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Find your Sea Grant Program


You apply for a Knauss Fellowship through the Sea Grant program in your state. Find your program below. If your state does not have a Sea Grant program, contact the National Sea Grant Office by e-mail or phone (240-507-3712).


The Knauss Fellowship experience

Read blog posts written by current Knauss Fellows. They write about topics ranging from their science to the fellowship application process or their current position. Beyond the blog, visit the Knauss alumni page to hear from alumni.



More resources for
prospective applicants

 Important Dates


Application period opens Fall 2021

The opportunity to be a 2022 fellow is now closed. Check back Fall 2021 for information on 2023 fellowships.

Applications due to your state's Sea Grant program

To be announced

Selected applicants are notified 


Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity and specific guidance to come this Fall.

Information below for applicants in Fall 2020 (Fellowship class of 2022)

Who is eligible for the Knauss Fellowship?

Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2020 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 19, 2021.
  • The graduate degree must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. territories.
  • Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply.
  • Have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.


How long is the fellowship?

The fellowship is one year (non-renewable). The dates of the official fellowship are February 1, 2022 - January 31, 2023.

How do I apply?

  • Applications must be submitted to your state Sea Grant program by February 19, 2021.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Sea Grant Program in their state at least one to two months before the February 19, 2021 deadline to receive application support and notify the program that they intend to apply.

    • Explore Sea Grant programs on our About page
    • If your state is not served by a Sea Grant program (AZ, AR, CO, ID, IA, KS, KY, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, SD, TN, UT, WV, WY), obtain further information by contacting the National Sea Grant Office through e-mail or by phone (240-507-3712).

See "How does the application process work?" or watch this recorded webinar for detailed information



What will I need to include in my application?

You can read detailed information about the application materials and evaluation criteria here. In short, you will need to include:

  • Curriculum vitae (C.V.)

  • Personal statement

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • List of plans for the upcoming year (classes and/or work, internships, etc)

  • All transcripts



How does the application process work?

The application process requires several steps and differs from many other fellowship opportunities. You apply first to the Sea Grant program in your state, NOT on You will then interview with them, and the state Sea Grant program can select up to six applicants to submit to the National Sea Grant Office. Recipients will be selected by a panel at the national level.

  1. Reach out to the Sea Grant Program in your state at least one to two months before the state application deadline (February 19, 2021). Let them know you plan to apply and ask for advice navigating the process.
  2. Go to the main Sea Grant website and look for your state Sea Grant program. If your state does not have a program, email the National Sea Grant Office and they can direct you to the appropriate state.
  3. Read the "Federal Funding Opportunity" (FFO) that has details for the grant on Click "related documents" to find the full announcement.
  4. Draft your personal statement, touch up your C.V., order official transcripts, and ask for recommendation letters. One letter must come from a faculty member with knowledge of your academic and research (when applicable) performance, the second letter should be from someone who knows you well.
  5. Double-check the Federal Funding Opportunity to make sure you have met all the requirements.
  6. Ask questions of your local Sea Grant program and/or the National Sea Grant Office *before* the deadline. 
  7. Submit your material to your state's Sea Grant program, NOT They will contact you to schedule an interview.
  8. Prepare for the state selection process, which will include an interview with your state's Sea Grant program. 
  9. The Sea Grant programs can each select up to six applicants to elevate to the National Sea Grant Office competition. Each program is different; they may or may not notify applicants if they have been elevated.
  10. The National Sea Grant Office holds a selection panel to determine Knauss finalists (you are not referred to as a Knauss Fellow until after placement week--see the next question in this FAQ). Your state Sea Grant Program will notify selected finalists in mid- to late summer

If you have questions about the process, contact your state's Sea Grant program or email the National Office. You can also watch this recorded webinar for more information.


What happens if I am selected?

  • You will be notified if you are a selected finalist in mid- to late-summer.
    • Note you are a called a selected finalist, not a Knauss Fellow, until after you are placed in a position during placement week.
  • After finalists are selected, a webinar will be held to describe the next steps, including difference between executive and legislative placements. You will then be asked to write a 300 word or less justification for wanting to be placed in the executive or legislative class. The National Sea Grant Office will announce the split of the classes in late summer.
  • There may be several other informational webinars to help you prepare for your fellowship year.
  • In October (executive fellows) or Late November/Early December (legislative fellows) finalists will participate in placement week. Placement week is filled with interviews, happy hours with potential hosts, and then host position-fellow pairing.
  • To learn more about the types of placements available through the fellowship program please review the list of potential 2021 executive and legislative Knauss positions.

  • Please note, For most executive branch offices, selected fellows must pass a federal background check to gain security clearance. This includes answering questions about your previous citizenship, residence, education, employment, character references, selective service, military service, and illegal drug use. Please follow this link to an example of the form you will have to fill out.

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