Leadership | LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership

For 2011-2016 Olmsted Scholars

2017-2018 Fellowship Timeline

August 2016
Call for applications announced

December 1, 2016
Deadline for applications

February 2017
Fellows announced

Late April/Early May 2017
Residency I

November 2017
Residency II

Late April/Early May 2018
Residency III

Related Documents

View/Download the LAF Fellowship announcement and application info as a PDF

Are you a recent LAF Olmsted Scholar? The Fellowship has a special tier for you!
View/Download the PDF



The following opportunity is available only to LAF Olmsted Scholars who were recognized between 2011 and 2016. (If you were recognized as an Olmsted Scholar before 2011, refer to the main fellowship pages for mid-career or senior-level professionals.)



Recent Olmsted Scholars (those named in the last 6 years) have the opportunity to participate in the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership through a separate application process. Each year, up to 4 Olmsted Scholars will be selected for the fellowship cohort based on a proposed project that they wish to advance.

Participating Olmsted Scholars receive a travel stipend to attend the 3 three-day residencies in Washington, D.C. to engage in presentations, discussions, mentorship, and thoughtful critique toward the development and refinement of their project proposals alongside the mid-career and senior-level Fellows. Olmsted Scholars also participate in monthly conference calls with their cohort throughout the year.

The participation of the Olmsted Scholars is a critical part of the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership and its aims to support leadership growth and intergenerational mentorship. Through this unique program, these emerging professionals can continue to nurture and pursue their passions and interests while working toward the collective pursuit of innovative projects and ideas to enact transformative change by and for the advancement of the landscape architecture profession.  



Since 2008, LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program has recognized nearly 500 landscape architecture students for their exceptional leadership potential. Participation in the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership is part of LAF’s ongoing efforts to support, cultivate, inspire, and build community among these future leaders of the profession.


Award & Eligibility

  • This opportunity is available only to LAF Olmsted Scholars who were recognized between 2011 and 2016. This opportunity is available only for individuals, not teams.
  • Up to 4 Olmsted Scholars will be selected annually, with priority given to the current National Olmsted Scholar winners for 2 of the 4 spots.
  • LAF will provde travel stipends for the Olmsted Scholar to attend the three residencies. There is no additional financial award for participating Olmsted Scholars.


Fellowship Expectations for Olmsted Scholars

Participating Olmsted Scholars are expected to:

  • Attend and complete each of the 3 three-day Residencies that will take place throughout the fellowship year. (See Fellowship Structure)
  • Participate in regular conference calls with the Fellowship cohort and facilitator to check in and monitor progress and discuss any relevant issues. Participation in discussions and ongoing dialogue through the fellowship year is encouraged to enrich mentorship, collaboration, and the overall fellowship experience.
  • Dedicate time outside of their work/school commitments to further their project between and in preparation for the residencies. With the exception of the residencies and monthly calls with the cohort team, Olmsted Scholars are NOT expected to take time off from work/school.



Olmsted Scholars submit proposals for concepts, ideas, or projects that they can advance through participation in the fellowship. The fellowship can be used as a time to develop, test, and refine ideas into more concrete action items that can be pursued after the fellowship period. Projects may be grounded in theoretical or historical investigations, product, program or business plan development, new practice or service models, built work, or any activity that creates knowledge and expands the impact of landscape architecture.


Application & Process

LAF uses SlideRoom as its online application platform and will only accept applications submitted through this platform.  All application materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on December 1.

Visit http://lafoundation.slideroom.com to use the system. Once you have created an account, scroll down to “LAF Fellowship - Opportunity for Olmsted Scholars”, and click “Begin” to start the submission process. You may save, edit, and review your work prior to submitting. An application fee of $10 must be paid at the time of submission via credit card.

For a complete description of the required application contents, download LAF Fellowship - Opportunity for Olmsted Scholars PDF.


Selection Process

Five accomplished and insightful leaders in the landscape architecture field will serve as jurors, with the jury convening in December and January. Finalists for participation are expected to be available for a video/web-based interview in January. Selected Olmsted Scholar Participants will be announced in early February.

Project proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Quality of the applicant’s submission.
  • Potential for the fellowship to make a significant contribution to the advancement of the project.
  • The project’s contribution to knowledge and innovation in the discipline of landscape architecture.



Contact Jennifer Low at jlow@lafoundation.org or 202-331-7070 x14