Mark B. Bain Doctoral Fellowship


Application Requirements and Procedures

  • Proposal Cover Page (Include the name of the student in the Principal Investigator box; The title of the thesis/dissertation should be included in the Title of Proposal box; Please list the student’s advisor as co-principal investigator)
  • A description (6 pages/single spaced; excluding references and appendices) of the thesis project which should include a statement of the objectives of the project and the approach to the research, as well as a summary of research already completed.
  • A timetable for the completion of the research.
  • An estimate of the cost of supplies, travel, etc using the Proposal Budget Summary Form.
  • Curriculum vitae of student.
  • A letter from the University stating that the student will receive a tuition waiver or reimbursement for the period of the fellowship.
  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from the student’s advisor and should certify the student’s current status, evaluate the student as a future researcher, and rate the student’s project both on technical merit and on relevance to the goals of the Foundation.

Fellowship awards will be made through the student’s academic institution. Therefore, applications must be submitted through the institution’s grants administration office.

The 2023 Bain Fellowship Proposal Deadline is March 13th.

In 2011, the Foundation renamed its graduate fellowship program in honor of Dr. Mark B. Bain for his outstanding contributions to Hudson River science and the Hudson River Community. Dr. Bain was a professor of Systems Ecology at Cornell University for 22 years, and until his death in February 2012, a highly productive researcher studying aquatic systems throughout the world. Dr. Bain had a particular interest in the Hudson River and was supported by the Foundation in several important endeavors. His comprehensive study of sturgeons and ground-breaking work on ecosystem restoration planning have significantly advanced the conservation of natural resources in the Hudson River and estuary. The Foundation is pleased to recognize and remember Dr. Bain’s achievements and the respect, admiration and affection for him in the Hudson River scientific community.

Beginning in 2023, the Bain Fellowships will be open to doctoral students only.

The Foundation may award up to six full-time research fellowships per year to doctoral students conducting research on the Hudson River system. A fellowship will include a stipend consistent with the policy of the student’s graduate institution, in an amount of up to $19,000 for one year, plus an incidentals research budget of up to $1,000.

Projects must be relevant to the Hudson River and Watershed and focused on topics related to the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the River, or address social, economic, or public policy issues, including issues related to environmental justice.

Applications will be evaluated on the potential of the project to advance understanding of the issues affecting the River, the description, merits, and feasibility of the proposed research, the impact on the student and the student’s career, and the potential of the project to broaden participation from the Hudson River’s diverse student communities, particularly those historically underrepresented in the environmental sciences.

HRF is committed to serving the diverse communities of the Hudson River and to facilitating an ongoing and inclusive dialogue with scientists, managers, policy makers, other stakeholders, and the general public to address the environmental and societal challenges facing the community of the Hudson River and Watershed. We seek to enhance this work by supporting researchers and students, with the unique and varied backgrounds, circumstances, needs, and perspectives that reflect the diversity of our community.

Application Submission

Bain applications are due March 13th, 2023.

Applications, in electronic PDF format must be received by 5:00 pm, on March 13th, 2023. The electronic copy of the application should be sent in one PDF file to with the subject heading “Doctoral Fellowship Submittal.” Reference letters should be submitted separately to the same email address with the same subject heading that also references the student’s last name.

One hard copy of the application containing original signatures by the Institutional Representative and Graduate Student on the cover page and postmarked no later than March 13th, 2023 must be sent to:

Bain Fellowship Committee
Hudson River Foundation
17 Battery Place, Suite 915
New York, NY 10004

If you have any additional questions please contact Jonathan Kramer at


The award is conditional upon a full tuition waiver or reimbursement by the University. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited doctoral program, must have a thesis advisor and advisory committee (if appropriate to the institution), and must have a thesis research plan approved by the student’s institution or department.

The student’s home university will be expected to be the primary source of support for materials and expenses required to do the thesis research and will also be expected to cover any indirect costs associated with the project.

Hudson River Foundation