“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

FOR HOST OFFICES

2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship

Host Office Application Deadline: March 19, 2021

BECOME A COMMONWEALTH FELLOWSHIP HOST OFFICE

Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) are soliciting host office applications for the 2021 Commonwealth Fellowship. This 12-month fellowship program is intended to provide 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 Virginia 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 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. Selected finalists for the fellowship interview with prospective host offices to find the best fit. VASG, VEE, anticipate supporting up to three fellows starting on October 1, 2021.

PARTICIPATING PARTIES’ RESPONSIBILITIES

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 that introduces their mission and goals, priorities, staff, and activities; 2) provide opportunities for substantive involvement in, and contribution to their program’s activities, including a focused project and work tasks for the duration of the fellowship; 3) supply a professional mentor who will help support the fellow’s professional growth through their individualized professional development plan, and regularly engage with him/her during the 12-month fellowship; and 4) provide a work space, supplies, travel expenses, etc. necessary to accomplish 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 $15,000 to support the program during the 2021 fellowship year.

Co-funder’s Responsibilities

The recruitment and initial selection of eligible applicants will be managed by VASG through a multi-stage review process in accordance with the selection criteria, as described in detail within the fellowship announcement. Host-fellow matching shall involve VASG, VEE, and the host offices with consideration for the applicant’s preferred host office selection. VASG will administer the overall award including salary payments and eligible critical expense to the fellow. The funders will invite the selected fellows to participate in VASG sponsored professional development activities and the Environment Virginia Symposium where the fellows can grow their professional skills and network. Contributed fellowship funds will be administered by VASG and used to cover a portion of the fellow’s salary and critical expenses, and 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, any policy regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, any policy regarding workplace violence, and any policy regarding the acceptable use of computer resources. In addition to their work responsibilities for the host office, selected fellows will be required to support VASG communication efforts to publicize their fellowship activities, participate in periodic meetings including fellow orientation and annual meetings, submit a final report at the conclusion of the fellowship, and participate in an exit interview. Regular contact between VASG and the fellows will occur throughout the year.

TENTATIVE FELLOWSHIP TIMELINE

March 19, 2021
Host office applications due

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

HOST OFFICE APPLICATION

The Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship program is open to participation by local, regional, and state agencies and governments, and non-governmental organizations 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. Please e-mail Sam Lake details about your organization and proposed project.

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

CONTACT
Samuel Lake, Ph.D., Fellowship & Research Program Coordinator
sjlake@vaseagrant.org    804-684-7436