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Fiscal Year 2021 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Opportunity for USA and Territories Graduate Students
to Participate in a Fellowship Related to the Environment

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce

Deadline Date:

02/21/20 5:00 PM local time


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Fellowship opportunity for USA and territories graduate students to learn and work in government offices in the Washington, DC area. Applicants are advised that that the application process may take up to one month to complete. Focus areas include conservation, management, and policy-making related to natural water resources. Funding is intended to create and maintain a healthy coastal environment and economy.

NOAA provides funding to Sea Grant institutions to increase the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, and conservation of the Nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources by providing assistance to promote a strong educational base, responsive research and training activities, broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques, and multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problems

The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The Fellowship matches highly qualified graduate students with "hosts" in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship.

For Funding and Funding Restrictions, see page 10 of the RFP in Supporting Documents below. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177807

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) anticipates funding not less than 35 applicants, of which those assigned to the Legislative branch will be approximately 14.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Application packages will each propose a total of $74,000 in funding. This includes base funding for each award at $59,000 with optional host office travel up to an additional $15,000. If additional office-related travel funds beyond $15,000 are required, those funds will be administered through an amendment to the grant.

Term of Contract:

The anticipated start date is February 1, 2021 for the 12-month fellowship. Projects should have an end date of February 28, 2022 to allow for relocation and/or other approved fellowship activities. These awards cannot be renewed or deferred. Pre-award spending may be authorized 120 days prior to the start date of the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must:
- Be a student enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program as of application close date
- The graduate degree must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories
- Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply.
- Have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

The following entities are eligible to submit to this opportunity: Any student, regardless of citizenship, who, on February 21, 2020, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program, and has an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources is eligible to submit an application to the Sea Grant program in the state in which they are earning their degree. If there is no Sea Grant program, a Sea Grant program will be assigned. The graduate degree must be awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories. The National Sea Grant College Program champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by recruiting, retaining and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking. Applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, and income, and socioeconomic status types are encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

Non U.S. Citizens and Foreign Nationals:
- Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa to allow them to work in the Washington, D.C. area during the fellowship period.
- Foreign nationals please note: while this fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of nationality, a significant number of participating Federal host offices are unable to accept foreign nationals as Fellows. This may reduce the number of placement opportunities available to foreign nationals.

Indirect costs are not allowable for either the Fellowship or for any costs associated with the Fellowship (15 CFR 917.11(e), "Guidelines for Sea Grant Fellowships").

Pre-Application Information:

The application period for 2021 fellowships is now open. The deadline to apply is February 21, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. local time (preparation takes up to a month).
- Applications due to your state's Sea Grant program: February 21, 2020 (to be a fellow in 2021)
- Selected applicants are notified: mid-summer

Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Sea Grant Program in their state/territory at least one to two months prior to the state application deadline to receive application support and provide notification of intent to apply. The applicant should allow sufficient time to schedule an interview with the eligible Sea Grant program at the program’s request.

If your state is not served by a Sea Grant program (AZ, AR, CO, ID, IA, KS, KY, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, SD, TN, UT, WV, WY), obtain further information by contacting the National Sea Grant Office.

Eligible applicants must submit application materials by 5:00 p.m. local time on February 21, 2020 to the appropriate Sea Grant program. Students enrolled towards a degree in a graduate or professional program in a state or territory served by a Sea Grant Program must submit to that program. Other students must submit their applications to the Sea Grant program to which they were referred to by the Knauss Fellowship Program Manager.

Selected applications from the eligible Sea Grant program are to be received and validated by by the deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on April 03, 2020. (Note that National Sea Grant Office staff will only be available to answer questions until 5:00 p.m. EDT.)

Please note: validation or rejection of an application by may take up to two business days after submission. Eligible Sea Grant programs should consider this process in developing their submission timeline. For eligible Sea Grant program applications submitted through, a date and time receipt indication is included and will be the basis of determining timeliness.

If you have questions about the process, contact your state's Sea Grant program or email the National Office. You can also watch this recorded webinar for more information at:

Additional guidance and tips on how best to prepare an application are provided in the Sea Grant General Application Guide available in Supporting Documents below.

For more information, see:

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have any questions, please contact your nearest Sea Grant program, or reach out to:
Fellowships Management Team, NOAA National Sea Grant Office
Tel. (301) 734-1088

National Sea Grant College Program
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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