Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships
Guidelines for Application
The deadline for the 2015 fellowship has not yet been announced.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Alaska Sea Grant for up-to-date information and advice as early as possible.
Eligibility: This fellowship is available to any student, regardless of citizenship, who is enrolled toward a degree in a graduate or professional program and who has an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The graduate degree needs to be awarded through a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories.
Applicant must seeks an appointment with Alaska Sea Grant Research Associate Director Ginny Eckert before submitting the application materials, and preferably 2–4 weeks before the deadline.
Terms of appointment: The fellowship will be for a period of one year. Compensation is in the form of a stipend, per diem, health insurance, and moving expenses. The overall award for 2014 fellows was $56,500. Compensation was $44,000 to each Fellow for stipend and living expenses (per diem); an additional $9,000 was available to cover mandatory health insurance for the Fellow and moving expenses. Any remaining funds of the $9,000 was available to be used for the Fellow during the fellowship year, first to satisfy academic degree-related activities, and second for fellowship-related activities. Finally, up to $2,500 from the total $52,500 could be used to cover placement week costs. During the fellowship, the host may provide supplemental funds for work-related travel by the Fellow.
Applicants should seek competent advice on income tax status of the stipend for their situation. The Prospective Fellows page at National Sea Grant has details on stipend and expenses.
Qualifications and application: For 2014 fellowships, students were to be enrolled in a graduate or professional program in February 2013. The graduate degree needs to be awarded through a U.S- accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories. Applicants are judged on academic record, communication skills (written and verbal), ability to work with people, recommendations, prior studies and work experience, and diversity of academic background.
Applications should include the following:
- Two signed letters of recommendation, including one from the student's major professor; if no major professor exists, a faculty person academically knowing the applicant best may be substituted.
- A personal education and career goal statement emphasizing the applicant's abilities and the applicant's expectations from the fellowship experience in the way of career development (1000 words or less). Placement preference in the Legislative or Executive Branches of the government may be stated; this preference will be honored to the extent possible.
- Personal and academic curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages).
- Copy of all official undergraduate and graduate student transcripts.
- Listing of classes and/or plans for spring, summer and fall 2013 (not to exceed one page).
Knauss Fellowships: Creating an Application has excellent tips for putting together an application, including a listing of some of the key issues the selection panel will focus on.
Applications should be professional in appearance and must be carefully checked for typographic errors, spelling, and grammar.
All applicants will be evaluated only on their application package according to the selection criteria listed in the Full Funding Opportunity announcement. Therefore, letters of endorsements from members of Congress, friends, relatives and others will not be accepted. Prior contacts or arrangements made with possible host offices will be cause for immediate disqualification from the process.
At the state review, the evaluation criteria and weighting of the criteria are as follows:
- Recommendations and/or endorsements of student (15 percent total): Endorsement/content of the letter from the applicant's major professor, and the second letter of recommendation.
- Academic record and statement of career goals and objectives of student (45 percent total): Quality of the applicant's personal education and career goal statement (30 percent); strength of academic performance (15 percent).
- Additional relevant experience (40 percent total) related to diversity of education, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, and interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills. For the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship Program, relevant experience would be in marine or aquatic-related fields.
At the national review, evaluation criteria are identical to those at the state level, except that in criteria (1), the letter of endorsement from the sponsoring Sea Grant program director will also be considered.
Alaska Sea Grant must submit applications for recommended candidates, along with a letter of endorsement from the director, to the National Sea Grant Office. For 2014 fellowship applications, that deadline was no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on March 29, 2013. The competitive selection process and subsequent notification to the Sea Grant programs was completed by June 7, 2013. Interviews with potential hosts and placement were in fall 2013, during a visit to Washington, D.C.
Example of Timetable for Knauss fellowship applications
|Mid-February of year before fellowship begins||Application materials for each applicant due in the Alaska Sea Grant office.|
|March||Interviews with applicants.|
|Late March||Alaska applicants selected for national pool of applicants.|
|Late March||Alaska applications submitted to National Sea Grant Office.|
|June||Knauss Fellows selected for upcoming year.|
|Fall||Fellows interview hosts in D.C.|
|February of fellowship year||Fellowships begin.|
The National Sea Grant website has additional information on the Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.