; or any activity that is most effective in accomplishing the project objectives.
- May engage multiple disciplines if the outcome expands the impact of landscape architecture.
*For projects focused on product or business plan development, the applicant must make the case that the business pursuit serves the advancement of the discipline. Individual gain must not be the primary outcome.
Fellows are required to participate in three 2.5-day residencies in Washington, DC. Full attendance and participation in each of the residencies is crucial to the success of the fellowship and is mandatory to receive funding. Travel and lodging stipends are provided.
Residencies consist of presentations, critique, and discussions among cohort members with invited critics that may include academics, practitioners, representatives of allied organizations, industry partners, and current and past members of the LAF Board of Directors.
Residency I: Fellowship Kick-Off
- Deepen commitment of each cohort member to their project pursuit and identify the obstacles in their path
- Establish the cohort as a mentorship and support network
- Introduce “transformational leadership”
Residency II: Fellowship Mid-Point
- Share progress
- Review and critique execution plans and draft dissemination products
- Continue leadership assessment, development, and reflection
Residency III: Final Symposium
- Present project, products, and next steps to the LAF constituents and targeted stakeholders at a symposium event
- Mentor and support the incoming fellowship cohort
Fellows participate in monthly video calls to report on progress and discuss relevant issues. A half-day "mini-residency" is held via video call in the winter. Approximately six additional leadership conversations take place via video call throughout the fellowship year. For these, Fellows are given tailored leadership readings, which they then discuss as a cohort.
Additional discussions and ongoing dialogue are encouraged to enrich mentorship, collaboration, and the overall fellowship experience.
Award & Expectations