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


2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship

Deadline: April 23, 2021

Please note that applicants may request letters prior to this date.


To maintain confidentiality, VASG requires that letters are NOT 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 Sam Lake.

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.

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.


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 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


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

VASG and VEE do 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). Virginia institutions of higher education and any other organization that receive VASG funds are responsible for having clearly stated policies outlining standard codes of conduct, academic program requirements, and prohibiting discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct that comply with federal nondiscrimination laws, regulations, and executive orders, and documented procedures for accepting reports of and investigating complaints of misconduct thoroughly, fairly and promptly. VASG implements policies, guidelines, procedures, and communications consistent with these principles to ensure that organizations funded by VASG clearly understand the program’s expectations and requirements associated with its funding.

Samuel Lake, Ph.D., Fellowship & Research Program Coordinator    804-684-7436