Call for Applications: The Maintainers Movement Fellowship 2022


The Maintainers ( is a global research network interested in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world.

The Maintainers Movement Fellowship is a year-long fellowship that will advance the movement for maintenance thinking and action. The fellowship will bring together a group of individuals who are interested in learning from and with their peers; communicating complex ideas in accessible ways for a broad audience, and partnering with The Maintainers staff to advance our vision for a more caring and well-maintained world. The Maintainers Movement Fellowship is looking for applicants whose maintenance, repair, and care work has substantial connections to the environment. The fellowship will run from January-December 2022. Four fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000 USD each to participate in activities and publish their work. Applications are due Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Through The Maintainers Movement Fellowship program, The Maintainers aim to support work that advances equitable maintenance and repair policies; enable meaningful experiences for collaborative knowledge production; and develop a clear set of action priorities that will be published broadly and inform the future work of The Maintainers. 

Important dates

  • The call goes out and applications open: October 4, 2021
  • Applications close: November 4, 2021
  • Applicants receive notification: December 6, 2021
  • Fellowship begins: January 12, 2022
  • Fellowship ends and final deliverables due: December 20, 2022

Who should apply

We are looking for (up to) 4 fellows whose maintenance, repair, and care work has substantial and practical engagements with the environment, and who are passionate about cross-disciplinary and interprofessional collaboration. We are specifically looking for applicants who identify as practitioners or have demonstrated, practical experience addressing some or all of the following topics:

  1. Concepts of “care” applied to contexts of the natural and built environments.
  2. Ways in which increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events are changing policy discussions around infrastructure and maintenance investment.
  3. How to apply knowledge about biological processes and systems of repair to the care and maintenance of social systems.
  4. Prevalent forms of care and maintenance for people have ambivalent or negative long-term impacts on the natural and built environments.
  5. Environmental maintenance practices as they pertain to race, ethnicity, and gender. 
  6. Maintaining and sustaining equitable practices of care and repair.

Our ideal candidates will have: 

  • Demonstrated experience working on practical maintenance and care interventions/concrete actions that positively impact the environment;
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively, in team-based settings to produce original insights and outputs;
  • Demonstrated success writing for diverse audiences.

Fellowship description

The Maintainers Movement Fellowship is a year-long opportunity involving cohort activities and Maintainers community engagement. While the cohort will make decisions about their collective outputs, we do have a few commitments we expect from each fellow:

  • A 60-minute monthly group discussion. Meetings will be lightly structured around sharing work, exploring questions that advance the group’s work on the action agenda, and examining the significance of current events through a maintenance lens.
  • Two work sprints (one in Spring 2022 and one in  Summer 2022)  intended to advance the group’s collective outputs.
  • Fellows are asked to co-organize topics and speakers for four virtual-public events throughout the year.
  • Each fellow will be asked to create a minimum of 4 public communication outputs over the course of the year. These can be blog posts, short videos, or other formats – but these outputs should be created to communicate complex ideas in ways that make them applicable to people in their daily lives. 
  • As individual fellows, and as a group, Movement Fellows act as Ambassadors and Movement-Builders for maintenance thinking and action by representing The Maintainers on invited panels, podcast interviews, meetings with Maintainers strategic partners, and other venues.

Fellowship details

Duration: This fellowship will run from January 12, 2022, to the end of December 2022. During this time, fellows will dedicate time to fellowship-specific activities including monthly meetings with cohort members and the Maintainers team; publishing blog posts; helping to curate or co-curate discussion roundtables, and working together with other cohort members to develop a community action agenda.  

Time commitment: Our estimated time commitment, based on the scope of individual and cohort activities, is about 2 to 5 hours a week.

Location: This research fellowship is open to applicants based in the United States as well as internationally. All fellows must be available for meetings, which will be scheduled during regular EST/CST (USA) business hours.

