The fellowship has provided an up-close look at environmental governance and management, particularly how our federal, state, and local environmental regulations and incentive programs are implemented at the ground level… I have had the chance to take the lead on a project of interest to DCR, DEQ, and the Chesapeake Bay Program, as well as travel to training opportunities across the state.

– Bruce P.
2017 Commonwealth Fellow


2023 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship


To maintain confidentiality, it is required that recommendation letters NOT be submitted with the student’s application. Recommendation letters must be requested and uploaded through eSeaGrant.

Each letter writer will receive an automated email (subject line “Virginia Sea Grant Proposal Document Request”) containing an individualized link to upload their letter of recommendation to eSeaGrant. If you have any question regarding uploading your letter, please contact Virginia Sea Grant.

VASG recommends that letters not exceed two pages and do not include attachments. Please address letters to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant.

Referees are encouraged to include tangible and specific examples, and consider the applicant’s:

• Academic and professional performance, including record and relevant experience;

• Personal motivation, perspective, and insight the applicant brings to their research and graduate program;

• Academic and professional potential for future success, including research and professional activities in integrated, trans-disciplinary settings;

• Responsibility, maturity, integrity, and personal accountability;

• Teamwork and leadership skills;

• Ability to identify and understand the big picture, and connections among perspectives; and

• Interest and competencies in the science-to-management or science-to-policy process, technical communication to non-experts, capabilities, and issues of relevance to the participating host offices.


May 1, 2023
Applications due to VASG by 5:00 p.m. EST

Early June 2023
Virtual interviews

Late June 2023
Notification of finalists

Early July 2023
Selected finalists interview with host offices

Late July 2023
Fellows notified of placements

September 1, 2023
Fellowship begins

“My degree was pretty general, so I’ve been able to get that marine and environment-specific part of policy and implementation during this whole year. It’s helpful to learn broad policy stuff, but it’s also important to know how it works for your state to really be effective as an implementer of regulations.

– Lauren P.
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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