November 16, 2018, 5:00 pm EST

Related Documents

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 VASG's mission. 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.). As part of the program, each fellow is required to develop a collaborative, professional growth-oriented partnership with a professional end-user or outreach 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 2019. 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 a VASG Graduate Research Fellowship are not eligible to apply.

VASG is 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 socio-economic status.

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, 2019.
  • VASG expects to fund between five and seven fellowships for the 2019–2021 academic years.

Tentative Fellowship Completion Timeline

  • Fellowship announcement released: September 2018
  • Applications due to VASG by 5:00 pm EST: November 16, 2018
  • Stage 1 – Relevancy review: November/December 2018
  • Stage 2 – Review panel: January 2019
  • Stage 3 – Candidate interviews: March 2019
  • Notification of results: Spring 2019
  • Awards begin: September 1, 2019

How to Apply

For full details, including fellowship requirements, application guidelines, evaluation criteria, and the review and selection process, download the funding announcement. For information on VASG’s goals for fellow-mentor partnerships, as well as important considerations based on past fellow and mentor experiences, refer to VASG’s Guidance on Fellow-Mentor Relationship. For additional information on how to submit your application to VASG, refer to the eSeaGrant Instructions. All of the above documents can be found in the sidebar of this page under Related Documents.

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 application process. Applicants can express their interest by sending a short, simple email - please include "Graduate Research Fellowship" in the subject line.

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. Referees must submit their letters by the deadline. Please address letters to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant.