Delta Science Fellowship

Application Deadline: December 20, 2019

The Delta Science Program and California Sea Grant are excited to announce another round of Delta Science Fellowships. This fellowship funds up to two (2) years for research projects that will advance the state of knowledge underlying high priority science issues that affect the California Bay-Delta and its management as a coupled human and natural system.

Eligible applicants include postdoctoral researchers, Ph.D. students, and masters students. Priority topic areas are identified in the full request for proposals, and include research in both the natural and social sciences.

Application Deadline: December 20, 2019, 5:00 p.m. PT


Webinar

California Sea Grant and the Delta Science Program will host an optional webinar to review the fellowship program and application logistics on October 24, 2019 from 10:30 am to noon. This presentation will be recorded and made available on the Sea Grant website.

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Fellowship Program

Award
The fellowship will provide up to two (2) years of support based on scope/type of projects and contingent upon the availability of funds, for postdoctoral, Ph.D., and masters fellows, in the form of a grant/award that includes funds for a stipend and for research-related expenses. Once the funds are awarded by California Sea Grant through a cooperative agreement with the Delta Science Program, the fellow’s stipend and research related expenses will be administered by the university, college, or research institution with which the fellow and/or research mentors are affiliated.

Postdoctoral fellows will receive up to $55,000 per year stipend. Ph.D. and masters fellows will receive up to $35,000 per year stipend, for a maximum duration of two years. In addition, each fellow may request funds (up to $34,000 per year for postdoctoral fellows or $23,000 per year for Ph.D. and masters fellows) for research supplies/equipment, travel and other expenses necessary for carrying out the proposed research, and attending scientific meetings including the Bay-Delta Science Conference or State of the Estuary Conference.

Continued support after the first year will be contingent on satisfactory performance of the fellow and on the availability of funds.

Mentorship Program

A formal mentoring plan will be required to be submitted within one month after funds are awarded and the fellowship is initiated. The purpose of the mentoring plan is to ensure a quality experience for the Fellow that provides a springboard to a career in scientific research and/or program implementation.

2020 Priority Topic Areas

For 2020, the Delta Science Fellows Program is requesting submission of research proposals that are responsive to one or more of the priority science actions identified in the 2017-2021 Science Action Agenda (See Appendix B for details on each topic).

2017-2021 Science Action Agenda Priority Science Actions:

  1. Invest in assessing the human dimensions of natural resource management decisions
  2. Capitalize on existing data through increasing science synthesis
  3. Develop tools and methods to support and evaluate habitat restoration
  4. Improve understanding of interactions between stressors and managed species and their communities
  5. Modernize monitoring, data management, and modeling

Fellowship Selection

Eligibility

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

Prospective postdoctoral science fellows must hold a Ph.D. or complete a Ph.D. before the starting date of the fellowship, in a doctoral degree program in the environmental sciences, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions or in a related field appropriate for disciplines identified under “Fellowship Opportunities.” Any postdoctoral researcher may apply who is associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the grant. Postdoctoral fellowships will not be awarded unless and until the prospective fellow has fully completed the Ph.D. degree.

PH.D. (GRADUATE DOCTORAL) FELLOWSHIPS

Prospective Ph.D. science fellows must, at the time of application, be in or have recently been admitted to a Ph.D. degree program in natural resources, environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions, or coastal, aquatic or related sciences at any accredited U.S. institution of higher education. Candidates must remain associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the award.

MASTERS (GRADUATE DOCTORAL) FELLOWSHIPS

Prospective masters science fellows must, at the time of application, be in or have recently been admitted to a masters degree program in natural resources, environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions, or coastal, aquatic or related sciences at any accredited U.S. institution of higher education. Candidates must remain associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the award.

Selection Criteria

The fellowships will be awarded in a competitive process to highly qualified researchers.

The selection criteria will include:

  • The quality of the research proposal, including appropriateness of the approach to be used.
  • The strength of academic performance and relevant academic achievement, experience, and the quality of applicant’s career goal statement.
  • The importance of the proposed research to science needs identified in Appendix B.
  • The research mentor’s demonstrated abilities in the general area of questions addressed by the proposal.
  • The expected quality and strength of interaction that will be developed between the research institution, the community mentor and her/his organization.

Selection Procedure

Selection is highly competitive. Applications must be submitted to the California Sea Grant College Program Office no later than 5:00pm PT, December 20, 2019. One or more review panels consisting of outside, independent expert reviewers from relevant disciplines, Delta Science Program leadership, and California Sea Grant leadership will be convened in Winter 2020 to review and recommend selection of finalists to the Delta Science Program lead scientist, using the criteria outlined above. We anticipate awarding a combined total of approximately 6-8 fellowships for 2020. All applicants will be notified of the selection decision early to mid-April 2020.

Electronic Submission 

Proposals are required to be submitted using eSeaGrant by 5:00pm PT on December 20, 2019 PT: 

eSeaGrant


Timetable

  • December 20, 2020 (5 p.m. PT) - Applications due to California Sea Grant College Program via eSeaGrant online submission portal
  • April 2020 (approximate) - Applicants notified of selection results
  • May 2020 (approximate) – Start date: Funds awarded to the selected Delta Science Masters, Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellows
  • May 2022 (approximate) – 2-year fellowship awards end. 1-year fellowships will also be considered (ending May 2021).  

Please note that due to the constraints inherent to the funding source, no time extensions beyond dates specified in the award will be possible.


Contact

Additional information about the fellowship may be obtained from:

Miho Ligare
Research & Fellowship Coordinator
(858) 534-1160
sgproposal@ucsd.edu