Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The US Capitol building, Washington DC. Photo Credit: Twyla Herrington from LA Sea Grant

Please review the 2018 Federal Funding Opportunity  for official details regarding this Fellowship opportunity.


An eligible applicant is any student, regardless of citizenship, who, on February 21, 2017, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate or professional program, that have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The graduate degree needs to be awarded through a United States accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories. Applicants from states not served by a Sea Grant program should obtain further information by contacting the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship Program Manager at the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO).

Length of Assignment

The length of assignment is one-year (non-renewable). The dates of the official fellowship are February 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019; however, these dates can be slightly adjusted to accommodate academic semester needs.

How to Apply

(See also: Creating an Application)

Interested students should discuss this fellowship with their State Sea Grant Program Director. Applications must be submitted to the state Sea Grant program by February 21, 2017. Each Sea Grant program may select and forward to the national competition no more than six (6) applicants selected according to criteria listed in the federal funding opportunity.

Applications to the national competition must come from Sea Grant programs, not individual applicants and must be submitted through no later than 5:00 pm EDT on April 7, 2017. The competitive selection process and subsequent notification to the eligible Sea Grant Programs or Projects will be completed by June 2017.

Stipend and Expenses (2018 fellows)

The Sea Grant Program or Project receives and administers the overall cooperative agreement of $61,500 per student on behalf of each fellow selected from their program. During the fellowship, the host may provide supplemental funds for work-related travel by the fellow.

Of this amount, the eligible Sea Grant Program or Project provides $47,500 to each Fellow for salary/stipend. $9,000 will cover mandatory health insurance for the fellow and moving expenses. 

Indirect costs are not allowable from the federal funds either for the fellowships or for any costs associated with the fellowships, including the amount budgeted for placement week (see 15 CFR 917.11(e), "Guidelines for Sea Grant Fellowships"). 

Application Requirements

1. Two signed letters of recommendation, including one from the student's major professor; if no major professor exists, a faculty person academically familiar the applicant may be substituted.
2. A personal education and career goal statement emphasizing the applicant's abilities and the applicant's expectations from the fellowship experience in the way of career development (maximum of 1000 words). 
3. Personal and academic curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages).
4. Copy of all official undergraduate and graduate student transcripts. 
5. Listing of classes and/or plans for spring 2017, summer 2017, and fall 2017 (not to exceed one page).
6. For applicants from states not served by an eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, but applying through an eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, a written statement from the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program Manager referring the applicant to the most appropriate eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, must be included as part of that applicant's application package to the state Sea Grant Program or Project.

All applicants will be evaluated only on their application package according to the criteria listed. Therefore, letters of endorsements from members of Congress, friends, and relatives will not be accepted. Prior contacts/arrangements made with possible host offices will be cause for immediate disqualification from the process.

Please see the 2018 Federal Funding Opportunity for Selection Criteria as well as the Review and Selection Process.

Placement Preference

Please note in your application your preference for a legislative or executive fellowship. We will honor these requests to the extent possible. Stating a choice will not affect your chances of being selected - the entire class is chosen first and then Executive and Legislative assignments are made. There are several differences between an Executive and Legislative placement, which you should consider as you create your application.

Executive fellowship placements are highly variable. These placements will allow you to see the inner workings of how Federal regulations and policies are developed and implemented. While placement availability cannot be guaranteed year-to-year, there are usually offices from a range of federal agencies, and within NOAA line offices.

Legislative fellowship appointments are, like Executive appointments, variable and context-dependent. You will have the opportunity to be placed in an office in the Senate or House, in a Personal (i.e. Member of Congress) or Committee office, and in a Republican or Democratic office. Within each of these categories, your position and the tasks you perform depend on the needs of your host office and the interests/activities of your host (the Member of Congress, Staff Director, or issue Policy Advisor).

Reporting Requirements

Sea Grant Fellows will be administratively responsible to their sponsoring Sea Grant Directors during their terms in Washington, D.C., but must be responsive to the administrative and technical direction from the host to whom they report. The role of the Knauss Program Manager is one of ombudsman between the Fellow, the host, the Sea Grant Programs, and the sponsoring institution.

For Further Information

Please contact your nearest Sea Grant program director, or contact

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