California Sea Grant State Fellowship

state fellowship collage of fellows doing policy, field work, outreach
Application Deadline: July 26, 2021

Program Description
Eligibility
Stipend and Expenses
Length of Assignment
Application
How to Submit
Host Agencies
Selection
Past Fellows
Timetable
Contact 

Timeline Highlights:
Host applications due: May 24, 2021 
Informational webinar: June 23 12-1:30pm
Fellowship applications due: July 26 9AM
Final host budget commitments due: August 16
Host presentations: August 30-September 3
Finalist presentations: September 15-17
Virtual matching workshop: October 4-6

Program Description

The California Sea Grant College Program is soliciting applications for the 2022 California State Fellows Program. The State Fellows Program provides a unique educational opportunity for graduate students who are interested in marine, coastal, and/or watershed resources and in the decisions affecting those resources in California. Modeled after the highly successful Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, the State Fellows Program provides an opportunity to acquire "hands-on" experience in the planning, implementation and management of marine, coastal, and/or watershed resource policies and programs in the state of California. The program matches highly motivated and outstanding graduate students (near completion of degree or recently completed) with "hosts" in municipal, state or federal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship ($4,292 per month).

Since the inception of this program in 1987, 256 graduate students and recent graduates have been successfully placed in a variety of municipal, state, and federal agencies that address California coastal and marine resource issues. This fellowship program has helped jump-start the careers of coastal and marine policy professionals.  You can read about current and past state fellows here

Extension Project Opportunity

Over the course of the twelve-month fellowship, there will also be an opportunity for the state fellow to work with the California Sea Grant Extension Program. California Sea Grant Extension Specialists work with State and Federal Agencies, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and members of the California coastal community to identify emerging marine resource problems and opportunities, conduct applied scientific research, and share findings with stakeholder groups. During the Spring Retreat hosted by California Sea Grant, state fellows will interact with extension specialists and choose extension project/s that align with their fellowship assignments or align with their professional and career interests. Fellows are anticipated to contribute no more than two months spread out over the year on these extension projects. As each extension specialist, project, fellowship position, and individual fellow is different California Sea Grant will provide flexibility as best possible to create organic collaborative opportunities through the extension projects for state fellows.

Informational webinar:

There will be an optional informational webinar about this fellowship program along with application tips on Wednesday, June 23, from 12:00 pm– 1:30 pm. A recording of the webinar is available here

*If this is your first time using Zoom, we encourage you to log in at least 5 minutes before the webinar starts, as you may need to download software and test your audio.

Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by a graduate student close to completing their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D) in a field related to conservation, management, protection, stewardship, public policy, or law of marine, coastal, and/or watershed environments, or areas that impact those environments, at a California university.  Graduate students who recently completed their degree at a California university with graduation date [i.e. date the degree was awarded by the university] after May 1, 2020 are also eligible to apply.  Applicants should address their degree of interest and experience in either marine/coastal/watershed science, natural resource management, public policy, and/or law.  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

Each fellow will receive $51,504 for stipend and health insurance for the twelve-month assignment ($4,292/month). Additional funds of $2,472 to cover travel for any California Sea Grant coordinated state fellow in-person meeting and other fellowship related travel. Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by the host agency at the agency’s discretion.


Length of Assignment

The length of assignment is 12 months. The fellowship will begin in early winter between January 2022 and March 2022. To ease logistical burdens and prevent delays for stipend payments,  2022 fellows are strongly encouraged to start the first week of the month either in January, February, or March 2022: January 3-7; January 31-February 4; or February 28-March 4, with the exact start date negotiable between an individual host and fellow.


Application

A complete application will include:

  1. Personal and academic 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 interests, and the applicant's expectations of the career development experience (1,000 words or less). The statement should include information about why the applicant wants to be a California Sea Grant State Fellow and what the applicant hopes to get out of the experience. One to two paragraphs of the statement should illustrate how the applicant's experience with people from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds will contribute to the program. 
  3. Two letters of professional recommendation, including one from the student's major professor. If no major professor exists, the faculty member who is most familiar with the applicant academically may be substituted.
  4. Copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts. Unofficial copies will be accepted.

*Personal information (birth dates, addresses, student ID numbers, social security numbers, etc.) should be redacted from all application materials before it is submitted through eSeaGrant.


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:

eSeaGrant

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 CASG through eSeaGrant and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered. Letters may also be emailed to sgproposal@ucsd.edu. 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 sgproposal@ucsd.edu to make other arrangements.

Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.

For technical issues with submitting your application through eSeaGrant please contact Nick Sadrpour at sgproposal@ucsd.edu or (858) 246-5269.

Application deadline: July 26, 2021, 9:00 AM PT

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.


Hosts

To allow for a broad fellowship applicant pool, applications for the fellowship will be open before all hosts are finalized. California Sea Grant recommends that prospective fellowship applicants  look at previous years' hosts as a gauge of possible opportunities (https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/fellowships/types/state-fellowship). 

