December 8, 2017, 5:00 p.m. EST

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Contact Person

Sam Lake
Fellowship & Research Program Coordinator

Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship

Fellowship Description

The Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship is sponsored by Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE), and the participating host offices. Modeled after the highly successful national Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, the goal of the Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship is to develop and support exceptional post-graduates by partnering them with a host mentor where they receive on-the-job training and hone their professional skills, while improving the stewardship of the Commonwealth’s coastal and marine resources. 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 is currently recruiting host offices among local and state government agencies, and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). As an example, the 2017 Commonwealth Fellows were placed at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Virginia Marine Resource Commission.


Graduate students close to completing their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D.) in a coastal- or marine-related or relevant field at a Virginia university or college are eligible to apply; graduates who recently completed their degree at a Virginia university or college, graduating in the spring semester 2017 or after are also eligible. Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest and some experience in coastal or marine resource policy and management (e.g., course work, internships, independent study, etc.). Fellows must complete all degree requirements prior to starting the fellowship. The sponsors strongly encourage women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Award Information

VASG and VEE anticipate supporting two post-graduate fellows for the 2018 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship. The length of the fellowship assignment is twelve-months and is nonrenewable. The start date may be flexible to accommodate the fellowship recipient and the host office needs; however, we anticipate a July 1, 2018 start. Each fellow will receive $35,000 in stipend and $5,000 for critical expenses (e.g., insurance, if needed) and professional development activities (e.g., travel, registration, or other expenses to participate in conferences, workshops, VASG-sponsored professional development training, etc.).

Tentative Fellowship Competition Timeline

  • Fellowship announcement released: September 2017
  • Applications due to VASG by 5:00 p.m. EST: December 8, 2017
  • Virtual interviews: January 2018
  • Notification of finalists: February 2018
  • Selected finalists interview with host offices: February 2018
  • Fellows notified of placements: March 2018
  • Placements announced at the Environment Virginia Symposium: April 3-5, 2018
  • Fellowship begins: Summer 2018

How to Apply

For full details on the application requirements, evaluation criteria, and review and selection process, please download the 2018 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship Announcement. For additional information on the how to submit your application to VASG, please refer to the eSeaGrant Instructions available on this page.

Intent to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged 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.

Application Submission & eSeaGrant

Applications must be submitted online via eSeaGrant . If you plan to apply, we recommend registering for eSeaGrant at least two weeks in advance of the deadline. VASG will not accept late applications under any circumstances (e.g., internet delays), so please allow ample time to submit your application in advance of the deadline.

Recommendation Letters

To maintain confidentiality, VASG requires that letters NOT be submitted with the student’s application; instead, letters should be requested and uploaded through eSeaGrant. Letters must be submitted by the deadline and should be address to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant.


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