ELP Fellowships offer intensive leadership and skills training, time for personal and professional reflection, and the opportunity to learn and collaborate with regional and national networks. Through immersive retreats, emerging leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their strategy and organizational development skills, and strengthen their capacity to work with diverse constituencies. With the assistance of peer learning and ELP staff support, each Fellow develops a Personal Leadership Plan.

But if you don't want to take our word for it, you can check out these testimonials from recent program participants...

Delaware River Watershed Photo

"There are some people you'll run across in life that are seeking the same things as you. I guarantee you will find them during your ELP experience." -- 2023 Fellow


  • Retreat 1:   February 22 - 25, 2024 at Pendle Hill**, Wallingford, PA 
  • Retreat 2:   May 10-11 & May 17- 18, 2024 (Virtual) 
  • Retreat 3:   July 11 - 14, 2024 at Pendle Hill**, Wallingford, PA 

**ELP practices a culture of community care, recongizing that COVID-19 is continuing to have significant impact (especially for vulnerable communities) and that we also live with other easily communicable illnesses such as the flu and RSV. We work to reduce risk for our Fellows, staff, retreat center partners, and all of our communities. For this reason we do ask that our participants minimize their exposure in the days leading up to a retreat, and we make decisions around testing, masking, and other risk management practices based on current public health information and the needs within each specific cohort.


In 2023 the participation fee for our Regional & National Programs was $3,500 per participant, and we are currently assessing the approximate cost for 2024 programs. However, due to the generosity of the William Penn Foundation, this program will be free of charge to all DEWN Fellows. The program includes:

  • Participation in 12 days of virtual/in -person hybrid training, community building, coaching, and peer coaching
  • Training materials (digital and hard copies)
  • “Welcome Box” filled with supplies, snacks, and other retreat essentials
  • A 360 degree leadership assessment
  • Membership in ELP's network of over 1400 Senior Fellows  - a lifelong learning community of professional and personal development, collaboration, and impact


Applications for the 2024 DEWN cohort are due by 11:59 pm (EST) Friday, December 29th, 2023. 

Fellowship Timline


We're glad you're thinking of applying to an ELP Fellowship and we've tried to make it as simple as possible for you. There are three pieces to the online application process that you can complete from the application page.

1. Fill out the short application survey. This should require only 2-3 minutes to complete.

2.  Your resume. Once you have completed the application survey, you will be emailed a personalized link where you can upload your resume. Please attach your resume as a PDF or Word doc.

3. Short essay answer. Along with your resume, you will be prompted to attach a short response to the following question: "What is the most significant leadership challenge that you are personally facing, either current or something that you see on the horizon?" (This response could be in the form of an essay about 500 words in length, or a 5-minute video or audio recording. If you choose a video or audio message, please create a document with your name, the date, cohort you're applying for, and a link to your recording.)

This has been the most transformative experience I’ve had to date. I can’t wait to bring these leadership tools and this mindset back to my personal and professional life” - 2023 Fellow

"ELP was the perfect program at the perfect time for me. ... It has this balance of accountability and gentleness, of pushing and pulling, of care and encouragement with empowerment and growth. I think it can be hard to know what to expect from a leadership program, what it means, what it will do, and if it can help you. Well, leave your fears aside, you can trust the ELP process and the incredible ELP people. ELP was truly effective for me, the process educates, empowers, and encourages, in this fantastically energizing way where you can't wait to start getting into the work, where you know your path forward and have manageable steps that are leverage points for making change." - 2020 Fellow


Applicants for the Delaware River Regional Fellowship must meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least three years of work/field experience
  • Be a grantee of the William Penn Foundation (though we do have a few spots reserved for those who are not)
  • Work in one of the following 8 sub-watersheds of the Delaware River:  Poconos and Kittatinny, New Jersey Highlands, Upper Lehigh, Middle Schuylkill, Schuylkill Highlands, Brandywine and Christina Rivers, Upstream Suburban Philadelphia, Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer  
  • The ability to participate in all 3 retreats, complete all assignments in a timely manner, and the desire to remain an active member of the ELP Senior Fellows Network after the conclusion of the year-long Fellowship


In addition to the above, applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their:

  • Passion to respond to social and environmental challenges
  • Leadership capacity (i.e have been willing and able to take “responsibility for helping people achieve shared purpose”)
  • The nature of their work or area of expertise. Attention will be given to the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume and the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative questions in the application and in the interview.
  • Eagerness to connect with and learn from others; willingness to actively contribute to the program as well as take advantage of its benefits
  • Commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and justice within the environmental and social change fields; commitment to working with diverse constituencies
  • Awareness of the interdependence of environmental and social problems; ability to convey a coherent vision for environmental progress and interest in how their work fits in with the big picture
  • Ability to clearly articulate how participating in this leadership program will further their personal and professional development.



  • Applications are reviewed by a selection team of ELP Senior Fellows (alumni of ELP fellowships) and staff.
  • Interviews: a subset of applicants are interviewed in the three weeks following the application deadline. Interviews are conducted over the phone and are approximately 30 minutes long. Interviews are also an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions about the program and the Senior Fellow community.
  • Selection process:  Our selection teams review the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume. We also focus on the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative question in the application and the phone interview. We aim to select the best cohort for each program - which means giving attention to the diversity and balance of the class - in terms of work (sector, issue), identities (race, gender, ethnicity, etc.) and personalities.
  • Notification: Following the selection of the class (usually 4 weeks following the application deadline), applicants are notified of their status via a phone call and/or email. An applicant is either invited into the program (in which case they are expected to confirm within 48 hours), wait-listed, or invited to apply for another program.

On the fence about applying? Check out 7 Reasons to Apply for an ELP Fellowship.

For more information about the Delaware River Watershed Network, contact CorePrograms@elpnet.org.