Tentative* participating hosts for the 2022 class (full position list here). *Due to budget uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, some hosts positions listed below may not be offered for 2022. 

  • California Coastal Commission- Climate Change
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) - Natural Resources Division, Coastal Programs Unit 
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)- District 1 (Eureka) Environmental Engineering and Coastal Stewardship #1
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)- District 1 (Eureka) Environmental Engineering and Coastal Stewardship #2
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)- District 4 (Bay Area) Environmental 
  • California Fish and Game Commission
  • California Ocean Protection Council- Climate Change
  • California Ocean Protection Council- Marine Biodiversity
  • California State Coastal Conservancy- Bay Restoration
  • California State Coastal Conservancy- South Coast
  • California State Lands Commission: Climate Change/Coastal Resilience/Sea Level Rise
  • California State Lands Commission: Special Projects/Coastal Resilience/Science Team
  • Delta Science Program - Collaborative Science and Peer Review Unit
  • Delta Science Program - Science-Based Adaptive Management Unit
  • Delta Science Program - Science Communication, Synthesis, and Decision Support Unit 
  • Delta Stewardship Council - Planning and Performance Division
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: Conservation and Science Division 
  • NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
  • Port of San Diego: Planning, Environment, and Government Relations Division
  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)- Regional Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning
  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)- Sediment Management
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership
  • State Water Resources Control Board - Division of Water Quality: Ocean Standards Unit
  • State Water Resources Control Board - Division of Water Quality, Sustainable Water Plans and Policies
  • State Water Resources Control Board - Office of Information Management and Analysis

Selection

Selection of finalists is made by staff of the California Sea Grant College Program and alumni of the state fellowship based upon review of written application materials and interviews  (Zoom and/or phone) of a subset of applicants. Selection criteria used by California Sea Grant include: academic ability, communication skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, career goals, additional qualifying experience, and support of referees. Selected finalists will be guided through a matching process with host agencies at a mandatory Virtual Matching Workshop on October 4-6, 2021. 

 

Virtual Matching Process

Presentations: 

Prior to the matching workshop, each host will give a presentation via an online video platform that provides a background of the organization and scope of the general duties of their position. Each presentation will be set up, moderated, and recorded by California Sea Grant staff in conjunction with the hosts. We encourage all finalists, as able, to attend presentations live to gain a better understanding of the fellowship opportunities and host agencies, and ask any general questions. All presentations will be recorded and distributed to all finalists via a password protected webpage. Host presentations will take place August 30-September 3, 2021. All hosts will be given the full host presentation schedule and be able to view other host presentations. Similarly, prior to the matching workshop each finalist will give a brief presentation via Zoom that demonstrates their personality and interests, what they hope to get out of the fellowship experience, and what skills and experiences they will bring to this opportunity. Hosts will be encouraged, as able, to attend finalist presentations live and given access to the finalist presentation recordings. Finalist presentations will take place September 15-17, 2021. 

California Sea Grant cannot guarantee that a finalist will have an interview with a particular host. Finalists invited to the matching workshop are not guaranteed a fellowship. Placement of a fellow in each prospective host office is not guaranteed. 

Additional details on the matching process will be made available once finalists and hosts are confirmed.


Past Fellows

Read the fellows blog and previous fellow announcements to learn more about program alumni and their agency placements and experiences.


Timetable

California Sea Grant strongly encourages all prospective applicants to review the complete schedule and place appropriate holds on their calendars early. 

March: Host applications opened

May: Request for fellowship applications opened

May 24 9AM: Host applications due

June 11 (approximate): Accepted host agencies notified; tentative host positions posted on California Sea Grant website

June 23 12-1:30: State Fellow Informational Webinar

July 12: Deadline for host budget commitment letters

July 14 (approximate): Final host positions posted on California Sea Grant website

July 26 9AM: Fellowship applications due

July 26-August 20 (approximate): California Sea Grant screening of fellowship applications to select finalists 

August 16: Due to budget uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, hosts will have the opportunity to submit their preliminary budget commitments by July 12, and their final budget commitments due August 16.

August 23 (approximate): Finalists notified and applications distributed to participating hosts

August 25: California Sea Grant informational webinar for invited finalists

August 30-Sept 3: Host presentations 

September 7: Finalists provide binned preference of hosts for matching workshop interviews

September 10 (approximate): Draft interview schedule sent to hosts

September 15-17: Finalist presentations 

September 30: Finalists only welcome reception 

October 4-6: MANDATORY virtual matching workshop 

    Full schedule details will be shared with invited finalists. 

October 12-15 (approximate): Fellowship matches announced

January 2022- March 2022- Fellowships begin


Contact

For additional information about the State Fellows program (or other fellowship opportunities: https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/fellowships), please contact:

Nick Sadrpour
Program Coordinator
(858) 246-5269 or email nsadrpour@ucsd.edu

 

Past Fellowship Experiences 

Read the fellows blog and previous fellow announcements to learn more about program alumni and their agency placements and experiences.