California Sea Grant Science Communication Fellowship 2020

Application Deadline: October 31, 2019

The California Sea Grant College Program is soliciting applications for a 2020 Science Communication Fellow. The science communication fellowship provides a unique educational opportunity for an early career science communicator to gain hands-on experience in marine and coastal science communication. The fellow will be advised by science communications professionals with over 10 years of experience in the field, and have access to a national network of science communicators through the Sea Grant Communications Network.

This new fellowship opportunity is closely linked with the long-running California Sea Grant State Fellowship. The successful applicant will be placed at California Sea Grant’s office at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego for a 12-month paid fellowship ($3,905 per month).

Application deadline: October 31, 2019 11:59 PM PST

Fellowship Description
Stipend and Expenses
Length of Assignment

Fellowship Description

This opportunity will provide the fellow with professional experience they need to launch a successful career in science communication. The fellow will learn skills and techniques specifically related to marine and coastal science communication, using a variety of modern communications tools. They will gain an understanding of and experience in science communication, the Sea Grant network, and research funding and administration. Potential experiences may include:

  • Science writing of a variety of types for various audiences including the general public, resource managers, and policymakers;
  • Producing visual, multimedia, video, web, or audio products to communicate research or topics relevant to California Sea Grant’s focus areas; 
  • Producing and publishing content for social media and analyzing engagement in order to adapt practices to changing trends; 
  • Writing or contributing to reports and other communications about California Sea Grant impacts and accomplishments for funding and agency audiences at national and state level;
  • Collaborating with California Sea Grant extension specialists, funded researchers, and/or Sea Grant fellows to develop and distribute communication products.


Applications may be submitted by a graduate student close to completing a degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D) in a field related to science communication, journalism, or science, at a U.S. university.  Graduate students who recently completed their degree with graduation date [i.e. date the degree was awarded by the university] after May 1, 2018 are also eligible to apply.  Applicants should address their degree of interest and experience in science communication, and in issues of marine, environmental, and coastal science. Fellows must complete all degree requirements before starting the fellowship.

Sea Grant is committed to increasing the diversity of the Sea Grant workforce and of the communities we serve. Sea Grant embraces individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, job classifications, veteran status types, and income, and socioeconomic status types. 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. 

Stipend and Expenses

The fellow will receive $46,860 in stipend for the twelve-month assignment ($3,905/month). Additional funds will be available for health insurance reimbursement ($3,120) and to cover fellowship related travel ($2,400). Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by California Sea Grant at the program’s discretion.

Length of Assignment

The length of assignment is 12 months (non-renewable). The fellowship is planned to begin in early February 2020, though other schedules may be arranged.


A complete application will include:

  1. Resume/curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages using 12-point font).
  2. A personal education and career goal statement that emphasizes the applicant's abilities and interest in science communication, and the applicant's expectations of the career development experience (500 words or less).
  3. One unedited writing sample, written by the applicant about a scientific topic for a general audience.  (500 words or less)
  4. One letter of professional recommendation from a faculty advisor or professional contact (supervisor, editor, etc) who is familiar with the applicant’s capabilities and potential in the area of science communication.
  5. Copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts. Unofficial copies will be accepted.

How to Submit an Application

The electronic files comprising your application must be submitted as PDFs using eSeaGrant, California Sea Grant’s online submission portal.


You will need to register for an account (click on the banner labeled “Register”) in eSeaGrant if you have not done so in the past year. You can change the randomly generated password once you log in successfully into the website.  To apply for this fellowship, follow eSeaGrant instructions specific for this opportunity.

Please make sure to include your last name in the file names for each section of the proposal (e.g., Smith_statement.pdf or Smith_cv.pdf). When naming the document please do not use apostrophes. Once submitted through the website, PDFs may not be edited. To change a PDF, it must be deleted and resubmitted.

IMPORTANT: To maintain confidentiality, letters of recommendation may be submitted directly from the referee to California Sea Grant through eSeaGrant and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered. Letters may also be emailed to Please address letters to Dr. Shauna Oh, Director, California Sea Grant.  Late submissions may lead to the rejection of incomplete applications. Candidates are encouraged to work with referees to meet the deadline. 

For electronic files larger than 6 MB, contact to make other arrangements.

Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.

For technical issues with submitting your application through eSeaGrant please contact or (858) 534-1160.

Application deadline: October 31, 2019, 11:59 PM PST

NOTE: the eSeaGrant proposal portal will close at the date and time stated above, and late applications (even 1 minute late) cannot be accepted.  It is your responsibility to get materials submitted before the deadline.


Selection of the finalists is made by communications staff of the California Sea Grant College Program based upon review of written application materials and interviews (in person, Skype, or phone) of a subset of applicants. Selection criteria used by California Sea Grant include: academic ability, writing and communication skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background and experience, career goals, additional qualifying experience, and support of referees. 


  • October 31 (11:59 pm PDT): Applications due to the California Sea Grant office
  • Nov 15-30 (approximate): Interviews for selection of finalists by California Sea Grant
  • December 5 (approximate): Finalist is notified of selection
  • February 2020: Fellowship begins 


Katherine Leitzell
Communications Coordinator