Compensation: Compensation includes a $10,000 stipend for each fellow, (with half paid by April 2022, and half paid at the end of the fellowship), as well as access to additional funds reserved for cohort-designed group activities. 

Group applications: As well as individuals, the fellowship is open to partners and small collectives. If a partnership or collective is selected, they will receive one $10,000 award between them. The award and conditions of the fellowship will remain the same.  

Selection Process & How to apply

Selection will be based on the application. The Maintainers team seeks to build a cohort that represents a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations. No formal interviews will take place, but The Maintainers team may reach out to clarify questions on your proposal during the selection process. 

The Maintainers believe that traditional hiring and recruitment practices disproportionately impact the most marginalized people in society in negative ways, including people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQIA people. Because we believe that movement building is most powerful in creating change when it is informed by many different lived experiences, we strongly encourage applications from individuals with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities.

Please submit your resume and a one-page cover letter (preferably together in one single Pdf or Word Doc file) briefly addressing the following points:

  • Why are you interested in being a part of this fellowship?
  • How does your maintenance, repair, and care work engage the environment in practical ways? 
  • How does your work advance the Maintainer’s vision for a more caring and well-maintained world?
  • What do you hope to learn and do as part of this cohort that you couldn’t easily do in your current job/role?

One application per individual will be accepted (for partners and small collectives, please submit one application per group). Please submit your application through this Google form. Also, please note that the form requests brief responses for some of your ideas about events, blog posts, and collective work that you might pursue as part of the fellowship. If you have any remaining questions, please contact Lauren Dapena Fraiz at




We have been receiving questions from prospective applicants, and thought it may be helpful for everyone to review this FAQ in case they are wondering the same things!  

FAQ Maintainers Movement Fellowship

  • If I’m an academic researcher, am I eligible to apply?

      • Yes, absolutely! We encourage ALL applicants whose work has substantial and practical engagement with maintenance, care environment, and who are passionate about cross-disciplinary and interprofessional collaboration. This could describe the work of any academic researcher whose work embeds them directly in the community or place that informs their research. 
      • When we say “practical,” we mean hands-on experience or fieldwork that enables applicants to make direct, material impacts on the world around them. 
      • We are looking to academic researchers that might describe their work as “praxis” (the process of using a theory or something that you have learned in a practical way) or might personally identify as “scholar-practitioners.”
  • I’m not an academic. Can I apply?

      • Yes, absolutely! We encourage ALL applicants to apply whose work has substantial and practical engagements with maintenance, care environment, and who are passionate about cross-disciplinary and interprofessional collaboration.  
      • A successful Fellow could be a landscape architect, engineer, educator, activist (environment, reproductive rights, healthcare reform, racial justice), city council member, park and public space maintainer, healthcare worker, artist, product designer, consultant, data scientist, psychologist, HR professional, and beyond. 
      • We are interested in any applicants that can describe how their work practice connects to care, maintenance, and the surrounding environment in specific ways, and how their work has enabled them to make direct, material impacts on the world around them.
      • We are especially interested in individuals who are interested in learning from and with their peers; communicating complex ideas in accessible ways and partnering with The Maintainers staff to advance our vision for a more caring and well-maintained world.
  • Do you consider the concept of environment as strictly related to the natural sciences?

      • “Environment” in this context can refer to built, natural, and even more intimate environments such as the home or the body. However, built environments (their construction, maintenance, the people that inhabit them, and the way we move through those environments) invariably impact and are in relationship with natural systems and we invite all applicants to describe the connection between the two where it makes sense to do so. 
  • Clarifications on time commitment and activities:

      • Like many fellowships, The Movement Fellowship extends for one calendar year. With the emphasis on peer learning and collaborative outputs, we expect all fellows to dedicate an average (some weeks more, some weeks less) of three hours per week to their fellowship participation. The time commitment includes individual writing time, fellow cohort meetings with the Maintainers staff, participation in virtual discussions with the broader Maintainers community, and developing a group output that will be shared broadly at the end of the 2022 calendar year.