“The most important thing about the fellows and the opportunity for them to work up in the Secretary’s office, is they see the need for collaboration. They get exposure to the legislative challenges, the fiscal challenges, the collaboration challenges, and the differences community by community…The fellows get to be in the middle of all that.”

– Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann Phillips
Special Assistant to the Governor for
Coastal Adaptation and Protection


2024 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship


Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) are soliciting host office applications for the 2024 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship. This 12-month paid fellowship provides educational and professional development opportunities for post-graduates interested in Virginia’s coastal and marine resources. Fellows receive on-the-job training by working with a host office to address pressing coastal and marine resource issues while learning about the policy and management process occurring at the state level. The program also aims to increase the capacity of the host offices by supporting fellows who are working on mission-relevant programs, and leveraging the knowledge and capacity of Virginia’s academic institutions. VASG, VEE, and their partners anticipate supporting two to three post-graduate fellows starting on October 1, 2024.


Host Office Expectations

The Commonwealth Fellowship is an innovative professional training experience and educational opportunity that benefits both fellows and host offices. Participating host offices agree to provide opportunities for involvement in substantive projects that contribute to the fellow’s professional development, education, and career goals, as well as provide adequate and appropriate mentorship. Host offices must maintain a professional relationship with the fellows throughout the program and abide by all codes of conduct procedures regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct policies, and any policy regarding workplace violence.

Participating host offices agree to: 1) Deliver an orientation introducing the office’s mission and goals, priorities, staff, and activities; 2) Provide opportunities for substantive involvement in, and contribution to the office’s activities, including a project and work tasks for the duration of the fellowship; 3) Connect the fellow with a professional mentor and coach within the host office who will develop an Individualized Professional Development plan with the fellow, and regularly engage with him/her during the 12-month program; and 4) Provide a work space, supplies, travel expenses, etc. necessary to achieve the fellow’s tasks. Additionally, the host office will allow the fellow a reasonable amount of time to attend professional development training and other activities. Participating host offices are expected to contribute $20,000 to support the program during the 2024 fellowship year.

Co-funder’s Responsibilities

The recruitment and initial selection of eligible applicants will be managed by VASG as described in detail within the fellowship announcement. Host-fellow matching will involve VASG, VEE, and the host offices with consideration for the applicants’ preferred host office selection. VASG will invite the selected fellows to participate in VASG-sponsored professional development opportunities and related activities where the fellows can grow their professional skills and network with the broader VASG community. Contributed fellowship funds will be administered by VASG and used to cover a portion of the fellow’s stipend and discretionary expenses, as well as support the administration of the fellowship program.

Fellow Responsibilities

Fellows are expected to abide by standard code of conduct policies including, but not limited to, the host office’s personnel policy, policies regarding sexual harassment, policies regarding workplace violence, and policies regarding the acceptable use of computer resources. In addition to work responsibilities for the host office, selected fellows will be required to support VASG communication efforts to publicize their fellowship activities, participate in periodic VASG meetings, submit fellowship status reports to be used for NOAA reporting, and submit a final report at the conclusion of the fellowship. Regular contact between VASG and the fellows will occur throughout the year.


January/February, 2024
Host office applications due

May 1, 2024
Applications due to VASG by 5:00 p.m. EST

June 2024
Virtual interviews

June 2024
Notification of finalists

July 2024
Selected finalists interview with host offices

July 2024
Fellows notified of placements

October 1, 2024
Fellowship begins


The Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship program is open to participation by local, regional, and state agencies and governments who are working in Virginia on relevant coastal or marine research, policy, or management issues. Host offices will enter a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with VASG detailing responsibilities, expectations and cost-sharing arrangement. 

Requested Information:

  • Name of Agency/Program/Organization
  • Description of Agency/Program/Organization (150-200 Words)
  • Proposed Project Title
  • Proposed Location of Work
  • Proposed Project Description, Activities, and Goals (300-500 Words)
  • Your Contact Information (Address, E-mail, Phone)
  • Names and E-mail of Additional Mentors
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