VEE is pleased to have been part of the original supporters of the Commonwealth Fellowship in 2017 and to be a partner with Virginia Sea Grant and state agencies in continuing to give recent post-graduate students a real-life experience working at the intersection of science and policy in state natural resource agencies. We are also encouraged to see that several of these very talented young people end up in state government positions where they can continue to make a difference.”

– Joe Maroon
Virginia Environmental Endowment


2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship


  • Virginia graduate students nearing completion of a master’s, Ph.D., or J.D. 
  • Recent Virginia graduates who have completed a master’s, Ph.D., or J.D. after spring semester, 2020.
  • Degree must be in a coastal & marine-related, or relevant field (see full Commonwealth Fellowship Announcement.)
  • Strong interest and some experience in coastal or marine resource policy and management.
  • All degree requirements must be completed prior to starting the fellowship.



In addition to their work responsibilities to the host office, selected fellows will:

  • Collaborate with VASG’s Communication Center: Assist VASG efforts to publicize their research and fellowship activities. Fellows are required to submit blog posts and share story ideas.
  • Work with VASG’s Professional Development Coordinator: To develop and launch an individual professional development plan, based on your short- and long-term professional goals.
  • Collaborate with Your Mentor: Work closely with your host office mentor, including identifying opportunities to execute your individual professional development plan.
  • Attend VASG Events: Participate in regular meetings with VASG, including: An orientation meeting at the beginning of the fellowship; VASG-sponsored professional development activities; and an exit interview at the conclusion of the fellowship.



Virginia Sea Grant and the Virginia Environmental Endowment anticipate supporting three post-graduate fellows for the 2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship.

Length: 12-month, nonrenewable fellowship assignment

Start Date: October 1, 2021

Funding: $35,000 stipend, $5,000 for critical expenses and professional development activities


For full details including fellowship requirements, application guidelines, evaluation criteria, and review and selection process, download the fellowship announcement. For additional information on the how to submit your application to VASG, refer to the eSeaGrant Instructions. 

Intent to Apply

All applicants are required to contact VASG’s Fellowship and Research Program Coordinator, Sam Lake, to indicate their interest in the fellowship, discuss the application process, and to schedule their virtual interview. Notifications can be sent as a short e-mail expressing your interest in the fellowship. Please reference “Commonwealth Fellowship” in the subject line.

Application Submission & eSeaGrant

Applications must be submitted online via eSeaGrant. If you plan to apply, we strongly recommend notifying VASG and registering for eSeaGrant at least two weeks in advance of the deadline.

Recommendation Letters

To maintain confidentiality, VASG requires that letters are NOT submitted with the student’s application. Recommendation letters must be requested and uploaded through eSeaGrant. There is no page limit for letters, but VASG recommends that letters not exceed two pages and not include attachments. Please address letters to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant.


April 23, 2021
Applications due to VASG by 5:00 p.m. EST 

June 2021
Virtual interviews 

July 2021
Notification of finalists 

July-August 2021
Selected finalists interview with host offices

Late August 2021
Fellows notified of placements 

September 2021
Placements announced 

October 1, 2021
Fellowship begins

My fellowship has provided a tremendous opportunity for me to leverage the coastal science I studied in graduate school directly to state level policies and plans. From writing pieces of Congressional Testimonies to State legislation, it has been fulfilling to see peer-reviewed research make its way into policy.

– Ben N.
2018 Commonwealth Fellow


VASG is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people from diverse backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, age, disability and/or health status, ethnicity, gender identity, geographic origin, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and/or veteran status. 

VASG does not tolerate any form of misconduct, discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct (e.g. sexual assault within its organization, at awardee organizations, field sites, meetings, or anywhere VASG-funded research, outreach and education are conducted).

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