January 23, 2017, 5:00 p.m. EST

Related Documents

  • Fellowship Announcement
  • eSeaGrant Instructions

Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Fellowship

Fellowship Description

The Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship is sponsored by VASG, Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE), Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the three host agencies, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VADCR), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), and Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).

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 an agency 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 agencies by supporting fellows who are working on mission-relevant programs, and leveraging the knowledge and capacity of Virginia’s academic institutions.

Fellowship Timeline

  • Fellowship announcement released: September 2016
  • Applications due: January 23, 2017 by 5:00pm EST
  • In-person interviews: February/March 2017
  • Notification of results: April 2017
  • Fellowship begins: June 2017
  • Period of fellowship: twelve-months


  • 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 2016 or after are also eligible.
  • VASG especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.
  • 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.

Award Information

VASG anticipates supporting up to three post-graduate fellows for the 2017 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 fellowship recipient and the host office needs, within reason. Fellows will become VASG employees and be placed in a host agency. Each fellow will receive $35,000 in stipend support for the twelve-month assignment, and $5,000 for critical expenses (e.g., insurance, if needed) and professional development activities at the interface of science and policy (e.g., travel, registration, or other expenses to participate in VASG-sponsored professional development training, conferences, workshops, etc.).

Host Descriptions and Fellowship Projects

The 2017 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship host agencies include the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Visit their websites for more details on these agencies’ missions and activities, short descriptions of project ideas are included in the fellowship announcement. While final projects may vary based upon agency needs, and the skillsets of selected fellows, these provide an example of the breadth and content of host agency needs.

Proposal Guidelines

Adherence to the format requirements is mandatory and ensures fairness across all proposals, see fellowship announcement for detailed instructions.

  • Personal and Career Goal Statement (1,000 words or less)
  • Resumes/CVs (two page maximum)
  • Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable)
  • Recommendation Letters (three letters of recommendation, including one from the student's major professor or the faculty member who is most familiar with the applicant’s academic experience)

 Proposal Submission and eSeaGrant

VASG is currently launching a new system for our fellowship proposal submissions. If you have any technical issues while submitting your application, please contact Sam Lake (  or (804) 684-7436. Proposals must be submitted online via eSeaGrant by 5:00pm EST on Monday, January 23, 2017. (Copy and paste this link into a new browser page: ) If you plan to apply, we recommend notifying VASG and registering for eSeaGrant at least two weeks in advance of the deadline.

  • Recommendation letters should be addressed to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant and uploaded through eSeaGrant, or sent to VASG by email (, fax (804-684-7269) or mailed (attention: Sam Lake, Virginia Sea Grant, PO Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062). Letters must be time-stamped as sent by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 23, 2017.
  • All proposal elements must be converted to PDF documents before uploading to eSeaGrant.
  • Please allow sufficient time for all application materials to be received before the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted by eSeaGrant and applications that do not meet the requirements may be rejected without review.

For full details, including review and selection process, please download the Fellowship Announcement.

Questions? Contact Sam Lake, Virginia Sea Grant Fellowship and Research Program Coordinator, at or (804) 684-7436.

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Principal Investigators