November 16, 2017, 5:00 pm EST

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Contact Person

Sam Lake
Fellowship & Research Program Coordinator

Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellowships

Fellowship Description

The purpose of the Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) Graduate Research Fellowship is to support exceptional graduate students who are engaged in education and research that aligns with the mission of VASG. The fellowship also provides hands-on experience in translating research results to coastal and marine stakeholders, through a professional mentor, and offers a comprehensive set of professional development training opportunities that fellows may elect to take.

Graduate Research Fellows address issues relevant to Virginia communities, and of importance to coastal and marine science (broadly defined, e.g., natural or social sciences, engineering and design, policy and legal analysis, etc.). Fellows are expected to work with a professional outreach or end-user mentor. Through interactions with their mentors, fellows ensure that their research results are useful and used by stakeholders. Additionally, this partnership gives fellows access to experienced professionals who can provide career advice. The process also helps fellows develop practical skills in science communication, collaboration, the transfer of science to management, and exposure to other critical professional skills.


Students must be enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a Virginia academic institution prior to the award of the fellowship, no later than Fall 2018. Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline as long as they are engaged in research that is coastal- or marine-related and relevant to the mission and strategic plan of VASG. Previous recipients of VASG Graduate Research Fellowships are not eligible to apply. VASG strongly encourages members from under-represented minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Award Information

  • The fellowship provides an award of up to $40,000 per year.
  • VASG-funded fellowships require a 50 percent funding match. Only non-Federal funds may be committed as matching contribution.
  • Contingent upon available federal funding, fellowships are available for up to two years for M.S. and Ph.D. students.
  • The anticipated fellowship start date is September 1, 2018.
  • VASG expects to fund between five and seven fellowships for the 2018–2020 academic years.

Tentative Timeline for Fellowship Completion

  • Fellowship announcement released: September 2017
  • Proposals due to VASG by 5:00 pm EST: November 16, 2017
  • Stage 1 – Relevancy review: November/December 2017
  • Stage 2 – Review panel: January 2018
  • Stage 3 – Candidate interviews: March 2018
  • Notification of results: Spring 2018
  • Awards begin: September 1, 2018

How to Apply

For full details, including fellowship requirements, proposal guidelines, evaluation criteria, and the review and selection process, please download the Funding Announcement. More information on VASG’s goals for fellow-mentor partnerships, as well as important considerations based on past fellow and mentor experiences, please refer to VASG’s Guidance on Fellow-Mentor Relationship, available on this page. For additional information on the how to submit your application to VASG, please refer to the eSeaGrant Instructions, also 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 and to discuss the proposal process.

Proposal Submission & eSeaGrant

Proposals 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 proposals under any circumstances (e.g., internet delays), so please allow ample time to submit your proposal in advance of the deadline.

Recommendation Letters

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

End Users


Proposal Reviewers

Principal Investigators